Not sure what to talk about in therapy and are in need of some advice and guidance?
If so, that’s the solution I’m giving you in this post.
Whether you’re considering therapy.
It’s your first meeting with a therapist.
Or you’ve been in therapy for a long while.
It’s not uncommon to fear not knowing what to talk about.
However, in this post, I want to share with you why fearing not knowing what to talk about in therapy is a good thing.
And how to come up with something to talk about in therapy when you’ve got nothing.
In addition, I hope it will serve as a good reminder of what you can talk about in therapy on a more frequent basis so you never have to face this roadblock.
Since it’s not that you don’t have anything to talk about, but that you’re neglecting to see something, which has happened during your week, as worthy of being discussed.
And the thought is giving you a brain freeze and making you panic, rather than allowing you to think of something to talk about.
So, let’s get started.
Why thinking you don’t know what to talk about in therapy is a good thing
If one of your struggles is building emotional closeness with others and building and maintaining long-term relationships.
And therefore, are feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied in your relationships (and life), for the lack of meaning and purpose you feel you have in them (and it).
Then, not knowing what to talk about in therapy is a good thing because part of building emotional closeness and building and maintaining long-term relationships is the willingness to keep showing up and keep showing up.
The willingness to be vulnerable about what you’re truly thinking, feeling, and what’s been going on in your life with others.
Even in times where you feel there’s nothing particularly new or exciting going on in your life.
And, by coming up against that wall of ‘I don’t know what to talk about’, or ‘I have nothing to talk about’, time and time again.
And finding ways to overcome that challenge with your therapist, you will begin to break down that barrier within you of not knowing what to say.
Therefore, overtime, finding it easier and easier to find something to talk about with your therapist and other people generally.
The how-to to thinking about something to talk about
So the way to come up with something to talk about is by asking yourself what can I share, say or talk about myself in this therapy session, every time this challenge comes up, before a session.
Since you’ll not be able to pre-empt weeks or even days before when you’ll stumble into this roadblock.
So you’ll need to give yourself a minimum of an hour or so before a session, to think of something to say.
In doing so, this will help you to see there is always something for you to talk about in therapy.
And that these thoughts don’t need to hold you back from building emotional closeness and building and maintaining long-term relationships with others.
In fact, the more you do this the more you will begin to acknowledge the thought as a common thought of yours, which you are capable of overriding since it’s not true.
Personally what I like to do, is write down in an email, situations, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs (which I’ll talk about in more detail shortly), as and when they come up during my week.
Although, if you’re having a busy week, this might be difficult to fit in.
Therefore, why it’s important you build in times of quiet and solitude into your weekend, if you can’t build in times during your day to go over the events of the week.
As this will absolutely help you to avoid having nothing to say.
What to talk about in therapy? Difficult and challenging situations
When entering the therapy room, it’s not unusual for us to begin with a situation that has taken place in our lives, which we’ve found difficult and challenging.
However, if we feel nothing new is taking place in our lives.
And we’ve had a week that’s gone relatively well and has been quiet for us, it’s easy for us to let certain situations slide as unimportant or not mattering.
Or to put them into the box of being normal and natural.
However, it’s the smallest of situations and those which seem normal and natural to us, which usually have the most meaning in them.
Therefore, it’s important you pay particular attention to even the smallest of situations, which have evoked a certain feeling within you and which you are placing judgement, criticism and/or are making meaning of.
Whether it’s a situation you have been involved in yourself, or you are witnessing taking place.
Since what you are thinking ad feeling about others is a true reflection of what you’re unconsciously thinking and feeling about yourself.
And it doesn’t matter whether it’s the same feeling, which has been evoked in you many times before.
As you don’t need something new to be feeling each week to be able to have something to talk about.
You can continue your discussion from the previous week or a week before that.
In addition, it’s okay if the same situation keeps coming up for a while before you feel confident to tackle it in the way your therapist has perhaps suggested.
