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    okidoki
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    Hi. I know this is not quite a question that belongs under the trauma category, but I wasn’t quite sure where to place it. I find it so hard to take the lead in therapy and wondering if anybody has any tips to offer me. I’ll try my best to share with my therapist when she asks me a question, like I don’t usually lie, or I’ll say I don’t want to say if it’s too much for me, but I just don’t share if I am not asked. I could have had a hard week with my mother and then I come to therapy and she asks how I am,  how my week was and I say good. Unless she would ask straight out how are things with your mother and you, I wouldn’t share and I would just pretend everything is good.  And the same goes for talking about things that may have occurred in the past that I know may be important to share because it still may be impacting me, etc. I know my therapist isn’t a mind reader and cannot help me fully if I don’t take the lead a bit, but I don’t know how to do it. She may ask me what do you want to focus on today,  and I keep saying idk, because I am so uncomfortable taking the lead, I want her to choose a topic to focus on. I know by doing that I’m only sabotaging myself, but I don’t know how to walk in and say this is an area I feel is important to focus on, let’s hit it. Any tips on how I can be more comfortable taking the lead in this relationship? I feel right now I have something I should be discussing with her next session, I just know I won’t get around to it, residual if I wait for her to bring it up, because she won’t know to

    Hello Okidoki.

    Thank you for sharing this important question. Sounds like you’re really scared to open up to your therapist and take the lead. Firstly, Just to let you know- YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! I was actually that person once upon a time! So just know that you can and WILL get there!

    Here are a few thoughts and questions to ask yourself:

    Do you feel safe with your therapist? Do you feel judged in any way? That could be a reason to feel very scared to be vulnerable.

    Control is based in fear. You are controlling yourself back from sharing. So what are you afraid will happen if you take the lead in therapy? Is your fear realistic? Is it worth the cost of your growth by not sharing?

    next, why is the topic that you are holding back from sharing so precious to you that you can’t let go of it and put it into words? What are you making it mean for yourself? What’s so huge about it?

    When you can dig really deep within yourself and get to the bottom of these questions, you will hopefully feel lighter about it and more willing to allow yourself to expand.

    I’m rooting for you. I hope this helps.

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    okidoki
    Participant
    Topic Author

    In response to Rivky Dasheff's post #13162:

    thank you so much Rivky for your response. I appreciate that you took the time to respond to me.

    It’s weird because this is the 9th therapist I have ever gone to, and the one I stayed with the longest because I really do like her. I’m with her now for over 1.5 years, and don’t plan to leave anytime soon.  I look forward to seeing her, yet still find it hard to share. And that’s the annoying thing. Because I have been the same way with all my other therapists I’ve tried, and maybe that made more sense because it wasn’t a good fit, but this one is different. I love seeing her, it’s the highlight of my week. I wish it had something to do with her that I am so scared to lead and share because it would be easier to fix if all she had to do was change something or I can just change the person I see and it would change, but this has everything to do with myself. I am a guarded person. I don’t know its from lack of feeling safe with my therapist, however I really should think more about what it is causing this fear.

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    iamafighter15
    Participant

    Hey Okidoki,

     

    I totally get that feeling!! I actually struggled with it for a very long time. I’ll try to share with you some things that helped me.

    Try to sit down before every session and write down everything in your life that bothers you. Sometimes I found that the reason why I couldn’t share what was going on is because it was not clear to me. So writing down things and organizing that alone gives a person more clarity.

    Also, I was very afraid of my therapist and of people in general. Is that something you relate to? If so I have many things that were helpful. You can message me privately.

    Hi. I know this is not quite a question that belongs under the trauma category, but I wasn’t quite sure where to place it. I find it so hard to take the lead in therapy and wondering if anybody has any tips to offer me. I’ll try my best to share with my therapist when she asks me a question, like I don’t usually lie, or I’ll say I don’t want to say if it’s too much for me, but I just don’t share if I am not asked. I could have had a hard week with my mother and then I come to therapy and she asks how I am, how my week was and I say good. Unless she would ask straight out how are things with your mother and you, I wouldn’t share and I would just pretend everything is good. And the same goes for talking about things that may have occurred in the past that I know may be important to share because it still may be impacting me, etc. I know my therapist isn’t a mind reader and cannot help me fully if I don’t take the lead a bit, but I don’t know how to do it. She may ask me what do you want to focus on today, and I keep saying idk, because I am so uncomfortable taking the lead, I want her to choose a topic to focus on. I know by doing that I’m only sabotaging myself, but I don’t know how to walk in and say this is an area I feel is important to focus on, let’s hit it. Any tips on how I can be more comfortable taking the lead in this relationship? I feel right now I have something I should be discussing with her next session, I just know I won’t get around to it, residual if I wait for her to bring it up, because she won’t know to

     

    Hi okidoki,

     

    Your experience is a common one.

    I would encourage you to present your struggle with taking the lead to your therapist herself. That conversation itself has rich therapeutic value. There’s likely a lot to process there.

    Good luck!

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    melissa
    Participant

    Okidoki,

    I totally get you. I struggle with this too.
    I’ve been with my therapist roughly the same amount of time, and talking to her about it was what I found most helpful.

    Once I brought up the issue, she gave me the option of emailing her, and sometimes she makes me read in session what I emailed, or she reads it, and this is how I’m slowly learning to share.

    Please discuss the issue with your therapist, and I’m sure she’ll have some ideas to help you express yourself and start to open up, one tiny centimeter at a time.

    This is so frustrating and I really understand this frustration!

     

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    if-the-stars-align
    Participant

    I can relate to this very much as well.

    I usually email my therapist – sometimes I email her and ask her to please bring xyz up during the session and I’ll tell her about it then, and sometimes I include the entire “issue” in the email.

    I used to get very frustrated at myself for being unable to just talk openly in therapy, but my therapist is so encouraging and always reminds me that as long as I’m tackling the problems, it’s okay if the way I’m communicating the harder-to-talk-about stuff is through email…

    Perhaps you can see if emailing can be an option for you as well?

    Good luck!

     

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