The silence technique - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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The silence technique


Hi everyone!

Does your therapist stay silent for an obnoxious period of time to out wait you, thus making you talk first? It's like a deadlock of who will speak first. It doesn't make me uncomfortable but I wonder what he would do if I just outlasted him? Has anyone else had an experience similar to this?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 05:33 PM
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Well the session usually lasts only an hour so I try not to just sit there doing nothing. That's what's on my mind.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 05:34 PM
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I always thought about what a waste of money it was when there were silent periods . I don't think mine were necessarily trying to get me to talk first, though. They may have just been waiting to see if I had anything else to say, or maybe they weren't sure what to say next.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 03:42 AM
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I find it ridiculous when therapists do this. One of mine treated it as a competition between us. He thought one day he could "win" against my silence and not have to be the one to break it. He would become so uncomfortable with the length of the silences at the commencement of each session, he would be unable to resist breaking them himself.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 04:46 AM
 
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I think sitting with someone, even a therapist(at first), and intentionally being quiet, might be a good therapy technique. It could allow you to release that pressure to talk and socialize, and it'd allow you to have "being quiet" as an acceptable thing. It'd allow you to also become aware of how your body reacts as a feeling of potential panic starts and manifests.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 10:56 AM
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My last counselor would do this but she didn't seem very talkative so I think it was just that neither of us talked much that we'd have long silences.

Even if our scars donít match thereís no wrong you canít make better if you can figure out a way to change your mind.

And sure thereís things I regret not doing or doing. Those thoughts climb my spine like spiders, and then Iím really the stranger in my own bed,

and that ball of nervous gets pushed into every crack. Thatís whatís holding the bricks together.


- Listener
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 03:09 PM
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Yeah, and when they stare at me with a look on their face like "Well...?" I makes me even more afraid to talk.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:51 AM
 
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Being comfortable in quiet situations has always been something I've struggled with. Maybe that's what they are trying to expose us to. The longer we can remain quiet, the more we are facing our fear.

Just a thought...
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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Do they all use this technique then? I'm becoming worried about starting therapy.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-15-2009, 02:44 PM
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This is a common technique.


They don't want to choose or dominate your therapy route. Only you know what is bothering you. By staying silent, it eventually comes out.

But they should give some input or guide your path.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2009, 07:42 PM
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Many years ago l had a therapist that stayed silent alot. Unfortunately though she hadn't gaged that l was struggling to speak due to stress and needed her to prompt me. It was a nightmare, a lost hour basically. I still really struggle to talk to therapists, partly as l'm so withdrawn and partly just intimidated by opening up about shameful things. The last person l saw spoke more but sometimes interrupted my thought processes, so it's a fine balance between letting the patient express themselves and knowing when they've hit a mental block.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2009, 07:55 PM
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i don't think they realize that us social phobics have a whole lifetime's experience of awkward silences in social situations. they are basically competing against a pro when it comes to who is most skilled at sitting and not speaking. i won't suddenly cave after almost two decades of quietness, simply from a whole five minutes of silence with a stranger. nahh i don't give up that easily.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2009, 08:05 PM
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 12:08 AM
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At 'talk therapy' I feel like I'm on the Late Night with Jay Leno or David Letterman. I turn up, sit down, and I'm asked about my life.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 07:00 AM
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^^ omg same, first time I went to one I told my child therapist I feel like I'm on the Ricky Lake show or something. lolz

Rome wasn't built in a day.

last.fm
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 10:51 AM
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The two psychologists that tried this on me never saw me again lol. It made me way too uncomfortable and anxious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Asleep View Post
Do they all use this technique then? I'm becoming worried about starting therapy.
No, don't worry. Most of the therapists I've tried in my life didn't. I'm not someone who has much to say no matter how long you stay silent in front of me. So therapy would be a waste of time for me if it was always like that. It would be nearly an hour of awkward silence.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixie100 View Post
Hi everyone!

Does your therapist stay silent for an obnoxious period of time to out wait you, thus making you talk first? It's like a deadlock of who will speak first. It doesn't make me uncomfortable but I wonder what he would do if I just outlasted him? Has anyone else had an experience similar to this?
LOL!!! I thought I was probably the only one with this experience...I'm glad it's not just me!
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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Um sounds like GOOD WILL HUNTING
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2009, 05:40 AM
 
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It's happened to me too. It was really unconfortable, the two of us, there, in silence, in front of each other x)
But it was like the 2nd time I went there, so we didn't really knew each other very well.
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