7 Tips for Opening Up in Therapy
Going to therapy is a big step. If you consider yourself a private person or don’t like talking about yourself, opening up in therapy can be hard.
Regardless of if you’re brand new or have been going for a long time, you may feel overwhelmed at the possibility of sharing your pain and deepest secrets with a stranger.
This is perfectly normal, and many people find themselves in this position. 7 Tips for opening up in therapy
If you’re hesitant to open up in therapy, here are 7 things you can try:
1. Give it Time
Any relationship takes time to develop trust and build rapport. The same goes for your relationship with your therapist.
Although it may be difficult to imagine right now, you’ll feel more comfortable with them over time.
If you aren’t sure if your therapist is a good fit, time may not be beneficial.
Only you know whether or not you can imagine yourself opening up to them in the long term.
It’s your treatment, so be patient throughout the process.
2. Write It Down
If you find it easier to express your thoughts on paper than in person, consider writing down how you feel before a session.
Whether you decide to use a scrap piece of paper or keep a therapy journal is up to you, but it could include a list of topics you’d like to discuss, thoughts you’ve had throughout the week, or situations in your life you’d like to process.
Expressing your feelings by writing them out is a great way to feel safer in therapy and help you engage with your therapist as time progresses.
If the thought of watching someone read something you wrote makes you uncomfortable, consider sending it in an email before your session.
3. Let The Therapist Guide You
Therapists are trained for these situations! Their main job is to act as a guide in your recovery and healing process, so they know how to talk to their clients.
Rather than thinking of therapy as a monologue, think of it as a conversation.
Let your therapist lead you in the right direction.
4. Prepare For Each Session
Though it may sound like work, therapy, in general, isn’t supposed to be easy. It can require some effort to get the most out of it.
Preparing for sessions will give you time to consider what you’d like to discuss. If you put it off or wait until the last minute, you may be unwittingly making it tougher to open up.
5. Think About The Therapeutic Relationship
Your therapist is nonjudgmental; they won’t insult or scold you.
It’s such a rare and unique relationship that isn’t accessible in our regular relationships, and it’s one of the strongest measures of successful treatment.
If you’ve been concerned about opening up with your therapist, tell them!
Any good therapist will be happy to work through it with you, and it can be used as practice in addressing issues in your personal relationships.
You may be stunned at how revealing the truth about your anxiety in therapy makes it more natural to open up.
6. Start Small
Since therapy asks you to be vulnerable, you may find it easier to start with topics that aren’t as heavy.
Your therapist expects to be tested with your trust to a certain extent, so you have every right to judge their reaction to the smaller topics before exposing the heavier ones. It’s okay to take your time and get comfortable with your therapist.
Over time, your relationship will strengthen.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
It’s not a straightforward process, and keeping to yourself may be one coping skill you’ve developed over time to keep yourself safe from judgment.
Verbalizing your thoughts with your therapist gets easier.
If you get into the habit of freeing yourself with safe and trusting people, you just might be surprised at the results. You may unknowingly end up feeling more confident, emotionally strong, and in greater control of your life and relationships.
Take The First Step In Opening-Up
Your therapist is a stranger only as long as you keep him or her that way.
If you’re going through a tough time in your life, being vulnerable with anyone might seem like the last thing you want to do, but establishing a relationship with them can be incredibly valuable. But by taking a few steps to make the most of the time you have with your therapist, you’ll already be doing everything you need to do.