Top Things I Tell Clients To Start With In Therapy

Where To Begin

Therapy is a very misunderstood creature. Some people assume, incorrectly, that you need to have a mental problem to be in therapy. Not every patient has a psychological or diagnosable mental problem. There are a lot of patients who need help in dealing with normal things.

Therapy can feel strange at first, but that is normal. It takes time to feel as though you can open up to the doctor who is helping you. After all, you are revealing incredibly intimate and personal details about your life, whereas, they are not. To help you feel less scared, we have five things that most therapists recommend their patients talk about with them.

1) Honesty and how it relates to your session

The first thing we recommend for our patients is to discuss your fears and concerns about your therapy. Patients who are honest about their feelings, in the beginning, move forward with a more positive progression.

2) I Am Thinking About Quitting

A lot of our patients feel this way. It is important to talk about these feelings. Tell us why you feel that way. Is there something we are not doing? Stopping your sessions without an explanation is not going to help you.

3) My Past Haunts Me

Patients need to talk about their past. There could be something crucial that is holding you back. You cannot expect your therapist to read your mind. We encourage our patients to speak up about everything including drug use. We cannot get to the root of your problem unless we know what triggers you to cope.

4) You Hurt My Feelings

We may have hurt your feelings without meaning to. Put aside your fear. Talk about how uncomfortable you are. How can we know if you do not tell us? That is why we are here. You cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, but we do not want to ruin the whole carton.

FYI: Do you want to know how you are doing? Ask us. We are going, to be honest. Sometimes the fear holds people back from asking about a diagnosis.


The Five Things We Want You To Know And May Not Tell You

1) We are not in the business of offering advice. We might make recommendations, but the real work starts with you. This is your journey. Not ours.

2) We see a therapist too because we are just as messed up as you are. The only difference is we have a degree to go with our flaws.

3) We cannot give you medication. That is someone else’s job. We might be able to write a prescription for you, but that is it.

4) We believe in confidentiality. We are not going to gossip about you behind your back. We take that oath seriously.

5) You need to be an active participant for this to work. We are not Gandhi. We do not have all the answers. Stop looking to us to be the “fixer.” This is on you. We just help things along.

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