By Jennifer McDougall
You may not know how to start a conversation with your therapist at the beginning of therapy. Starting the conversation is difficult, but developing a relationship with your therapist is necessary. For example, you might create a conversation by discussing your everyday activities or a specific day. To develop a relationship, tell me about your life. You are free to contribute whatever is on your mind at the time, even if it is irrelevant or feels unimportant. Communicating with your therapist becomes easier with time as you get to know them better and create a relationship, so don’t worry about it!
Your therapist will most likely ask you a few questions to get things started. Nonetheless, there will be occasions when you need to initiate the dialogue at the beginning of therapy. If you’re stuck for ideas, try one or more of the following:
- Talk about what a normal day is like for you. When you get up in the morning, what do you do? What are your thoughts? How do you feel about going to work? What about your nightly routine? What does your day-to-day routine look like? Asking yourself these questions should help you get started. It can also bring to light mental health issues or concerns that may have been lurking in the shadows previously. Discussing everyday behaviors will provide your therapist with insight into how you care for yourself. He or she can then provide suggestions for additions, changes, or alternatives.
- Start by finishing the following sentences: “I’m feeling…” “There’s something I really need to talk about…” “Something not many people know about me is…” Even if they don’t address your most pressing issue, these suggestions are a terrific opportunity to connect with your therapist and express your emotions. The stronger the therapeutic link, the faster you can make progress. Please keep in mind that you may utilize these techniques whenever you have problems starting a discussion with your therapist, not only during the first session.
- Say what’s on your mind. Therapy provides an amazing, unique setting where you can relax and disregard regular social norms. If you’re having problems coming up with something to say, jot down your initial thought. It doesn’t have to be grammatically accurate or well-structured. You may even say it in a voice message. Your therapist will not pass judgment on you. If it starts a conversation, it’s worth writing it down and documenting it.
Learning to articulate your thoughts and feelings successfully in therapy will eventually become a skill you can utilize in everyday life. Consider therapy to be a practice ground for unpleasant or challenging interactions with friends, family, romantic partners, and coworkers. Making the most of your participation in therapy will make the whole experience more rewarding and helpful.
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