Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Therapeutic Hour

If you have ever seen a counselor, you know the average session time allowed by insurance companies is about 45-50 minutes. It's called the therapeutic hour because it isn't really a full hour. Clients can really get lost in time and it seems to fly by. Counselors, however, feel every minute of it...at least I do. It's not because I'm bored or disinterested in what's being shared. Usually, it's quite the opposite. My mind is working overtime to figure out the most helpful response, even if I'm silent.

As you share your story, I'm discerning the best time to summarize and reflect what I've heard. I'm crafting just the right questions to take the conversation deeper. I'm figuring out how much further to push without going too far too soon. I'm wondering if we'll have time to contain all the emotions that emerged so you don't leave feeling psychically exposed. It's all in a day's work for counselors. It's a tremendous gift to clients though, because when you think about it, how often to do we allow ourselves to indulge in time?
 
It's not something I often do. I have enjoyable activities, of course. I teach Zumba and fitness classes, but usually, I'm thinking about cueing the next step. It's not really my workout in the way that it used to be before I started teaching. Reading is fun, but I'm still looking at the clock and thinking about what's next. Even TV shows I enjoy keep me focused on time. Will this drama be resolved within the hour or is there going to be a Part 2? My point is anyone can put their phone or computer down for a moment. But how often are you so engrossed in something that you forget where your phone is and you don't care? Time completely slows down and nothing is being asked of you in that moment. It's completely yours.
 
When's the last time you felt that way? When's the last time you were completely lost in time? What were you doing? Who were you with? And how can you do more of that? It's not just therapists that give of our time. We all do. So in order to recharge, how about designating your own moment on a regular basis to focus entirely on you? Create your own therapeutic hour. That's my goal.
 

Gambrell Wellness LLC is here to help! As a licensed professional counselor and certified personal trainer, Dr. Crista Gambrell is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals for total health, both inside and out. Begin your journey to wholeness today. Visit gambrellwellness.com for more information. 

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