Going to the therapist can be difficult for many because you feel vulnerable while discussing yourself and your history. While the therapist’s office is safe and won’t judge you for your personal problems, are there things you shouldn’t tell your therapist? Believe it or not, there is information that won’t help your therapy sessions. You could also be hampering your progress by saying certain things.
It’s time to learn what things you should never tell your therapist during a session.
Should You Tell Your Therapist Everything?
Therapy, whether it is cognitive-behavior therapy, marriage counseling, couples therapy, or infidelity therapy, is meant to provide you with a safe environment for speaking. In most cases, you should feel compelled to be honest with your therapist and tell them things you can’t say to anyone else. Not only is your therapist bound by HIPAA laws, which protect your privacy, but they will also need written consent to give anyone else access to your information.
The only time the confidentiality laws go out the window is when you are considering harming yourself or someone else.
You should tell your therapist about what you are feeling, even when difficult topics come up. Limiting what you say can detract from the session. So yes, it is best to tell your therapist everything you can—but only if you feel safe. There should never be a time you feel coerced to talk about something.
What You Should Never Tell Your Therapist
Are there things you shouldn’t tell your therapist? While most therapists are prepared to hear your deepest, darkest fears and traumas, there are some things they don’t want to know.
Here are 10 things that you should keep to yourself in the therapist’s office:
1. Lies and Half-Truths
Talking about your personal feelings and traumas is tough. There is no getting around that. Even when you are with people you wholeheartedly trust, letting everything go is challenging. So it makes sense that you would want to curb your words a little and keep the whole truth veiled. You may even dodge questions presented by the therapist, saying it is too difficult to answer because you don’t want to be vulnerable to deal with the pain.
Your therapist is trying to help you by providing outlets and asking questions that get you thinking. You don’t need to share every detail, but you do need to be honest. Deceiving your therapist or sugarcoating your emotions and words will only hamper your development.
2. Giving Only Facts, Not Feelings
Humans are fascinating because twenty people can experience the same performance and each interprets the scene differently. In order for your therapist to analyze the situation and understand what happened, you need to give them more than the details of an event. You need to also tap into your emotions a little bit.
It is perfectly fine to tell your therapist that you don’t know how you should feel about something or that you are unsure about sharing your feelings. This admission is just as useful because your therapist can ask questions to help you explore those emotions. Keeping those emotions to yourself stymies the whole process.
3. That You Want To Be Fixed
Many people believe that therapists “fix” people, but that isn’t the case. Therapists listen to you, teach you coping skills, and help you figure out a way to make positive changes to your daily routine and life. Based on what you tell the therapist, they provide feedback or explanations. What they do not do is piece you back together. That is still your responsibility.
4. Complaints About Previous Therapists
If you were wondering if there are things you shouldn’t tell your therapist, this is one. Don’t tell your therapist that the last therapist didn’t help you or that you disliked them. Complaining about a past health provider won’t assist with your development; it’s also improper.
Focus on finding a therapist you feel safe around, then work together to meet your goals.
5. Jokes About Other People
Therapists are ethically obligated to not discriminate against others. If you attend a therapy session and end up acting inappropriately, you will be asked to leave. Avoid racial slurs and other jokes that could harm the connection you have with your therapist.
6. Believing You And Your Therapist Are Friends
Unfortunately, you and your therapist cannot be buddies. There are strict personal boundaries that must be maintained. While it might seem like your therapist is a friend, understand that this is a working relationship. If the thought of meeting them outside of the session crosses your mind, keep it to yourself.
7. Apologies For Talking About Yourself
Many clients apologize for simply speaking and not engaging in a back-and-forth conversation. It’s fine to talk solely about yourself in therapy! You are there for you. Remember, when you are meeting with your therapist, that time and space are meant for you. You don’t have to apologize for working on yourself.
8. That Therapy Won’t Work
When you have never gone to therapy before, there is a lot you don’t understand. A lot of people believe therapy won’t work because they have control issues. Others have notions about who therapy is truly for and don’t open up to it. Rather than being certain that therapy is a waste of time, try to refrain from thinking such things. Are you afraid about what you will be discussing? Are you scared to hand over control to the therapist and be vulnerable?
If you say this, your therapist will comprehend your mindset better—and they will have strategies to help you open up.
9. Small Talk
Do you resort to babbling and rambling whenever you are avoiding a painful topic? Don’t do that when in the therapist’s office. You may be anxious about the therapy sessions, but you are also there to work on yourself. Avoid discussing where you went over the weekend or what you had for lunch for lengthy periods of time. Use your time in the chair wisely, because that is how you start to get better.
10. Asking For A Prescription
Medication does not fix everything. Also, many psychologists are unable to write your prescriptions. You will be sent to a doctor or psychiatrist for that. Therefore, if your main goal for attending therapy is to get hooked up with a prescription, you are going to be disappointed.
There you go, 10 things that you shouldn’t tell your therapist. Most of the time, you can say just about anything to your therapist, but being dishonest or telling off-color jokes can hinder your progress and put your therapist in a difficult position. Remember, you are there for help. Be open and receptive to the experience, and you will soon start to feel the benefit.
Couples Academy aims to make marriage counseling and infidelity therapy painless and beneficial to every one of our clients. Whether you want to meet in person or from the safety of your home, our team is here to help you strengthen your marriage. Get in touch with us today to learn more.