Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist questions.
“What happens if I don’t know what to talk about in therapy?” is a common question that people are afraid to ask their therapist. Your therapist would be happy to answer this question, and others, so ask away. Let me provide an answer to this one…
A few things may happen when you don’t know what to talk about:
- If you’re unsure what to talk about, no worries, your therapist will pick up the clue and start a conversation. They might bring up lighthearted topics, like ask if you enjoyed the sunshine over the weekend or ask how your pet is doing. They might also ask you a question about something you’ve been discussing in therapy that they didn’t get to ask, yet. Sometimes we think of questions to ask when we’re not meeting with you.
- Therapists might glance through their notes for a second to recall certain conversations, topics or to prompt what we might move onto discussing. People typically keep a notebook for jotting down notes during therapy and to write their homework assignments in. This down time is a good time to pay a quick visit to your notes. You may read something and then remember that you wanted to ask a question or let your therapist know something that you thought of while doing a journal prompt the other night.
- This could transition into talking or learning about something new. If the timing is appropriate, your therapist might share a little mental health tip or piece of helpful information that they think you might find interesting or maybe learn how to apply. An example may be a simple breathing exercise that you could use when you feel overwhelmed at work.
- When nothing is said, there is silence. Silence can feel awkward and uncomfortable, your therapist may also feel those emotions because we’re all human. Silence isn’t a bad thing. People struggle to sit in silence and just “be” still or quiet. We’re used to things going on, and so we have an expectation that something needs to always be going on. I think that perhaps we need to get a little practice with silence sometimes in order to get in-touch with ourselves.
These are common things that happen when you don’t know what to talk about in therapy. Not knowing what to talk about will eventually come up in session, but that’s normal. It means that there is opportunity!