Updated: Jan 2
You can’t believe that someone who loved you is not in love with you anymore. You feel crushed and begin to wonder where you went wrong. Memories of the time spent together haunt you every single day. It feels like someone stabbed your heart so badly that you won’t be able to trust someone ever again. You begin to question whether you will ever find love again in your life.
If you resonate with all of these, you’re undergoing a heart-wrenching breakup!
During such distressing times, some count on good old friends for emotional support. However, some want to escape from the feelings of sadness and betrayal and indulge in excessive alcohol, substance abuse, casual sex, overeating, binge-watch television shows and so on.
While relying on friends for emotional support seems like a better alternative, it is important to understand that they’re humans with their issues. They won’t be able to offer round-the-clock emotional support by listening to our endless sad breakup story on repeat mode. Similarly, running away from difficult emotions and feelings isn’t a good solution either. Though the activities might bring pleasure briefly, they don’t address the deep-seated issues – Pain, agony and breach of trust!
What do we do then? How do we cope with a break-up healthily?
This is where therapy can help you! There are options for therapy after breakup.
What is breakup therapy?
Breakup Therapy is a therapy to get over a breakup. It is a form of counselling that helps an individual to process the sorrowful break-up. With a help of a trained psychologist, an individual learns about themselves better, understands what happens when they are around someone romantically, and unlearns unhealthy patterns and behaviours that are harming the relationship.
3 things you can expect from a breakup therapy
You will learn about yourself more
Maybe you have a deep abandonment issue that made you call your partner 10 times a day. It eventually showcased you in a negative light as someone who is possessive and toxic, thus marking the end of the relationship. Maybe you were unloved as a child and expected your partner to shower you with constant love and admiration. This may have overwhelmed them to stay with you in the long run.
There can be innumerable cases like this.
Hence, it is important to increase your self-awareness and understand what’s your emotional baggage. By explaining your entire breakup episode to a trained psychologist, one can feel heard, understood and accepted. After acknowledging the pain, the psychologists gradually work with the individual to understand their core issues. Depending on their issues, a psychologist proceeds with treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), art therapies, Gestalt therapy, online therapy for breakups etc.
For example: If an individual feels unworthy and has low self-esteem, the psychologist may use CBT to challenge their negative thoughts about the individual.
You’ll begin to appreciate the silver lining
You will eventually learn to develop alternate perspectives.
Maybe it opened the doors to self-love and you started working out, eating healthy and achieving goals you always thought were impossible. The breakup was a blessing in disguise. You understand that you’re destined towards something even better. You may even begin to see failures in work as a learning opportunity.
A quote by Oprah Winfrey on failure stuck a cord with me when I came across it on YouTube. She says that setbacks are detours that take us away briefly from our supreme destiny. If we can train our minds to acknowledge failure as detours, our worldview can become optimistic and hopeful.
I remember a TED talk by Mr Darryll Stinson called Overcoming rejection: when people hurt you and life isn't fair a few months ago. He made a very important point that got etched in my memory. He defines rejection as redirection. Reading this phrase can make anyone brim with optimism and courage.
You’ll learn about healthy relationships
Therapy can help you reflect on your communication style, boundaries and expectations from partners and lets you explore questions such as:
Why do I want to be in a relationship? Is it because of peer pressure, or everyone else has a partner or you’re getting old?
Are you seeking a partner to be happy?
Are you scared of living alone?
Do feel lonely and hence need a partner?
Do you need someone else to fill your void?
Have you ever have questions such as "Do I need therapy after a breakup?"
If you answer yes to even any one of these questions, you’re most likely to form relationships that are unhealthy, which could make you forever stuck in a breakup loop.
A therapist can help you understand the right reasons to enter into a relationship. Therapy can put individuals in the right direction that leads to a healthy and loving relationship based on trust, respect and love. We at ManoShala offer relationship counselling, couples therapy after breakup to help with issues such as codependency, self-esteem and breakups.
Book a free 15-min prescreening session to discuss your needs.
What not to expect?
Don’t expect to come out of a breakup on Day 1 of therapy
Grieving is a process. A therapist will provide a safe space to process those difficult feelings and support you by giving you the tools to recover from a breakup. Rome was not built in a day, similarly, it takes time to rebuild yourself after a breakup. So, do not expect overnight results after attending one therapy session.
Don’t expect the therapist to do your healing work
As Buddha rightly puts it, “Only you can change your life, no one can do it for you”, individuals have to do their healing work. A therapist will guide you, but won’t be able to do the self-love work for you. So, therapy magically won’t make you a love magnet, unless you are not willing to invest time to take action steps. Time is a healer. Pain reduces with time, but by working on your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health consciously, you can hasten the process and regain control over yourself.
Do not expect therapy to be a bed of roses
Our emotional health problems can be traced back to our childhood. Growing up with abandonment issues, emotional neglect, emotional abuse and others influence how we form relationships as an adult. Therapy won’t fix your past, but it will allow you to sit with the painful memories and wounds and make peace with them. You may weep during the process and cry your heart out. You will experience uncomfortable emotions surfacing. So, do not expect it to be a smooth sailing journey. In the end, you’ll feel happy that you processed pain in a healthy way rather than cribbing to a friend or engaging in self-harm behaviours.
It is difficult to share the details about our relationship, childhood and so on with a third person. However, it is important to understand that psychologists are trained to be non-judgmental listeners who are bound by confidentiality. They’re offering their support by listening to you grieve and helping you increase your self-awareness. Nonetheless, before going to couples therapy after a breakup or any other therapy, don’t expect it to be a panacea for all your problems and allow time to see any significant changes.
Written by Padmapriyadarshini