What shouldn't you tell a psychiatrist?
With that in mind, here are some common phrases that therapists commonly hear from their clients and why they may hinder your progress.
- I think I talk too much...
- Forgive my emotions...
- I always talk only about myself...
- I can't believe I told you this...
- Therapy won't help me...
Updated on March 12, 2023
What shouldn't I tell my therapist?
"Therapy won't help me.
This kind of thinking is typical of people who are just beginning therapy and do not yet understand the full function and power of it. It is especially common in people who have difficulty relinquishing control and in those who come to therapy with preconceived ideas about the "type" of people who "need" therapy.
The good news is that you are already here and have begun this journey of a lifetime. The even better news is that you are perfectly safe to say something like, "I'm afraid therapy won't work for me," or "I'm not sure how therapy works or if it's right for me.
You might even say, "I don't like to hand over control to someone else, so you may find that I sometimes resist your suggestions.
- Indra Chidambi, M.D.
This will allow your therapist to understand your way of thinking and better help you overcome it in order to succeed.
Other things to avoid
In addition to limiting (or restating) the above in your therapy sessions, there are some topics and behaviors that are really off-limits to both you and your therapist.
These include confidential conversations about other patients your therapist is observing, romantic conversations (or actions) about each other, and demonstrating insensitivity to culture, gender, race, gender, or identity.
Violent emotions should also be curbed. If you feel and experience them, let your therapist know, and together you can work on channeling them into healthier (and probably more authentic) emotions.
In addition, therapists should not make judgments or criticisms of you or others, give unsolicited advice, or speak in elusive technical terms. They should also cultivate a space in which you feel able to be open.
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