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Unread 09-14-2017, 08:36 AM   #1
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Default How do you know what to say?

What do you say when you have nothing to say? I'm about 10 sessions in. So far tons of full on childhood stuff has come up and I'm finding the whole therapy process awful and the impact on my daily functioning and 'doing life' has been very hard.
Today I had nothing to say. When I actually got there I wasn't consciously resisting, but I just couldn't think of anything to say. T said she felt like she was leading the conversation and that's not how it's supposed to go, but I was blank. Que lots of awkward silences which happen when I've talked about big things too, but today felt different. Maybe because I've been hypomanic for a few days, or maybe for some other reason, I don't know.
Each time I did say something, which was nothing very meaningful, I got all the 'how did you feel' stuff, but I honestly don't know. I can say 'rubbish' 'anxious' or basic stuff like that, but I feel like she's getting frustrated with me because I don't/can't go further. I want to, but I honestly don't know how I felt or what was happening to me, or I can't identify the emotions. I did tell her that, which resulted in more silences.
It's all free association and I find it very hard, because I just don't know where to start or what to say.
I feel crap now, like I don't know if this is going anywhere.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 08:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

first off, i don't think it's supposed to be a certain way, i am 30 session in and he still leads, but i like that, and I'm ok with it because i am horrible initiating things with people.

second, a good suggestion, start journaling, write down during the week things that bother you, things that frustrate you, things you think of that might be important to say etc... then compose a list of notes. bring it with you and go from there, or email your T prior with the list

i do that every single time and its so helpful cuz my mind always goes blank once I'm there

hope it helps
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Unread 09-14-2017, 08:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

it got better for me when I stop trying to do therapy the way people describe doing it here and instead just used the woman to tell stuff too so I didn't kill any of the medical personnel my person was dealing with. I never found that the woman had any real idea (or at least she refused to admit it) of what was supposed to be going on and she was useless at explaining what sorts of things one should talk about that would be useful for the reason why I went to see her in the first place
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Unread 09-14-2017, 09:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

When I told her about a really huge thing that I'd never told anyone, I had written it all down. I went to my session and told her it was a huge thing and I'd written it down because I didn't think I could say it out loud and would she read it. She said that she would, but she would much rather that I say it out loud. So I did and it was hard, but I had a specific thing to talk about then.
I do journal, every day. It's just that experience made me think she wouldn't want to read anything. I find it a million times easier to write it all down. Maybe I should discuss that with her next time.
I've never been given an e mail address or anything like that. All conversations come from me, she doesn't even say hello or anything, we just sit down and she smiles a bit and it's silent until I say something. She doesn't suggest ways in which I could try to cope with things. She says a few insightful things sometimes, but she doesn't say a lot. I wonder if she is right for me or this type of therapy is right for me, but I'm getting it through the NHS so I don't have any other options and I feel more messed up than before I started, so I'm stuck.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 09:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

Hi, sorry that you feeling that way!
Therapy is hard, talking about yourself is hard, but most importantly talking about your feelings is what I find the hardest!
Firstly I just want to say the bit that stood out for me is that she doesn't even say hello. Gosh I couldn't hack that, like that would put me on edge straight away, and for therapy to work I think most importantly it's their role to make you feel at ease, because without that how are you expected to open up!
I have wrote stuff and took it to session aswell for her to read, once she asked me if maybe I should/could read it to her, I said no I wasn't comfortable with that, so she went ahead and read it herself. I know she would rather I read to her and maybe it's more productive that way, but if you not comfortable in doing that you definitely need to say that and stand your ground so to speak.
I don't know if she is the therapist for you, or whether you are suited to that style, we can only speak for ourselves but I simply couldn't deal with a therapist that wouldn't even say hello to me.
I really hope that you can find a way to tell her how you are feeling! Maybe therapists adapt their styles/methods to suit the individual and the individuals needs, so maybe if you were open with her to how you are feeling, and also asking for what you might be looking for from her she can adapt accordingly to give you the best chance of successful therapy.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 09:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

Hi Pink. I'm sorry this isn't working for you. I still think this doesn't sound like the right kind of therapy/ therapist. But if you can't see someone else and don't want to stop going altogether, I'd try - once again - to talk about the therapy itself and how it is/isn't working.

Your first post would be a great thing to print out and give to her. It doesn't matter that she'd prefer you read it. She can prefer that in her own time. What's important is that you're able to comfortably and clearly relay information - the written word is a great way to do that.

Good luck with everything.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 10:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

Hi Pink, I'm sorry that you are struggling with this. I think most of us have been in that position at some time or another. I agree with many above, in that it's 'your' session & if you want her to read your stuff, then please stand your ground & insist. I used to write stuff down & I wasn't able to say any of it out loud & couldn't even refer to it either. My t said he'd rather I shared it in which ever way I could & that was ok. Over time when you get into the swing of how these sessions go, you will find it easier & easier. I spent the first 6 months answering with 'I don't know' to almost everything he asked me. I too didn't know how I felt. I didn't have the words to put with the feelings. I felt like I was 5yrs old.
I feel that if your t can't/won't work 'with' you & support you in the way that's best for you, then I'd find someone else. You are not being unreasonable in your request to her for this, so please don't be hard on yourself. It's hard!!! Hugs to you Pink.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 12:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

Thankyou everyone.
She does say hello when she collects me from the waiting room. Well, either a hello and a little smile or just a smile. She smiles when we sit down, but there's no hello or anything when we are in the room. In one of the early sessions she said that she doesn't do all the niceties stuff because she doesn't want to interrupt my train of thought and that often when people are feeling a bit awkward that's often when the most important stuff can come out,

I will speak to her next session about writing things down. I mean, when I had the huge thing written down I knew she'd want to ask me questions and answer them, I was prepared for that. I found that also
I had a lot of detail in what I'd written and some bits I've still not told her. It took me so long to get the huge thing out (I literally couldn't talk at points and it was very slow just getting the general thing out) that I didn't tell her about some of the other things related to it. I ran out of time. Since then I'm kind of scared going back into that topic, because it was so awful. I also find that when I've written stuff it's clear to me, when I'm trying to tell her verbally she keeps stopping to ask me how I felt etc and that leads down all kinds of roads and then I forget bits of what I actually wanted to say. I feel like if I could put it all out there first of all, then she could poke around with questions.

You are right. It IS my session. I'm going to talk to her about this next week.
Thanks.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 01:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

Have you tried just reading aloud to her what you have written? I find have something written down even if it's just a few items like a list helps me when I freeze up and don't feel like I have anything to say.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: How do you know what to say?

I'm going to go armed with writing next time.
My care coordinator reads some of the stuff I've written. She says it helps give her a good insight into what's going on inside my head. It makes me feel listened to as well, or at least that I've got everything out in the way that I'm thinking it at least.
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