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Can’t Open Up to Therapist

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I’ve been in DBT Therapy for 7 months. I’m still struggling to fully share with her. How can I start sharing with her openly and honestly? I feel stuck because I don’t share.

Can’t Open Up to Therapist

Answered by on -

A.

You believe that you should share and you want to share. The question becomes why are you still having trouble doing something that you want to do. You have been in therapy for seven months, is that long enough to have achieved your goals for sharing? Perhaps it has been long enough and perhaps it is not. Have you made progress in this area? Perhaps you are exactly where you should be at this point in your therapy. Perhaps in another six months you may be able to share easily and perhaps not. But these questions, should be asked of your therapist. What does your therapist think about your failure at sharing?

Try to think about why you’re holding back. What are you frightened of? Determining what’s holding you back, might help you to open up.

We will never know the answer to many of these questions until you discuss this with your therapist. You have written that there are things that you would like to discuss with your therapist but you are unable to do so. Let’s call that issue one. The more important issue, will be issue two. Issue one deals with A and B and C. Issue two deals with not A and B and C and how you might best deal with those things, but your general inability to discuss all issues including A and B and C.

You need not discuss A and B and C and whatever those issues are they will remain a secret from your therapist. Whatever the content is it will remain safely away from your therapist, when you discuss with your therapist that you are not feeling comfortable and are unable to open up to her. In other words, the only issue that you need to discuss with your therapist is your inability to be open with her. You don’t need, at this point, to discuss those issues.

Your therapist is not going to judge you. She needs to know that you’re having trouble being open with her. The goal of every therapist is to help, but it is difficult when clients withhold important information. It’s like trying to solve a puzzle without having all the pieces. Your therapist needs “all the pieces” to understand what might be wrong and to give you the best advice. Not having all the information limits your therapist’s ability to help you.

Some people feel more comfortable communicating through writing/journaling. Maybe you could write between appointments and bring in your writings to your sessions. It might help you explore more deeply what’s preventing you from sharing.

Trust issues commonly arise in therapy. Your therapist might have some ideas for how to make you feel more comfortable about sharing. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Can’t Open Up to Therapist

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Can’t Open Up to Therapist. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/04/07/cant-open-up-to-therapist/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.