By the time that most people start therapy they have been struggling for some time with their concerns. Many have Googled their symptoms, read self-help books, or tried medications. Most are exhausted from working so hard on getting unstuck on their own.
In the first session, I always ask my clients what they like to do for fun. Usually, they are too busy for fun. Sometimes, with some gentle coaxing, they timidly tell me how they spend their free time because there is so much guilt about having non-productive, mindless fun.
In recent years, I’ve gotten in the habit of helping people create room in their lives for the hard work of therapy, but most importantly, time for their guilty pleasures. I start by having clients review their to-do list and either eliminate or brainstorm shortcuts for the things they hate doing. Once we have some breathing space, we add more fun into the program.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the Guilt-Free Pleasures article.
Christine Korol, PhD, is a cartoonist psychologist in private practice in Calgary, Canada, and the host/producer of a podcast on WiredToWorry.com that provides free online anxiety and stress reduction education videos.
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