Feeling Unheard? Follow 5 Easy Steps To Communicate With Your Therapist Clearly!
You may have some secrets or feelings that you find difficult to express via meaningful words. But when it comes to therapy, you should disclose everything to make a difference.
If you feel baffled when asked some personal questions then you’re not alone. Everyone has a set of personal feelings and stories that they might prefer not to share with anyone. However, it is essential to let your therapist become well aware of the crux with vivid and clear communication.
In fact, research conducted in 2015 established that 93% of people admitted to lying to their therapists. A 2018 study disclosed that 84% of people tend to hide things like some details about their married life, professional life, or suicidal thoughts.
Why Is It Essential To Open Up With Your Therapist?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 75% of people benefit from counseling and therapy. The more you put into it, the more you’ll likely improve your mental health.
Even though if you’re able to tell something to your therapist logically there will always be a little part of your brain that warns you “Be careful! Don’t share it with anyone!!”. There’s when you find an opportunity to omit some details or tell a lie to your therapist.
This lagging in conversation makes the therapist believe that an issue is more or less important than it actually is. Therefore, you’ll not be able to receive the kind of support from your therapist that you need to improve your mental health.
The more your therapist will know about your feelings and situations, the better they can understand and help you achieve your health goals. Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach which means that your therapists should know every detail even if you think that something isn’t important so that they can help you in every way possible.
Talk to a Physician
If you want to strengthen your therapeutic alliance then you should be honest with your therapist. It can also lay the groundwork for opening up about other painful and hard truths that bother you at different instances in life. Even if it doesn’t get literally easier, at least it can help your therapist to create a tailor-made treatment plan. Here are the 5 actionable steps that can help overcome your hesitation and open up with your therapist confidently.
1. Prepare Your Notes Timely
If you’re unable to figure out where to begin, it can take some pressure off if you note down a few essential points in your personal diary or phone. Also, keep on noting down significant events, experiences, or feelings between the sessions that you can bring up in therapy.
2. Find Solitude
If you have time then it might be a good idea to take some time out of your routine to enjoy freedom and solitude. It will also help you organize your thoughts and mentally prepare for your session. You can also medicate, take some deep breaths or exercise.
Typically therapy hours are 45 to 50 minutes long. However, if you think that you need more time to communicate with your therapist then you can show up early. In this way, you can take the whole hour to relax, get settled, and focus on what they’re like to cover in their session.
3. Discuss With Your Therapist For An Optimal Time
Sometimes, it can be difficult to express your feelings with the therapist if you have to adjust your sessions between meetings at work or while you’re running errands around town. Also, sometimes people start hesitating to take enough time with therapists when they see a crowd of people in their office. Therefore, you can discuss and decide on an optimal appointment time with your therapist.
It will give you flexibility and you’ll be able to communicate with your therapist when you’re more likely to feel calm and ready to get a counseling session.
4. Get Clarity & Ask for Privacy
It’s alright if you ask your therapist why they are collecting your information and how they’re going to use it. Even if you’ve already run by it.
It is essential for your peace of mind to ask your therapist to review their confidentiality policy so you can discuss your privacy concerns. You may also ask your therapist directly if they would have to report to any third party.
Did you know? Section 4 in the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct state the ethical standards of psychotherapy. You can also refer to this section and make sure that your therapist complies with the legal protocols.
5. Take Your Time To Build Trust
If you’re not comfortable with opening up to your therapist right in the first session then you can take small steps. I understand that it takes time to build trust and rapport. You can sequentially share your information in each session to fortify your bond.
Until you feel more at ease, you can talk about other topics to intrigue your interest or talk about such topics that have a less emotional charge. For example, you can talk about your professional problems or any argument with your partner rather than your childhood trauma.
You can communicate your problems by disclosing smaller items first to experience how it feels and how your therapist handles them.
Bravo for putting your mental health in your priorities. That’s a huge deal. The next step is that you should be as authentic as possible with your therapist. Because disclosing your personal information with your therapist is way different from the real world. You don’t get exposed, rather you can get professional counseling and they can support you well.
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