What Do You Say in Therapy?

“What do you say in therapy?” It is a simple and basic question. However, when it comes to actually asking those questions, many people often make the same mistakes that I did and were confused about what they should really say.

My first experience with “what do you say in therapy?” was when I was a newcomer in a psychotherapy group. I was very shy and felt very intimidated by others. One of my friends, on the other hand, had an extremely high regard for his clients, referred to them as his “family” and treated them like he had all of his resources. One day, when he felt like he needed to say something to me, he said, “I’d like for us to hear you say these three things: I am beautiful, I am lucky, and I am passionate about helping others.” I felt like I had made some sort of breakthrough, and this encouraged me to further pursue my goal of becoming a psychotherapist.

But I was still not sure what I was supposed to say. In fact, I was unsure whether I could even say it at all. It is a strange thing for a client to say to the therapist. One may think that the utterance of the words “I am beautiful” or “lucky” would bring on an immediate and profound sense of satisfaction or happiness. However, when you say those words in your own voice, they evoke more feelings than if you had uttered them to a third person. To the client, it feels as if you are describing yourself, and it brings upon some of the emotions that they have been struggling with for so long.

One of the biggest conundrums that therapists face is that of coming across as too clinical. Too clinical means that the therapist will be delivering treatments that are strictly one-dimensional. These types of treatments usually don’t contribute to the healing process. What do you say in therapy? You say, “I am sorry, but please remember that all people are here because I have love for them.” Or, “It is important to remind myself that no one likes to be around you, unless you are willing to put aside all of your complaints and deal with them directly.”

However, it is not the repetition of those word phrases that create the impact of the therapeutic encounter. Instead, it is the intonation of the words that allows them to do that. The clients often don’t consciously realize that the therapist is saying those particular sayings to them. Rather, their brains go into a state of daydreaming during the therapy session, as if the words themselves were speaking in another language. This is a powerful effect that just saying, “It’s important to remind myself that no one likes to be around you,” has on the clients.

A skilled therapist makes use of this effect to help their clients relearn coping skills for facing issues that may arise in their lives. If you are trying to help someone overcome a habit, for example, the therapist will often say,” reminders, it’s driving you crazy.” While the phrase might seem a little odd, the effect is profound.

You might wonder what exactly do you say in therapy? Sometimes the answer is as simple as repeating something that you’ve heard before. When clients hear those repeated phrases over again, they begin to understand the underlying meaning. The same holds true for other common therapies like psychotherapy or hypnotherapy.

What do you say in therapy? Whatever it is that helps you and your clients come to terms with their pasts and dealing with current issues. For example, if clients are having issues with a habit, the therapist might say,” reminders, habits are really hard to break. When you want to quit smoking, it’s like trying to starve yourself.” The repetition of the phrases helps the clients connect with the concept and the idea of going through the process of quitting the habit.