It is not just Jews and school-bound kids that are gearing up for the new year. It is in the air. Or ingrained in our bones from our school years. Summer is over. The fun, or the chaos, of the season is over, and it is time to get back to work.
Certainly there are some folks and some professions that are in high gear during the summer, but most of us are taking it easy as far as work goes. We work shorter days, sometimes even shorter weeks. We take vacations, as do our co-workers, slowing down the pace even while at work. Many large work projects, like new employee hiring, are delayed until “we all get back to work” in the fall.
Another thing folks do a lot less of in the summer is participate in psychotherapy. In my 20 years in practice I consistently have a third fewer sessions a week in the summers. I even tried to take a “break” from doing my own therapy work one summer, but ended up spending the summer unpacking what psychological/emotional work I felt I needed a break from, and how not going to sessions would constitute a break (two therapists in one room doesn’t double the analyzing, there's an exponential effect!)
The thing is that taking a break from therapy is like taking a break from exercise, or from getting enough sleep, or from sharing a nice meal with a friend. It may save you a little effort or time, but in the end, it leaves you deprived of some of life’s essential goodness.
Therapy isn’t always easy. Its value can’t be assessed on any particular session. In fact some of the “best” sessions can feel downright heart-breaking. But its goals are fundamental shifts in how we see/experience/think about ourselves, our relationships and existence itself. Therapy is a key tool to changing patterns that hinder our full engagement in living. So get back to work!
Smith is the founder/director of Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice http://www.fullliving.com(link is external), which offers clinical services with seasoned, cultural competent clinicians thoughout Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.