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    Hope
    Participant

    I’ve been in therapy for a while trying to heal from past traumas. However, more trauma happened/is happening in my life now while in therapy, so I feel so overwhelmed by all the things I want to process, heal from, and work on. I don’t know where to even start from. It feels like I have so much to do. There’s so much I want to talk to my therapist about in such a short time and then more stuff keeps adding to it. It feels like I’m carrying everything inside of me and I have this urge to let everything out to her. Does anyone have any advice about what I can do? How can I utilize my sessions in the best way during this time?

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    melissa
    Participant

    This pressure is so hard, and also takes away the possibility of enjoying the little space you do have to tackle the issues.

    I would really encourage you to talk your therapist about this issue.

    Sometimes it’s a possibility to see a therapist more often during crisis, though not all therapists would go for that.

    I remember once being in such a mode of always “chasing my tail” in therapy, and when I’d come in especially frazzled like that my therapist would have me write down a list of everything I would have liked to talk about, I read her the list and once she heard about all the stuff that’s in my brain, I felt better and sort of was no longer carrying it all on my own. So even if I didn’t get to talk about everything, I knew I’d expressed it at least in part.

    Perhaps such a system can be helpful for you for when you feel very overwhelmed: sharing your “list” with your therapist and together choosing what might be the most helpful to address first.

    I hope you find satisfaction in your work. I know how hard it is to feel that you need more support than you can get.

     

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    Hope
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you so much, Melissa. That is super helpful. I’m going to try doing that. Did you write your list before going to the session or during the session?

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    melissa
    Participant

    At that particular time my therapist had me write the list in session, but I think it can be done with a list you bring in too.

    You might have the presence of mind at home to include everything and know you covered all the bases.

    Wishing you the best <3

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    Hope
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Okay, thank you!

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    Hope
    Participant
    Topic Author

    One more question:

    Did you read her the list, or you gave it to her to read?

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    melissa
    Participant

    At that particular time I read her the list (I found it helpful because I threw in the little pieces I wanted to share).

    She had initiated the exercise so it was easier for me to be able to read it. If I’d have initiated, perhaps I’d have given it to her to read, something I’ve done with other things plenty of times.

     

    What was really interesting was that looking back at my list at the end of the session, I saw how we had really touched on a lot of the issues, more than I would have realized had I not had the list.

     

     

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    Hope
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Got it. Thanks!

    Hi Hope,

    One of the things I do in session when this happens is ask clients to do a brain dump. Clients can lay out issues without having to go into them or explain what they are. Sometimes it helps to picture each issue as a photograph and give it a label so we can go back to it later. I also have an easel with paper in my office so I can document the topics as they are mentioned.

    I also want to recommend the EMDR Journal that recently came out. It’s super pricey on Amazon (and I have no affiliate links), but it can really help organize your thoughts and triggers to talk about in therapy.

    Best wishes,

    Zipa Leah

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    melissa
    Participant

    Hey, hope, it was so interesting to get a notification about this thread at a time when I’m actually struggling with this too — and to see that didn’t follow my own advice.

    I find it so hard to choose what to address when I am overwhelmed with stuff.

    How’s it going on your end? Still feeling like you just can’t cover enough ground?

    I actually wrote about this struggle here. I hope you find it validating <3.

     

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    Hope
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hey Melissa,

    That’s so interesting. I guess it came up as a notification for you for this reason.

    I tried the advice you gave me to write down all the things I want to talk about and then gave it to my therapist to read. After doing that I felt so much better leaving the session because I knew she at least knew what was on my mind and what I’m struggling with even though we didn’t go deep with each one. I did that once or twice. However, I still do feel overwhelmed by this because there’s just so much I want to bring up, but there’s not enough time.

    It’s definitely very hard to choose what to address.

    I love what you wrote about this struggle. It’s so beautifully written and relatable. Thanks for sharing.

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    millerjb
    Participant

    I would make a priority list and if possible send it to your therapist beforehand. If that is not feasible then at least take the list with you and start of the session by saying to your therapist that I made a priority list and would like to stick to it as much as possible. Also as you are working on the trauma or traumas that are coming up you are gaining and learning new tools simultaneously.

    Have a great shabbos and hatzlocha

     

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