Although, if you really want to shift it, you must be intentional about implementing the advice and guidance your therapist gives you.
And find concrete times, to actively put them into practice.
What to talk about in therapy? Actions you decided to take or not take towards the situations you are struggling with
Any situation and struggle, taking place within your life, which you decide to take action toward.
Or not take action towards.
Is important for you to take note of to potentially bring in with you into the therapy room.
Since it isn’t the action itself, which matters.
But the feeling, evoked in you by the action you decide to take or not take, which matters.
What to talk about in therapy? Difficult, challenging and repetitive thoughts
No matter the situation, which might be arising in your life, it will evoke a particular thought.
Whether it’s about yourself and/or others.
However, sometimes we don’t want to disclose certain thoughts we are having about ourselves and/or others for fear of what they say (or will say) about us.
Or we might have the same repetitive thoughts going around in our heads over and over again.
So to avoid sounding like a broken record, we push them down, we skirt over them without questioning the thought and what evoked the thought within us.
Therefore, it is key to pay attention to any thoughts, which you feel ashamed of and embarrassed about disclosing.
Any that you are questioning whether they are relevant for you to bring up in therapy or not.
Since it’s these exact ones, you need to disclose.
What to talk about in therapy? Difficult and/or distressing memories
If your Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist incorporates these two therapeutic tools, then bringing in any distressing memories with you might be beneficial.
Although, these might come up as you discuss other situations, which have taken place in your life.
What to discuss in therapy? Realizations gained from implementing tools and practices
Your therapist will likely have provided you with tools and practices, such as the ones I discuss in my post 4 Mind-Blowing Tools that will Change your World and Help you to Overcome Past Regrets, to go away and implement into your life away from therapy sessions.
In addition, I personally recommend you implement the 3 Tools to Grow outside Therapy sessions, as they supported me in progressing my therapy sessions forward, in ways I didn’t know they would.
And I know they can support you too.
So, if you have been practicing these tools, you will come to realizations about yourself and the situations taking place in your life, which you wouldn’t have seen without having implemented the tools and practices.
Realizations gained from the situations taking place in your life
In addition, it’s really important for you to realize that any reaction you have towards a situation taking place in your life is because of something you are thinking, feeling, and believing.
Not because a situation or person has provoked you.
For instance, let’s say you were placing judgment on someone for their actions and behaviors and that made you really angry.
Well the reason your angry at those actions and behaviours you’re perceiving in another is because you are secretly angry at yourself for engaging in those actions and behaviours.
And you judge yourself and them harshly as a result.
So it’s important you question what your reaction to a particular situation is about, as it arises.
As this will allow you to uncover what it is you are thinking, feeling, and believing.
And again you can bring these realizations into the therapy room with you.
As you start therapy sessions, perhaps this might be challenging for you to do straight away.
However, as time goes by, and as your therapist raises certain points with you for you to reflect and ponder on, you will be able to come to these sorts of realizations.
What to discuss in therapy? What you’re thinking and feeling in the moment
It’s easy to get carried away listening to your therapist after you’ve been given the chance to share your truth and what’s being going on for you that week.
However, if something is coming up for you as they speak, even if it seems unrelated to what they’re talking about, it’s important you bring it up.
Even if that is feeling like crying.
For instance, you can say something like ‘As you say that I’m feeling or sensing’…
So there you have it.
What to talk about in therapy when you don’t know what to talk about.
Difficult and challenging situations you are either involved in or are witnessing and are placing judgment, criticism, and/or are making meaning of.
Actions you decided to take or not take towards the situations and struggles you are facing.
Difficult, challenging, and repetitive thoughts, distressing memories, realizations you have encountered throughout your week, as a result of practicing the tools and practices your therapist and I have provided.
And any thoughts and feelings arising at the moment when your therapist is talking.
Now over to you…
What will you implement into your therapy sessions from my recommendations to ensure you always have something to talk about in therapy?
Let me know in the comments section below.