A few decades ago, the idea of these two practices coming together probably seemed unlikely at best and absolutely out of the question at worst. Now it is a very different story. In fact, several of my therapists have actively recommended meditation as part of my self-care routine and worked with me to improve my meditation practice.
For me, the way I use meditation alongside therapy is as sort of a one-two-punch, a pre-op and post-op opportunity if you will.
As a starting point, I use meditation before therapy to more fully understand myself, what I am feeling, and what issues I might need to bring up in therapy that day. For example, recently meditation helped me understand that I was feeling very anxious, but couldn’t identify why. This was something I brought up in therapy, and something that I will be talking about more tomorrow (so stay tuned).
Meditation is also a way to unwrap the issues discussed in therapy. This past week’s therapy session was a heavy one, with a lot of deep issues that were brought up. Of course, while the therapist is there to help as much as she can in those 50 minutes, the fact of the matter is sometimes I have to work with and unpack these issues more when I get home, and meditation is the perfect way to do that. Meditation allows me to observe the issues discussed in therapy in an objective, non-judgmental way. It helps me be more accepting.
Meditation might not be right for you, and combining it with psychotherapy might not be right either. On the other hand, it might be a chance to get more bang for your buck so to speak. In fact, some therapists and recovery support specialists will even help with brief, guided meditations that can help calm you down if you are anxious and need to just catch your breath, or if you’re simply looking to get started in your meditation practice.
Whatever the case, meditation teamed up with therapy might be a great combo for your recovery if you feel like one or both practices are missing in your life or just kind of stagnated. And if you do combine them already and feel like sharing, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. And as always, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more tomorrow!