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Daydreaming
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When I go to a session, first things she asked me is "How are you?" and something like "What's going on?" or "What do you want to talk about?" I say...fine...and I don't know. But I sort of do know...I mean, I was thinking maybe I could show her a poem I had written a few months ago that I think describes my life a little...been wanting to tell her about my past, things that have happened to me in school that I remember, and I've been wanting to just say I can't handle this (doctors/hospitals/tests/surgery stuff that's currently going on in my life) but all we have talked about is my needle phobia and she asked me why I'm scared of it and asked if something happened when I was little and how I was, and I explained it a little bit, and I just said a few things, but I couldn't actually say that even if my mind's into coping with needles, I'm scared of how I'm going to react...scared of having a panic attack, scared of embarrassing myself over how I'll behave, because I am so terrified of needles and not familiar with blood tests.

Anyways....

Basically, what I'm trying to ask is....How do I just talk about anything? Is it okay to just randomly bring up whatever I want? I don't know how to do this. I don't know what people normally talk about in therapy. I don't know how to say things...where to start...sometimes I have her read something I wrote, but it's somewhat weird...she says "okay, if you want me to" and I hand her the paper...she reads it...says its good...then we talk a little about it....the end. If there's ever a somewhat long time of silence, I start to feel nervous....I wonder if it's kind of stupid. Also...I somewhat think, maybe I don't really feel like I am worthy enough or interesting enough or worth anyone's time or deserving enough, so it's hard to talk about anything...and I just don't know. I guess my mind just gets somewhat blank in a way...not in the way because Im anxious, although maybe a tiny bit, but just because it is...I could write a lot maybe...but speak, with my voice? words? make sound? and then I somewhat feel like I don't have enough energy to talk...and somewhat lack of motivation too. :um

I can talk some if she asks me a question...but I can't go into detail, or explain it in the way I really want to say it, and sometimes I'm just simple, short...
 

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Geese
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I find a good therapist will just listen to whatever is on your mind, your thoughts about various situations revolving generally around your anxiety and learn from them. I think them ore you open yourself up with just general banter the better they can understand and pinpoint aspects of your life which may be contributing to your illness. So don't be afraid to go off on tangents in discussion, if they ask "how was your day", tell them exactly how it was, just don't be afraid to open up, it's important to do so.
 

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blessed with lucky sevens
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^^ Brisbanite heheh ;)

I've been thinking about going to therapy for quite some time now; I'm keen to get some replies to rachelynn's question :)
 

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Born Of Blotmonað
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I've only been to 2 sessions & the first was a "getting to know you" type deal. The second was more laid back & I felt as though I could talk about whatever I wanted. I too have passed along some things I have written in journal form but we have yet to discuss any of it. I think perhaps one way to go about directing a session is pass on your writing & ask your therapist to read it over so you can discuss in the next session. Or as mentioned simply discuss what you want to while there. My therapist seems like he' s willing to let me go where I want to so perhaps your is as well.

I'm still very new to all of this so I'll let you know as I feel out this process
 

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Banned
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I can relate, rachelynn. This is why I find it so hard to make myself go to CBT or counselling sessions, because I can't just talk freely. Surely if I could do that I wouldn't need the therapy?! It's one of the worst things about SA. I get the feeling I bore the person I'm talking to because I don't say things with any confidence or conviction. I hope someone has some advice. All I can say is I understand. :)
 

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I'm in the same boat. I told my therapist that I felt she wasn't going to be able to give a proper diagnosis due to my inability to properly explain my condition. She told me that even explaining things unrelated to SA is helpful, because it still gives her an idea as to how I perceive different situations, the language I use, which events in my daily life draw my attention most, and why this might be.
I've noticed, when anyone confronts me, and not in a bad way, just focuses attention on me, or asks me a question about an abstract idea, my mind goes blank and I'll either just say "uummmmm.." or -nothing-. I guess a way to speak to a therapist is to just imagine them as a voice, rather than as a judging, observing human being watching you. In other words, don't think about trying to convey your thoughts into words so that the therapist will understand. That may make your brain more clouded. Its just communication practice, and the therapist knows this. I also lack confidence in what I speak, and will sometimes leave many questions unanswered because I forget how to answer them. This has caused me to say "like" or "um" in between words, which is something I almost never do, but it kind of increases the flow of my words. What you say to your therapist doesn't have to perfect English, grammatically correct or even coherent. It's practice and ya gotta start somewhere. I hope your sessions turn out better in the future.
 

