A few of the comments from young people on our adolescent site mention that looking back, some of them wish they would have opened up more with a therapist. Has your child expressed their worries about opening up? This is very common.
Some people may worry about:
- Feeling judged
- Feeling embarrassed
- Being told that something is wrong with them
- Being let down
- Getting hurt
- Not being able to deal with raw emotions
- Having a panic attack
Of course these are all valid concerns. Some things that may help is remembering that a therapist’s job is to listen to people’s thoughts and about intimate details of their lives. This means that probably what you are telling them is a version of something they have heard before or at least something they have training in.
A therapist’s role includes:
- Making you feel safe and comfortable
- Listening without judgment
- Helping you reach the goals of your therapy
- Keeping what you tell them private
- Helping you gauge if you need to take a break if your emotions are too strong
If your child is getting therapy and feels they cannot open up enough with their therapist, it is important for them to be honest. Your or your child can let the therapist know they are having a hard time opening up and sharing. This is something the therapist can work on with your child! Also if it’s not a right fit, its ok to tell them that too.
Has your child had trouble opening up to a therapist? Are there ways they overcame this?