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SFChristianGirl

Getting Used To Therapy

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Hello everyone.

I know I'm still new at dealing with all of this depression and anxiety. I was wondering if I could get some of your experiences and/or help on how to get through therapy.

I've been seeing a therapist for about a month now. I go once a week, every week. I think that they can sense that I'm holding back. It's not that I'm trying to hold back, it's that I get nervous talking about myself. I think it's partly that a lot of what we're dealing with is in my past and I really don't have that much information to give to my therapist.

I'm not sure if I've blocked things out or what, but there are periods of time in my past that I don't remember anything.

When I'm at these appointments it's like I just clam up. I'm normally very friendly and talkative, but in therapy it feels like I have to be prompted to talk. My brain doesn't want to volunteer anything for some reason.

Does anyone have any advice on how to help with this?

Thanks.

JJ

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Hey Girl,

When I first started therapy, I had similar feelings. I hadn't talked to anyone in great detail about some of the topics that came up. At first it was a little scary. Why I held back is because I felt guilty for doing what I did or feeling the way I did, like somehow I had put myself in that situation. Talking it out with my therapist really helped by self esteem because I came to realize that what happened in the past is not always my fault and I don't have to be ashamed of it and blame myself.

Your therapist is not there to judge. Their goal is to listen to what you have to say and possibly change your mind set about those events that happened in the past. Try to remind yourself that when you go in. Even if it is scary at first to open up and be really honest.

Warm wishes,

Cutepuppies

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I just wanted to congrautate you on going to a therapist that is a good first step. Like cutepupies said therapist are not there to judge you or anything like that maybe it just takes you a while to open up, I am kinda like that or I imagine that is how I will be since I start going to therapy myself on the 4th. I have problems sharing I also clam up I guess one of the hardest things to do is to just let go you know.

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People suggest writing things down to either read to your therapist, or give to your therapist to read when you are there. That has worked for me. I like to keep the paper out in view when I do that though - because they will then prompt me if I don't give it to them....they know I brought something I wrote but that I haven't gotten up the courage to give it to them, so they ask. If I leave the paper folded in my pocket, I chicken out and usually won't bring it out. Even if you write down a subject/topic/item, as opposed to elaborating in detail, maybe that would help bring up something you want to talk about - or want the therapist to know you would like to eventually open up and talk more about in the sessions.

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Great point Thimble! My therapist once had me do that. I was working on anger and spiral thoughts at the time so she had me write down what was going through my head in the moment. Her seeing the deep, hard pencil lines in the paper when I was mad and the thoughts of hopelessness showed her things I couldn't always express. Sometimes it's also hard to remember how you were feeling in a particular moment, especially when it happened awhile ago, writing it down closer to the moment can help you remember. So after writing the things down, I gave the paper to my therapist, and she read over it silently, asking questions when she wanted clarification.

Give it a try. If you find it helpful, that's great! If you're like me and finding writing about stuff kinda traumatizing, that's okay too. Experiment and find out what works best for you. There's no right or wrong way.

Warm wishes,

Cutepuppies

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I never viewed therapy as something I had to "get through". Remember... a therapist is a healer.

Therapy is a wonderful way to unload all of your issues, insecurities, troubles, and concerns to am impartial expert who is well trained and experienced in handling people who are troubled.

So, UNLOAD! Shy? Don't be silly. This is the one person who is impartial, nonjudgmental, and sworn to secrecy. What are you dying to tell somebody, anybody??? Tell your therapist. Parents or spouse can't relate to you? Boss or coworkers suck? Existential crisis? Feel ugly, stupid, out-of-touch with reality? Dump!!! They're there to help you, at not inconsiderable cost. Might as well get your money's worth, no?

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Hang in there. I started about three months ago and I am finally getting comfortable. I've never been one to open up to other people. It was hard at first. Just remember it's confidential. If you talk to a friend about certain things you always wonder if they go and tell someone else what you said. I can pretty much talk about anything now. It's good just to vent to someone who will listen. Good luck!

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Thank you to everyone for your replies.

It's been a couple of months since I started therapy now and I'm finally getting more comfortable. I really like my therapist. He's a great listener and has good insight on what's going on with me.

I think he figured out how nervous I was all the time and now we have like a friendly chat before we start our sessions and it really helps for some reason. Even if we just talk about something silly, like the weather.

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but he has a therapy dog named 'Pekey'. Such a sweet dog. I was a little afraid of him at first because of his size, but he's just a big teddy bear.

Now that I've been out of crisis for a couple of weeks, we're starting to talk about some issues that go really deep for me. I already know there's a lot of pain there, but I also know that my therapist will help me through it and be patient with me. None-the-less, I'm still scared to talk about a lot of these issues. They just hurt too much.

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Hey SF,

Great that therapy has been helpful for you. I go to therapy too and it's still so hard today. The worst ,and paradoxically the best, sessions are the most painful or overwhelming ones. It's like pushing something out of your unconscious that was too painful or difficult to deal with in the first place. And that being said, it's still extremely hard to connect with those memories or experiences even if you know it's important. It's always good to remember to take a deep breath and be easy on yourself at those times. You will get there eventually, when time is right.

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Yes. absolutely. Nothing to worry about. For some people with certain issues therapists will be careful not to let the person get too dependent but for others who have usually done things on their own and dont have those types of boundary problems (and for other situations) twice a week can be very helpful when the t feels it will help. As long as it feels helpful for you that is.

Edited by Fizzle

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So glad that you are finding some help with your therapist. Yes, I've been requested to attend sessions twice a week, especially during a particularly rough time. I found it very helpful.

Take gentle care,

Trilher

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Me too. It helped me so much to know someone was there propping me up. Life can be so hard sometimes and everyone needs someone to support them on their end. Knowing that their main goal is to help get you through things, be on your side, and also trusting that they want the best for you is so important.

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