How to open up to a counselor?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by if6then7, Aug 30, 2013.

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  1. if6then7

    if6then7 New Member

    I'm not sure where to post this. I'm not even sure if I have depression, I just know that I feel really depressed right this moment.
    Really long story short, I had a traumatic childhood but I live a safe and happy life now, mainly when I'm not thinking about my childhood. But then something ends up reminding me of my childhood and all of the sudden I'm extremely miserable, depressed, remembering thoughts of suicide. And so I eventually distract myself, get so caught up in school or work that I don't have to think about that. And I get happy again. until the next time someone or something reminds of my childhood.

    There was a time I decided that I should move past my childhood so that I could one day be reminded of my childhood without getting depressed about it. So for all of 2012 (from January to December) I saw a therapist. But, I never once talked about what I really wanted to talk about it. It's always been too hard to say it out loud. I am used to never showing anyone that I have vulnerable emotions. Before each therapy session, I would have a list of things I wanted to share and talk about. After each therapy session I would get mad at myself for not saying a single thing on my list. Finally in the end of December, I just quit going. And I was seemingly fine again. I got good at distracting myself and blocking emotions from my childhood before they even came up. But, someone pointed out to me that I don't seem completely okay. I don't like touching people, I don't like physical affection. I can't say the words "I love you" to family or anyone. I often can't say a deep, sincere "thank you" or apology. Those emotions are just too intense for me that I run away from them. I like being very casual and not letting anyone get too close.
    I knew all this was true. It became clear to me that I still needed to get over my childhood emotions if I wanted to better myself as a person. If I ever wanted to date someone or have a family, I would need to let people get close to me.

    So I just recently started seeing another counselor. I already like her better than my previous one. But I find myself in the same situation again. Throughout the week I generate a lost of things I want to tell her or talk about, but when I get there, it feels too intense to be that open, so I talk about the weather the whole time. I really, really want to share, but I can't get the words out. I just feel myself getting physically tenser and putting up more walls to stop myself from talking.

    Does anyone have any advice?

    I find that anonymously online I can write out my my deepest feelings. And I have thought about an online counselor instead, but I also really don't want to change counselors again. I've thought about writing something out and giving it to my counselor to read. But I don't think I could just sit there, in intense anxiety while the counselor is reading something about the most vulnerable part of me. I've thought about emailing her something ahead of time, so she reads it before I get there. But actually write a lot. I started writing something that I wanted her to read, and it quickly turned into 12 pages, and I just don't want to make her have to read all that.
    I also struggle with lots of feelings of guilt. I feel so guilty that I'm wasting my counselor's time. And she keeps reassuring me that it's her job to give me her time. But I still just feel like other clients would be a better use of her time than me.

    Half of me wants to make progress, but the other half of me is fighting against it just as hard. And I need some skills. I need to find a way to break this down into smaller steps I can handle.
     
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Hi if6then7 you have had some great ideas hun to open up to your councilor i would say print what you have written right here ok copy and print it and give it to your therapist.
    It is not to indepth and she can then go from there small steps at a time ok. Your councilor will help you through the past hun so you can live a happier present Don't worry about her she has all the skills she needs to be patient and understanding and not judgemental Ok one step this one is giving her the post you just written here hugs
     
  3. if6then7

    if6then7 New Member

    I could, but I'm pretty sure I would flake out at the last minute and not actually hand the counselor the print out.
    But I don't know how to take smaller steps. I like the idea of telling the counselor that somehow I need smaller steps, maybe she can give me some ideas for that.
     
  4. MdngtRain

    MdngtRain Well-Known Member

    I have similar problems with my new therapist. I started a journal just to be able to give to get to read. I try to be conscious of how long I make it. I miss being able to email my t... I liked that better. I too am trying to tell my t that I have all this stuff to tell her, but I don't end up doing even that correctly.
    Maybe you could just copy/paste the post and send it to get through email. That way she had it, can read it without you sitting right there, and you could do it even if you "chicken out" during session.
    Good luck.
     
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