What to share in therapy

If you have been going to therapy for a good while or brand new to the process sometimes it can be difficult to know what to share. Some part of you wants to share everything so that you can get it off your chest and feel less burdened. Other parts of you are afraid you will be judged negatively or that once you say it … it will mean you must change. Still other parts make you wonder if there are not some things that should always just be yours for the knowing, private.

So how do you know what to share or not? And all those choices are up to you. You are encouraged to share as much or as little as you feel comfortable with in session. However, the more the therapist and the client can connect the more information there is to be able to help provide the client with the necessary tools to reach his/her goal. 

Part of the therapeutic process is learning to trust. The therapy session is a great place to experiment with ideas and feelings in a safe place. You can work on your own thoughts and emotions regarding relationships and focus on what you want. This allows you to be able to try on new parts of yourself to see if you want to integrate them into your life. This deeper look requires you to trust yourself and develop a bond with the therapist you are working with.

However, there may be things that you have in your past that are hard or difficult to work through. A good therapist will respect what your boundaries are and will encourage you to feel safe. Also a therapist will help support you in your slowly opening up and learning that you can handle your feelings even if they are scary. This again is about trust.

If you take therapy fast or slow is all about you. Your therapist should be able to adapt and accept the speed you are comfortable with all the while helping you grow. The best thing you can do is express your confusion, hesitation, or concerns. As I often say, “You do not have to tell me what it is you don’t want to share, but I would encourage you to share the reason behind why you don’t want to share.” This approach allows you to dig deeper without feeling your boundaries are being crossed.

Share everything or share slowly, just make sure you feel comfortable, safe, and heard with your therapist. If your needs are not being met then tell the therapist and ask for change. Therapy is for you and what you want and it is the therapist job to help you make that happen. You determine what happens in therapy as much as the therapist. Be an active participant and you will find active change within yourself.


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