For anyone currently undergoing any form of psychotherapy, it would be an understatement to say that the process can be complicated and invasive. However, without breaking the walls that a patient has put around their subconscious as a way of dealing with their issues, a therapist cannot properly advise a patient. Therefore, this creates a weird dynamic between a therapist and their patients. Many mental health patients usually try to keep certain things to themselves when undergoing therapy, considering it as unimportant or too embarrassing. There are many other reasons why a patient might withhold certain information. It is, however, essential to know that there are some things that no matter how awkward and scary they seem, you need to tell your therapist.
Here are six awkward things you must tell your therapist:
1. Deeply buried issues or behaviors
It might seem strange that a lot of patients of psychotherapy would hide from their therapists the main reason why they need a therapist in the first place, but it is quite common. It is normal human behavior to feel reluctant to divulge the deepest and darkest parts of oneself to a complete stranger the first time or even the first few days of meeting them. It only becomes a bad thing when enough time has passed, and you are sure that you can trust your therapist with that information, and still refuse to give them the information.
Many patients have the habit of talking about the symptoms of their problems and not the problems themselves. This makes it difficult for the therapist to accurately diagnose what the problem is, and therefore, offer the proper advice and, in some cases, the proper medications.
Some of the common issues that people feel reluctant to talk about are things like sexual abuse, drinking problems, traumatic past, and so on. It is typical of a client to discuss only surface issues and ignore their causes. To ensure that your relationship with your therapist is fruitful, you need to open up about your deep and darkest fears or issues.
Almost everywhere around the world, sex as a subject has been relegated to being a bad thing to talk about and, in some cases, a bad thing to do. This is why it comes as no surprise that many patients are uncomfortable talking about their sex lives. Also, based on interviews conducted with several therapists, it has been revealed that sex is the most common topic that patients avoid talking about. Sex is, however, a significant part of a person’s life or, in the case of some patients, a very minute part of their life, and that in itself might be a problem for the patient. To ensure that your therapist can connect the dots and ascertain that your sex life is not affecting other parts of your life, you need to tell your therapist about your sex life. Your sex life is directly or indirectly linked to your stress levels, relationships, and so much more.
3. Dissatisfaction with how your therapist carries out your sessions
Most of the people that require psychological therapy in the first place are people that are used to burying their issues and not talking about them. It is not unusual for a patient to keep quiet about their dissatisfaction with their therapist or certain things that their therapist does that upset them.
Therapy is all about being open and honest about your feelings. Therefore, it would be counter-intuitive to not talk about your issues with the therapist carrying out therapy on you. If you decide not to say anything about something your therapist said or did that doesn’t sit well with you, it might affect the whole therapy process.
4. Money problems
The money problems we speak of in this section include two different types of money problems. The first money problem a patient might be having is difficulty paying for their therapy sessions and not telling their therapist about it. You must tell your therapist that if you are having difficulty paying for their services, it could stress you out. If you are stressed out about not being able to pay the person that is supposed to help you deal with your stress, then you know your problem becomes more complicated.
The second money problem you can have is a problem with money at home or your general relationship with money. If you have a bad habit that involves money, you need to discuss it with your therapist, since they are all about behavioral and psychological therapy.
Sometimes, we forget that our therapists are also humans, and they could have minimal experiences with the situations we are in. This is why sometimes you can tell that a therapist is not getting a particular problem or issue that you are trying to explain to them. Understanding a patient from the perspective of the patient is an essential part of psychotherapy. Even though a patient might have disillusions about their situation, understanding a situation from the point of view of the patient is very helpful and useful to the therapy process.
This is why if you ever feel like your therapist is not getting something that you are talking about, you should, by all means, tell them that you don’t think they understand what you mean. This way, you can explain your situation again, and the therapist would be obliged to listen attentively and try to understand your point of view.
6. Frustrations with the therapy process
Often, the relationship between therapist and patient might not be as effective as it should be. It is crucial, no matter how awkward it feels, to tell your therapist if you feel the therapy is not working for you. Perhaps, you think that the therapist is just not the perfect fit for you or the pieces of advice that the therapist offers you don’t work at all. It is fine to let your therapist know that your therapy is not going well, and if things do not improve, you might need to find a new therapist.
We hope the suggestions given above can help you get the most out of your next therapy session and help you on your journey to self-discovery and healing.