Menstruation & Psychotherapy

The menstrual cycle is a stigma for some, and an enigma for many. How do you look after yourself during the different phases of your menstrual cycle? Does this look different from one phase to another? How does it influence how you plan your day, week, month, or weekend? How does it impact your relationships? What do you observe and notice from one end of the month to the other? How aware are you of the complex hormonal and physical interplay occurring within your body from week to week? Psychotherapy can support in negotiating all of this.

As women in contemporary society, there is an expectation to operate and function productively within three different time continuums: linear time, psychic time, and menstrual time. Linear time, represented by the twenty-four-hour clock, is the continuum that every member of society works and lives by. Psychic time is temporal, shaped by all our lived experiences to date and influences how we live in the here and now. Menstrual time is our unique expression of cyclical time, governed by our biology and divided into four phases: Menstruation, Follicular, Ovulation, and the Luteal phase. Although these are “normal” phenomena operating within the body, functioning within these three continuums can be challenging as they are often in conflict with one another.

Navigating these time continuums can be wearisome. Psychotherapy can help navigate these conflicts. Finding a way to make use of our time in a manner that aligns with these different rhythms is important. This is what is at stake: finding a way to weave our existence through the constraints that these time continuums impose on us. Psychotherapy can support you in re-organising your experiences and finding a rhythm that works for you. By understanding and harmonising these different aspects of time, psychotherapy helps create a balance that supports your well-being and productivity.

Often underlying issues or symptoms can be exacerbated during the Luteal phase of our cycle, a time when we may need to pay closer attention to what our body is communicating to us. We may feel more tired than usual, or we may experience changes in mood, along with many other symptoms that can occur at this time.

Psychotherapy can be supportive in helping us to adapt to the landscape that
these alterations bring:

  • It can help provide insight into the habitual yet unique symptoms and expressions of our cycle.

  • It can also offer a space for you to process your thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they arise to provide insight and awareness.

If you are concerned about your emotional well-being during the menstrual cycles, it may also be important to seek medical support from your General Practitioner and/or a specialist in this area, such as Dr. Lyuda Shkrobot at Unique Life, Rathfarnham if you are based in Ireland or Prof. Nick Panay and his Team at Hormone Health if you are based in England. Keeping track of your symptoms can be useful, such as the Louise Newson Balance App.

Navigating the complexities of menstrual well-being, linear time, and psychic time can be challenging. However, with the support of psychotherapy, you can find a rhythm that works for you psychotherapy can be supportive by providing insights, tools, and a safe space to process your experiences. 

This blog was written by Stephanie Quinn of Suantraí Psychotherapy. For more information, please visit her website or email her at

To learn more about Mindful Cycling, read the blog “Being and Time.”