August 18th, 2022, by Ellen Wilson, LPC, NCC, Director of Behavioral Health Emotional intimacy can be exhausting. Telling another person your secrets, regrets, fears, and insecurities is not for the faint of heart. And yet, successful therapy depends on it. You share your heart with the therapist, only to return home and suddenly feel tired and exposed, all at once. These emotional hangovers, as I like to call them, are a beautiful part of the therapeutic process. Anytime we make a change in our lives, even a positive change, it comes with a certain level of discomfort and resistance. An emotional hangover is a sign that we are growing - but our emotions resist, trying to keep us in our comfort zone. After all, success of your goals, whether it be to decrease anxiety, communicate with your spouse, or overcome grief, is not determined by a magical wand that your therapist can simply swish. Rather, success is directly correlated with our ability to be honest with ourselves and open with the therapist about who we are and who we would like to be. Feeling nervousness to start therapy, or tiredness after a session, both show that you are on the brink of becoming an even better version of yourself. We all feel the effects of emotional expression differently but being aware of how you are feeling can bring clarity and peace after a session. You might feel tired, peaceful, zoned out, sentimental, calm, or simply hungry. No matter what you feel, praise God for his goodness and praise yourself for being open to the pursuit of self-improvement. Then, do some extra self-care: go for a walk, cuddle with your spouse, have your favorite drink, or watch a funny tv show. And remember, you are on the right track. To begin therapy or refresh your marriage, visit our support hub www.renewtheido.org/support-hub or subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.