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crazy
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I guess it's easier when you get the feeling your therapist is at least somewhat similar to you - then you don't actually have to explain everything in detail, and you don't worry as much about being judged by them. I found it pretty hard to talk to a therapist if I thought they were too confident, for instance. But if you have one like that, maybe the best thing to do would be to explain how you're feeling about the therapy - maybe they'd be able to reassure you that they're not going to judge you?
 

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Hey Rachelynn,
It sounds to me that the problem may not be with your interactions with your therapist but with your perception. More to the point with your confidence in entrusting information to your therapist, believing he/she will take your experiences seriously or believing that your experiences, thoughts and feelings are indeed worth talking about. A lot of that can come from what we think or predict what other people are going to think; of course we are invariably almost always wrong. The reason is, we predict others' emotions with our emotions and our emotions are never used for logical thinking, or at least should not be used for logical thinking. However since we are emotional creatures, and many times we cling to our emotions to help identify who we are, we try to utilize our emotional tools to think pragmatically.
The error in this is that emotion is not logical and can't be reasoned with. How do you reason with happy, or try to make logical sense out of love? How can you rationalize anger or analyze fear? This is because thoughts and feelings (thoughts being the act of using logical, analytical processes for deduction and feelings being emotions we use to express our personal and mental state) are of two different categories; actions and reactions. When you have a logical thought of something or someone you are actively coming up with a plan of some sort. It doesn't matter what that plan is but it is something that has a step by step process that can be analyzed on some degree. When you exhibit a feeling you are reacting to an action. You are forming a response to a stimulation in your environment, be it from a person, place or thing it is a reaction.
Getting back to my point, you need to realize that your therapist is there to listen to what you have to say, regardless of how important or unimportant you think it is, he is there to listen to you; or at least should be if he is worth his degree. Also bear in mind that he has probably been doing this for a while; he didn't start with his own practice. He probably started off working at a mental health facility working with people who are unable to care for themselves, one way or another. There is very little to nothing you can say that will embarrass, humiliate, anger, or shock him.
You won't waste his time by telling him what is bothering you, but you will waste his time if you sit there and don't talk about what is bothering you.
I hope this helps,
-Mel
 

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I've found you can pretty much bring up whatever you want. It's not like real conversation where you have to have some kind of natural segue between topics or "rationale" for why you brought something up. You can just say "I had one other thing I wanted to talk about," and then describe whatever it is.

I've never given a therapist written material unless it was "homework." To be honest, I find it incredibly uncomfortable watching someone read what I've written, and would rather just say it.
 

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giggling ******
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I have the same problem in therapy and group therapy. My therapist is great and open to all feelings that would come up, but it's difficult. I find it's best to immediately force yourself to say something beyond "I'm okay" (okay is my big word) at the start of your session, which could open your consciousness to more loquacity. (Easier written than done.)

I had written 'Easier said than done.' Right

I suggested in a post of mine to write down your feelings between visits then bring it with you to the session. Try it. :)
I personally don't write things down, but it could be a good idea.
 

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blessed with lucky sevens
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My GP gave me a referral to a lady who is a psychologist and very nice woman so maybe I'll give it a shot. What scares me is just having to talk and even just ring her to book an appointment.
 

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I've been going to therapy for almost 4 months now...

At first I tried to say things I thought the therapist would want me to say, be a good patient. I talked continuously. I did lots and lots of psychological reading, and tried to found connections to my life so I could introduce my therapist new important discoveries. Then one time, I just couldn't take it anymore. I completely got fed up with this terrible struggling; 3 times / week was just too much to handle. So I suddenly stopped what I was saying, and sitted 5 minutes in total silence... I think that was the most therapeutic moment of my life so far, after years and years of pleasing everyone I just _let it all go_...

And that was also I feel when my therapy really started... Or in fact, it was an important part of my therapy. I think it was what's the therapy all about: our problems usually reflect to the process, and the goal is to bring them up into the consciousness.

I talk just about everything what comes into my mind, usually I still pick a schema for every session (it often changes during though). I talk about my emotions and difficult events in my life. I talk about what was my morning like and what I felt. I often try to follow the associations which come to my mind as I speak. Like when I talk about an event may I recall more events when I have felt the same...

It's important to talk also about the feelings the therapy session itself awakes. Like my urge to please my therapist by being a good and interesting client and try to find out what other emotions it caused, like anger.

Therapist is there trying to collect the pieces together with you, to obtain a larger vision and trying to pull the strings together. And as an "outsider" he/she often sees connections there where you don't maybe even want to see (but of course those interpretations aren't nearly always correct, you know it only by yourself.)

I believe there is not one right single way to talk in therapy, this is where I'm right now...
 
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