Whether you’ve just recently started seeing a therapist or have been seeing one for awhile, much of the success that you and your therapist reach in your sessions is based on how open and vulnerable you allow yourself to be with them. Most people do not disclose enough information to their therapist; Common reasons for this are due to feelings of pain and embarrassment surrounding the information, not realizing the importance of telling the information, fear of therapist’s judgment, fear of being reported, not having enough trust with their therapist yet, and more.
Honesty is important in the client-therapist relationship because you won’t be able to get anywhere meaningful without it. Being open with your therapist means:
- Telling them how many painkillers (the exact amount) you’ve been abusing each day,
- Sharing details of your romantic relationship if those aspects are troubling you,
- Talking about your past with suicide attempts, depression, abuse and more,
- Expressing how much money you’ve really been spending lately,
- Discussing how you really feel about yourself, others, and your life,
- Stories of regret that you experienced due to addiction or symptoms of a mental illness, and more.
Being open with your therapist means sharing everything about yourself that would help your therapist get a bigger picture of who you are and what you go through daily. If you’re feeling “stage fright” with talking about yourself, write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal to help you better form what you would like to tell your therapist. For added comfort, you could even bring in your journal and read from that in therapy.
Most therapists will be very respectful towards you regarding your experiences – that’s part of their training, and it is typically a personal goal of many therapists to create an open and respectful environment, anyways. A 2012 study conducted by researchers from Australia and Brazil titled, “Patient-centered communication is associated with positive therapeutic alliance: A systemic review” found that positive patient interactions often involve the therapist listening to what you have to say, asking you questions and showing sensitivity to your concerns. If your therapist isn’t exhibiting these characteristics or you feel that your therapist is judging your experiences, it’s important to respectfully discuss these concerns with them. The client-therapist relationship can only improve if you address these issues.
If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.