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Preparing for Therapy at Home

By Elizabeth Marks, MSWI

We’re all getting used to our new normal where our apartments are now multipurpose rooms for sleep, sex, dinner, virtual happy hours, barre class, and board meetings. Knowing that we are nearing winter, and most offices aren’t rushing to open, it’s important to think about how we can maximize our space for our mental health. I came to think of how I was taking therapy and a FaceTime with a friend in the same small space of my bedroom. Sometimes turning off the camera at the end of a meaningful conversation, I realized it was harder to move on or get to my next needed task when I was physically still in the same space. So whether you have a studio apartment or a palatial home, here are some tips to change the space for your therapy sessions.

1. Changing the space means changing the mindset, even if it’s simply switching out a chair or moving from the corner of the bed to the kitchen table – switch up the space!

2. Think about privacy and confidentiality. Live with a roommate, significant other or your parents? Ask them for the space for an hour or to use that hour for video games or working out so you can feel a true sense of privacy.

3. Give yourself time to get into the groove, going from one meeting to the next won’t allow you to get into a mindset where you can feel fully prepared. Take a walk around the apartment or have a cup of tea before therapy to begin the process of decompressing, even if it’s at your lunch hour.

4. Leave the space when you need to! Moments at work and therapy can be intense. Close the computer, sit with your thoughts, and give yourself a moment between meetings and sessions before diving back in.

Though our new sense of normal will not be forever, while you are home, you can make an effort for it to feel like a space you can thrive in. Any room can go from feeling stale to feeling like a sanctuary when you make tiny edits with your mental health in mind.