What to Say In Therapy

I know I need therapy but I am confused and don’t know what to say.  I would like help but I just don’t know what to bring or where to start.  When I sit down I clam up and feel anxious.

If you are thinking and feeling like this you are not alone as these are common to many people I see and work with who come to therapy.   Sometimes people come with the idea that I am going to be taking charge of what you talk about and when, instead I will be following what you say and responding to what you say.  The questions I ask will invite you to deepen in to what you are talking about and help me to understand you and the problems you are bringing.  My questions will be inviting you to explore the all-aboutness of your situation.

Therapy offers a space to talk about what touches you, stirs you, hurts you, supports you.  Talk about what has been happening both inside you (your thoughts, feelings, body sensations, memories) and outside you.

Tell me anything that has occurred to you between sessions.  Have you had a new realisation?  Was something stirred in a previous session that you want to come back to and explore further?

All of you is welcome, your hopes, your dreams, your fears, the parts of you that seem too horrible to bear, the painful things to digest.

It takes time to fully open up so when you feel ready and we have got to know each other reach inside to bring out the parts of you that you find troublesome.

Nothing is too much, strange or shocking.

Talk about how your therapy is going, what is useful and what is  not.  We are in a relationship together and if I am not getting you I need to know.  Our work together is co-created.

Therapy is a place to be open and truthful in a way that does not happen away from the therapy space.  It might seem rude or disrespectful to be open with me about your feelings but by being open and staying in relationship new understandings can be learnt about yourself and your relational patterns.  Let me know if you are having a reaction to what I am saying.  By using the feelings you are experiencing in the session you are developing new ways for relating and connection.

It is okay to talk about who I am and who you imagine me to be.  And how you imagine I feel about you.  Talking about our relationship in detail will bring out your projections.

Nothing is too insignificant.  That background hum which niggles away which seems not big enough or important enough wants to be heard too, so say it.  Therapy is like an orchestra, maybe one instrument is playing too loudly and another too softly.  My role will be inviting all instruments to be heard in their unique way.

Therapy is a place to try new things, for thinkers to try feeling, for listeners to practice talking, for passive people to be assertive.

Saying the odd thought out loud is all right too, strange thoughts are acceptable!


Comments are closed.