Is there anything you wish your therapist asked you but hasn’t?
If there is, maybe it would be good for you to bring it up. As much as therapists are generally sensitive people, many are even empaths, they don’t have ESP.
Therapy is a collaborative experience.
For true collaboration, both people have to contribute. Are there any topics or experiences you have been reluctant to share but feel may be valuable to discuss? If your therapist hasn’t opened the door to a conversation you yearn to have, you might want to bring it up.
If that seems daunting, here are a few ways you can prepare yourself.
Do a written or audio journal in which you answer the questions:
What am I afraid of?
Am I concerned my therapist will see me differently, judge me, disagree with me, or think she can’t work with me anymore?
Am I afraid of being triggered if I simply bring up the topic?
Is my shame over something stopping me?
Have I spent hours, days, months, or years, putting myself down for something I think is too egregious to bring up?
Am I afraid I’ll break down and start crying, or even sobbing?
Am I afraid my therapist won’t understand me, and if she doesn’t, what hope is there?
If I divulge this, will she know I lied about something in the past? (If you are concerned about this, please read the piece on this website called: Why Do People Lie To Their Therapist?)
Am I afraid I will be too embarrassed to come in for another session?
If you didn’t like something your therapist said, or the way it was said, what stops you from mentioning it?
Please, remember: Your therapist works for you. If you are in therapy, I hope you have a wonderful relationship with your therapist. Trusting, safe, and supportive, where you feel treated with kindness and respect, as you are truly heard and seen. Even if that’s the case, you, or your insurance company, is paying your therapist. He or she works for you. You are entitled to ask for what you want.
The essence of therapy is feeling safe enough with another human being, who is not your partner, child, friend, parent, sibling, or clergy member, to be your authentic self. I have always believed it’s a sacred relationship, unlike any other. If you want to get the most out of the experience, be as honest and forthright as you can be.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang