Psychotherapy Handout: Restoration and Rejuvenation

The Restoration and Rejuvenation handout came out of a need to help people look at how parched and drained they can become when they aren’t doing enough to restore and replenish themselves.

In this handout, the large reservoir represents the holding tank of the activities we can participate in in order to rejuvenate ourselves. By tapping into this holding tank regularly we can fill our personal cup. We need a working pipeline, constructed with intentional actions, in order to keep our cup full. Off our personal cup we have metaphorical spigots, the activities that take our energy and can drain our personal reserves.

If we can identify the drains on our energy, by seeing the sources of output, demand and depletion, we can then contrast this with the resources for restorative input, an in so doing get a sense of from where an energy imbalance might be coming. The visual representation of this makes the issues clear and the solutions recognizable.

One of the most important aspects in this handout has to do with the valve between the reservoir and the personal cup. This valve represents the choice to be open to restoration and the degree to which it is allowed. “How often and how fully do you open this valve?,” is the question I frequently ask.

Being able to identify restorative activities is often a challenge. Sometimes it takes a great deal of reflection and brainstorming to come up with ideas of rejuvenating activities. Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, explores the notion of “artist dates”. She says, “an artists date is a block of time…especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, you inner artist. … it is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers … because your artist needs to be taken out, pampered, and listened to.” Cameron claims that if an artist is going to produce she must have a deep reservoir to tap into for inspiration. I think the same principle applies to all humans, artists or not. If we want to keep a positive output of energy flowing, we need to invite, invest, and involve ourselves in restorative actions.