the therapy buffet

In therapy…

It is common to start seeing the strategies learned as just another “to do” list. We start to feel like we have an endless list of things to do in order to manage our wellbeing. Rather than being helpful, this may create a sense of anxiety and may lead us to feeling overwhelmed. This sense of overwhelm, may prevent us from engaging in the new strategies we have learned in therapy.

the Buffet analogy

Rather than looking at these strategies as a list of things we must do, it may be more helpful to consider them as options. These options are similar to the options presented at a buffet. If we force ourselves to sample all of the options presented to us, we are likely to feel sick and not enjoy our meal. However, with careful selection we can create an enjoyable meal. Just like a buffet, therapy provides a variety of tools and skills to choose from. It’s up to the individual to select what works best for them on any given day.

5 Skills Learned in therapy

  1. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the current moment, without judgement. It involves paying attention to thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations with a sense of curiosity and openness. Mindfulness may help to improve our mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance overall well-being.
  2. Thought Defusion is a specific mindfulness-based technique. It helps to provide some space and distance from unhelpful thoughts. Thought defusion helps us to recognise that thoughts are not facts and to observe them objectively. With regular practice, we may be able to reduce the emotional impact of negative thoughts.
  3. Assertive Communication Skills are a common technique learned in therapy. We can think about communication existing on a continuum. On one side we have passive communication and on the other side we have aggressive or even violent communication. Assertive communication lies somewhere in the middle. It involves communicating our needs and expressing ourselves in a clear and confident way. It may be helpful for improving relationships and reducing social anxiety.
  4. Values-Guided Action is a process of identifying and taking action towards our most important values. We use our values like a compass to help guide us towards a fulfilled and meaningful life. Gaining insight into our values may help when making decisions. Taking action in line with our values, may help to lift our mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.
  5. Emotion Regulation aims to support us to manage and tolerate difficult emotions. It involves identifying and understanding our emotions. We develop strategies to regulate them, and use healthy coping mechanisms to deal with challenging situations. Emotion regulation may help to improve emotional well-being and reduce impulsivity.

A balanced approach to therapy

Just like at a buffet, it is important not to overload our plate with too many skills all at once. Rather, it may be more helpful to choose one or two skills to focus on. We can then practice integrating these into our daily life. Remember, it is OK to go at our own pace and focus on creating a meal that we find enjoyable. We all have different tastes and preferences. What works for one person may not work for another. By learning and practicing these skills, we can create a satisfying and balanced “meal” which is tailored for our individual mental health.

At Uplift Psychology, we can help guide you in selecting the skills that are most helpful for you and to develop an individual plan for implementing these skills into your daily life. Contact us today to find out how we may help.

join our newsletter

Newsletter Signup

Similar Posts