Regardless of how long you were together and who initiated the break up, a relationship ending is a loss that can have an impact on your mental health and overall well-being.
The Impact of Breakups on Mental Health
The first time I went to therapy, it was on the heels of a relationship ending. I was already considering going back to school to become a therapist. So I decided two things: One, that I needed to actually go to therapy for myself before committing to a career change. And two, that my current emotional state wasn’t healthy (and I could sense that maybe my friends were tired of hearing me vent every time we saw each other).
The truth is, I was sad and I didn’t know what to do with the grief and disappointment I was feeling. And that’s often what happens when a relationship ends, we experience a complex stew of feelings—sometimes we may even struggle to name what they are. I didn’t know what to expect before seeing my therapist for the first time, and yet, I knew that I needed support that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Based on my experience and also time supporting my own clients with processing break-ups, here’s what I would tell you about how therapy can be helpful after you’ve parted ways with a partner (I would argue this would also apply to the end of a friendship or other meaningful relationship.
Here are 4 ways a therapist can support your healing after a break-up.
Therapy offers a gentle space to process grief
The truth is, the end of a relationship is a loss. Sometimes we may think of grief being reserved for the death of a loved one, but that’s simply one experience that may trigger a grief process. Any loss, big or small, is worthy of processing and grieving fully.
Therapists are Empathic
As you navigate stress, anxiety, and other complex feelings, the empathic presence of a therapist can be very helpful. Like I said earlier, when you are in the throes of a break-up, all the thoughts and feelings can be like a spiral of heaviness that you can’t seem to manage on your own. And while friends can be a wonderful support in that process, it can be helpful to have someone who can both listen and empathize with your experience, and also help you to explore the depths of all that you might be feeling.
Therapists Support You
As you learn what you want to take with you into your next relationship (and what you want to leave behind), your therapist will help support you. Our recent blog Unpacking Your Past Relationships provides a great breakdown of how you might unpack your most recent relationship. For example, you may consider areas you might learn about your attachment style or consider how your communication patterns were reflected in your relationship. Or even how you’re processing the break up now, and how you might want to shift or develop these areas in your next relationship (or even with your friends and family members).
A Therapist Will Help Explore Your Identity
As I sat in my therapist’s office each week, not only did I learn about my attachment style and communication challenges, but my therapist also challenged me to dig into some intentional reflection around my identity. Who was I? Who did I want to be moving forward? How was I going to be gentle toward myself as I navigated these big questions? As much as it may seem like a giant cliche to try to “find yourself” after a breakup, it’s really a wonderful time to reflect, allow yourself space to heal, and to consider what’s next.
Work With a Denver Relationship Therapist
At Catalyss Counseling, we believe healthy and meaningful relationships contribute to an individual’s overall well-being and mental health. And, often, people can benefit from therapeutic support to maintain these relationships or cultivate communication skills and relational patterns that will support you in cultivating aligned relationships in the future.
How We Can Help
we are enrolling for our relationship process group!
Check out our Relationship Process Group, which gives you a safe environment with real people to try out new behaviors and actions
If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
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Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.