Last week I shared some ideas of things you might want to talk about in therapy. However, that list was far from exhaustive. There’s SO much you could dig into once you give yourself time to self-reflect. Here are a few more topics that might resonate with you as you get started on your therapy journey.
Ways of coping
Difficult moments, both large and small, are part of life. Everyone has ways of dealing with them — some intentional and others unintentional, some useful and others… not as useful.
How do you deal with a bad day at work or a tense family visit? Whether you vent to a friend, or veg out in front of Netflix, or treat yourself to a little shopping spree — do you find that your actions help you feel better, not really impact you, or even make you feel worse?
When you’re really worried about something, how do you help yourself calm down? When you’ve been stuck in a low mood, what do you do to start cheering yourself up?
As you review with your therapist which of your ways of coping are working and which are not working, you might be inspired to set a goal of finding and practicing new coping strategies together.
All too often, societal norms attempt to limit our natural experience of emotions, dictating that certain kinds of people “should” experience one set of emotions, and other kinds of people “shouldn’t” experience another set of emotions.
In some contexts, anger is a taboo emotion — do you ever feel ashamed for feeling angry, or find yourself unable to connect to the idea of being angry in a situation that you know it’s definitely warranted?
Another example is feeling prolonged sadness, which unfortunately is sometimes stereotyped as a sign that someone is selfish or overly sensitive. Can you allow yourself to be sad in therapy and to give space to what that really feels like? How has fighting away feelings of sadness impacted your life?
It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to share difficult emotions with another, but going through them with the guidance of a supportive professional can be so healing and rewarding.
Grief is another taboo subject that we often lack the space to discuss in everyday life. Because many people are uncomfortable with death, you may feel alone with your experience of grieving a beloved family member, friend, or pet. You might find that your particular experience with loss seems difficult for other people to understand. For example, if you’re feeling deep grief over the death of someone who was a harmful presence in your life, or if your way of experiencing grief manifests differently from that of others around you.
Grief might be hard to articulate if it isn’t actually about a death, but rather a different kind of loss. For example, immigrating to a different country might bring new adventures and opportunities — and yet, it involves leaving your previous life behind.
Transitioning out of the workforce can mean losing a role that you may have occupied for decades of your life. You might grieve the sense of purpose you had in your career, or the feeling of being admired for your professional successes.
Discussing grief and loss in therapy can remind you that you don’t have to go through it alone.
Give it a try
There’s no right or wrong topic to bring up in therapy — give it a try and see where your journey takes you. Click the button below to arrange a free phone consultation, where I can learn a bit more about you and tell you about my therapy practice. I really enjoy working with people who are trying therapy for the first time, let’s see if we could be a good fit!