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Thread: Scared to open up(in therapy)

  1. #1

    Default Scared to open up(in therapy)

    Hello all, I've only posted a few times so if I've done or said something wrong in my post please let me know. I'm going to be honest and say that I have some mental ailments that I'm seeing a therapist for, PTSD, anxiety, mood disorder. I only say mood disorder because it isn't diagnosed yet. I'm taking the right steps, seeing a couple counselors(psychiatrist, therapist, and couples counselor) and taking medication. My only problem is I'm having a terrible time opening up to my therapists, I think it's because I've had horrible experiences before. One of my therapists seems a bit fed up as she keeps making comments that I haven't progressed in some time and asking if i want to continue seeing her. My psychiatrist seems a bit more understanding but it's easier for me to talk to him for some reason. I've been seeing them for almost 6 months in we're still in the "introduction" phase of therapy, like getting to know each other. We haven't talked about any real issues yet. I want to get into the "nitty gritty" so to speak but don't know how to. Sorry for the bit of a rant, I just don't want to lose good therapy because of my minds limitations. Have others experienced similar??

  2. #2


    The thing about therapy is that it does take time to open up and discuss your deepest feelings. It is crucial to develop a rapport and a trust with the therapist. It won't happen just because she is pressuring you into moving forward, it happens because you have both reached a stage where you feel comfortable and confident in going deeper and opening up to her. You will know when you are ready to do it because it will feel right, even though it is never easy to share deep and personal feelings and secrets.

    I think you have to ask yourself why you aren't opening up more to her. Is it because you don't feel that you have established trust with her? Do you feel that you have any connection with her? Aside from the fact she seems 'fed up' with not moving forward, how do you feel about her responses to you from previous sessions? Do you feel that she's been trying to be helpful to your situation?

    There needs to be a good fit between the patient and the therapist. If you feel she's been trying her best to help you, then you need to look at ways you can start the process to get to the meat of the sessions. It's never easy opening up about these things, and if you're reluctant or unable to do it, then maybe part of the process should be to develop a plan on how to make it as easy as possible, such as writing a letter to her outlining the things you want to talk about but haven't been able to say.

    The other thing to ask yourself is if it would be easier to speak to another therapist. If there are things about her style or approach that make it hard for you to discuss what's on your mind, then she should be aware of what is causing you discomfort, so that you can either resolve the problem or move forward with a different counsellor. The fact that you've had bad experiences in the past is important to note. You don't want to just write off a therapist who may be trying to help, and then wind up going through the same thing down the road and having another bad experience. You need to reflect on your experience with this therapist and ask yourself if you have moved forward in any way and if she's been helpful to you. If you agree with her that it's not going anywhere and that you are both at an impasse, then you could identify what is not working for you and get a referral to another counsellor who is more in tune with your needs.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 18-Sep-2016 at 02:22.

  3. #3


    And sometimes there's a personality clash with certain people/therapists. Based on my personal experiences, I can say that the ability to be open with a therapist is sometimes hindered by the therapist's own unwillingness to engage or emphasize.

  4. #4


    Why you should be afraid to be opening up with her if you need be cured? The main problem here is you had problems with yourself and you want a medication solution but you don't want to open up with her so your problem will be more difficult. because of knowing the person's problem, the therapist must know the actual problem that you have experienced, how it feels and how it affects yourself, therefore you have to be open up with her. You should be able to put your trust for people who can help you and you don't need to be afraid of it.

    If you can feel that your therapist was not convincing enough, then not hesitate to find another therapist maybe could you more trusted for you can opening up about your past problems and can understand much about you. So the point is if someone wanted to help someone then that person must know the problems of the real life personality and because this speak about personality and soul, then to find a treatment, it takes knowledge of what is in the patient's natural problems with talking the real problem that you have experienced. This is different from physical illness that only need to be examined directly and give the medications, but this is personality problems and need the understanding about the person. Don't be afraid and hesitant about your problems itself if you wanted to be cured for talking to other who you can trusted for help you.

    Sorry for bad english.

  5. #5



    There has been a lot of good comments.

    I have been to see 7 therapist and 11 psychiatrist so far. The psychiatrist come and go because of insurance issues. For the most part the same is true for the therapist, except 2. there is times that the match of patient and therapist just do not work. It is OK to say I need someone different. If you can not get comfortable enough to talk to a therapist like a close friend then you are going to have problems getting to the "Kernel of truth" behind an issue.

    That is the first rule in the 50 rules for caring for ADHD that I was given.

    Good luck and do not give up on yourself to get good relationships with your therapist.


  6. #6


    Thank you to everyone who posted their awesome advice, I really appreciate it. I honestly think I'm going to give it another month or so just to make sure it's not just a chip on my shoulder regarding therapists(which I know know I have). A referral actually never crossed my mind until now, but if things continue this way I will probably get one. I apologize for not posting a reply earlier, been having a crazy week at work this week.

  7. #7


    I never opened up wnen I was a kid was not ready.
    Trust is a big thing . Being pushed means she may not be the right one.
    She's there for you .
    But you mite start with the bad experience you had before.
    Then she can understand the trust thing .
    We open up when we feel safe to do so.
    All the best.

  8. #8


    I have give a number of presentations on finding a therapist and the relationship with the therapist is secondary to your decision to make it work. However you have the right as a consumer to discuss with the therapist where you want to go and to find their competence in your area. As an example when I decided to find a therapist I called my insurance company and asked for the names of those competent to deal with gender issues (I am transgender) and interviewed the therapist.

  9. #9


    It is very hard to open up in a therapeutic situation. It doesn't feel like a safe place unless you feel that you will not be judged or ridiculed. The therapist must establish a safe space for you to open up and feel free to tell your story. If you cannot open up, it can be a waste of time

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