One of the most common questions I receive from people who want to change their lives is; “What can you not tell a therapist?” People have this impression that they can never tell a therapist anything because they are the “apist”. This type of thinking only compounds the problem and makes it more difficult for anyone to change their life. Therapists do not see themselves as teachers. In fact, most therapists would say that they are just ordinary people who happen to be helping people.
Teachers are not all teachers. Some are doctors, some are businessmen, and some are lawyers. The same kind of skill and knowledge can be found in therapists. They just have a different kind of personality, and that is what makes them so effective.
What can you not tell a therapist? If you’re experiencing a negative or painful emotional response, you should let your therapist know. Sometimes we think that we cannot talk about our feelings because we will be labeled as uncooperative, disrespectful, or unhelpful. This doesn’t have to be the case.
If you feel like you are in physical pain, you can tell your therapist about it. Tell them what you are feeling and how the situation makes you feel. Sometimes talking about how you feel, even if you don’t realize it, can make a big difference in how you feel. Therapy is all about listening, and your therapist is there to listen to you and help you figure out how you want to feel.
If you want to have some extra help, write down what you do every day that makes you feel good. There are probably hundreds of little things that contribute to your happiness or your lack of happiness. Take these things to your therapist and tell them about them. Your therapist will likely ask you some questions about your list of what you can’t do, and you should have no problem answering them. They want to know what keeps you going, and how you are working to change the things that are causing you unhappiness.
What can you not tell a therapist about that you would like to change? First, start by looking at your list of things that you cannot do. Often times we think that we can do everything that we set out to do. This is not true! What you can’t do is change the way you react to certain things, or the way you think about things. Your therapist cannot help you change these things, but he/she can help you work with them so that they do not cause you grief.
When you go to therapy, tell your therapist about any things that you can not tell a therapist. Your therapist will likely want to look at those things with you to get a better idea of how you are reacting. If the things that you cannot tell a therapist are behaviors or thoughts that you have held in the back of your mind for years, your therapist will be able to identify them. He/She may decide that you are just stuck in a pattern, and that you have not been able to let go of them due to the stress in your life.
Once you are able to let go of the things that you can not let go of, your therapist will be able to help you let go of them. Your therapist will work with you on a therapy plan that is right for you. Often times there is no need for medication. Your therapist may recommend exercise or even some form of therapy. Once you are feeling better and feel like you are ready to handle your anxiety on your own, you should do just that.