Mental health challenges can affect anyone regardless of their personality type. Introverts and extroverts alike can succeed in therapy, but their communication and recharging methods differ in critical ways. Introverts must understand how to navigate treatment that requires them to recharge in a new environment or open up more than they want to. If you are an introvert new to mental health treatment or therapy, consider these tips to help you tailor your social interactions and make the most of your recovery.
Opening Up in Treatment
If you are nervous about therapy or attending a treatment center as an introvert, you have healthy options for respecting your own needs. Therapists are well versed in introvert preferences and are happy to support you if you communicate what helps you open up best. The same goes for inpatient treatment centers, which offer both group support and plenty of privacy for those wishing to receive treatment in peace. Regardless of your reason for receiving help, use these methods of opening up if you are an introvert:
- Journal and share with your therapist
- Ask to be connected with a support partner
- Communicate if you feel overwhelmed or need a break
- Ask for guided meditations
Some introverts are social, but all introverts need to recharge themselves at the end of it. Having privacy to reflect is especially important during a mental health treatment program so you can fully absorb what you learn without the social energy distracting you. Regardless of whether you live at home or temporarily at a center, make the effort to organize your home environment to make you feel relaxed. Work on developing these habits to improve your mental health and allow yourself to retreat into your space after a day of treatment comfortably:
- Listen to calming music before bed
- Disconnect from devices to reflect on your interactions
- Journal your emotions
- Stretch and focus on deep breathing
- Cook or ask for foods that make you feel recharged
Introverts have no problem connecting with others, it is the quality and method of these connections that differs from extroverts. This matters in mental health treatment since you may be asked to connect with a therapist, support groups, staff at treatment centers, or to rethink relationships in your personal life. If this is the case, be sure to facilitate your connections in your own way (and at your own pace). Here are some introvert-friendly ways to focus on the quality of your connections in treatment:
- Begin by sharing exactly what you’d like from an interaction
- Don’t force it, you are free to take a step back and recharge
- Take your time getting to heavy topics with small talk
- Connect with others alongside activities
Try these ideas if you are an introvert new to mental health treatment. If you communicate your needs and recover in a way that supports your strengths, succeeding in treatment as an introvert is completely possible.
Adam Durnham is an introvert and freelance blogger who specializes in mental health and addiction recovery. You can find a lot of his work at Willow Springs Recovery.
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