- Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
- She explains that it’s natural for people to feel insecurities or hesitations while working with their therapist, as they might with any other person.
- But many of the subjects that clients are shy to open up about, Morin says, their therapist is not concerned about at all.
- If you’re worried that your therapist thinks you’re ‘crazy’ or that they will get mad at you for something, remember that they have heard it all before, and that they have your best intentions at heart.
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As a therapist, I’ve had the privilege of listening to many people share their secrets, discuss their feelings, and divulge their innermost thoughts.
As they pour their hearts out to me, my job is to show warmth and acceptance. I want to offer a safe space for strangers to open up.
When things go according to plan, a therapeutic alliance is formed. The client learns to trust me when I show I’m able to be present with them and that I accept them no matter what they say.
Throughout the process, clients experience many of the same fears, insecurities, and hesitations that they do in many of their other relationships – even though the nature of a therapeutic relationship is different. Working through these issues with a therapist is often a key part of the treatment.
But if you’re seeing a therapist, you might find there are times when you feel a little freaked out by all the information you’re sharing. And if you don’t address all of the things that have you feeling this way, you might struggle to stay open and honest. In fact, you might even be tempted to give up on therapy.
The truth is your therapist doesn’t care about many of the things you think they do. So here are five things your therapist wants you to stop freaking out about:
1. Whether your therapist likes you
Therapists will naturally click with some of their clients more than others. But they usually find something likable about everyone they work with.
So there’s no need to try and be the favourite client or worry that you need to tell entertaining stories that make you look like the hero. Your therapist is looking at you through a professional lens which means they’re focused more on how to help you be your best – not thinking about how much they like you.
2. Whether your therapist thinks you’re disturbed
You’ll likely have moments where you only reveal half-truths in an effort to avoid sounding like you’re emotionally disturbed. You may have other moments where you reveal the truth only to regret it moments later as you wonder if your therapist is harshly judging you.
Whether you created a fake email account just to torment your boss, or you’ve been experimenting with drugs in an effort to sleep better, your therapist won’t think negatively of you.
They have heard a lot of interesting things from people over the years. So nothing you say will shock or horrify them – really.
3. How to break up with your therapist
Maybe you’ve been seeing your therapist a long time and just aren’t seeing any progress. Or maybe it’s only been two sessions and you just don’t think you’re clicking. Saying, “I don’t think this is working out,” might seem incredibly awkward.
But therapists are used to hearing it. They know that they won’t be a great match for everyone who comes through their door. And they won’t take it personally if you decide to end your treatment.
So if you feel someone isn’t a good fit, just say something like, “I’m thinking I might work better with someone else.” You don’t even necessarily need to go into a detailed explanation. Your therapist can assist you with finding someone who you might mesh with better.
4. Whether your therapist knows you’re attracted to them
It’s quite common to become attracted to your therapist. You’re in a small room together revealing intimate details of your life, and they’re interested in hearing more.
The nature of this relationship sometimes makes it normal to experience an attraction toward the person who is intently listening to you.
Therapists know that this happens sometimes, and they’re usually more than willing to address it – if you want to. If you don’t ever wish to bring it up, that’s your right as well. But if you blush every once in a while, don’t worry – they won’t panic if they think you’re attracted to them.
Just know that they also aren’t going to enter into a relationship with you though. Their ethical guidelines prevent them from having romantic relationships with their clients.
5. Whether your therapist is going to be mad at you
Perhaps you declared that you changed your ways and would never again make a certain mistake. Yet you found yourself doing it again, and now you feel compelled to confess the error of your ways. You might worry that your therapist will be disappointed in you.
Or maybe your therapist gave you a homework assignment – like a new strategy to practice. But you never tried it, and you’re worried your therapist will scold you or be angry that you didn’t do the work.
In reality, your therapist knows that these things happen. They won’t be angry or upset. Instead, they will want to work with you on how you’re handling the issue – as well as how you’re dealing with any potential fears you might have about their reaction.
How to work through the issues
It’s normal to feel a little freaked out when you’re in therapy. But don’t let these feelings convince you to quit. Instead, work through uncomfortable feelings. Talk to your therapist about whatever’s bothering you. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you’ll also increase the likelihood that therapy will help you reach your goals.
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