Dr Barbara Louw

Returning to counselling after a break

Like any journey, your therapeutic journey may have starts and stops, highs and lows, departures and returns. Sometimes unexpected changes in life force you to pause the counselling and coaching for wellness. Perhaps you wanted a break to focus on another part of your life.

Once you are ready to return to counselling, you might wonder how you should go about it. What should you say to your counsellor? “I’m back” doesn’t feel like enough. The principles and care that brought you to Dr Barbara Louw in the first place are still effective.

Ultimately, your counsellor is not going to judge or reprimand you for taking a break.

Even if you ghosted on your counsellor, she will most likely approach you with empathy, not anger or criticism. Counselling is a space of acceptance, and no amount of absence can change that.

Dr Barbara Louw responds to returning clients by acknowledging their commitment to their well-being. She will help the clients recall the skills and insights they gained previous time. If a period of more than six months passed since the last appointment, she will request that you complete a new set of forms and ask questions to refresh your memory.

If you can’t think of anything to say when you reconnect with her, here are some steps you can take:

Let the counsellor know you want to get back into counselling. Being clear about your intentions will get the conversation going.

If you hadn’t already, explain why you took a break or you left without a word, the counsellor might have questions or concerns. Your return is an opportunity to clear the air about any unresolved issues from before you left.

Talk about what you did during the break. Were there any significant events, changes or revelations? Your counsellor needs this information to adjust the strategies for improving your well-being.

If you have new goals in mind for counselling, mention them. Sometimes a break allows you time to realize what you want or need.

Take a moment to congratulate yourself for reaffirming your commitment to living a happy, healthy life. May the new part of your journey be rewarding and gratifying.

Schedule an online or in-person appointment today