Can you tell your therapist anything? - Forums at Psych Central


View Poll Results: Can you tell your therapist anything?
Yes, there is no topic that is off-limits in therapy 29 46.77%
Yes, there is no topic that is off-limits in therapy
29 46.77%
I can say anything about my life but not about my therapist or the therapeutic relationship 5 8.06%
I can say anything about my life but not about my therapist or the therapeutic relationship
5 8.06%
No, there are certain limits to what one can discuss in therapy 11 17.74%
No, there are certain limits to what one can discuss in therapy
11 17.74%
I don't know 8 12.90%
I don't know
8 12.90%
Other (please explain) 9 14.52%
Other (please explain)
9 14.52%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-21-2018, 04:27 PM #1
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Default Can you tell your therapist anything?

Inspired by a recent post, I am interested in whether people feel that certain topics are off-limits in therapy. Certainly most people in therapy have things that they choose not to share. But do you feel like you could share anything if you wanted to? Are there certain comments or questions that you think your therapist would find inappropriate? Have you had a therapist tell you that a topic was off-limits? Would your therapist be offended if you asked an intensely personal question about their life?

ETA: The question is more whether you feel free to talk/ask about anything, not whether you find yourself willing or able to do so.

Last edited by ElectricManatee; 06-21-2018 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:31 PM #2
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

I was actually thinking of creating a similar poll (since I'm pretty sure) this was inspired by my post. Will post an actual response in a bit (though you know what I'll say!)
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:36 PM #3
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

I said "other" thinking that although my T says nothing is off limits, there are things I generally don't bring up with him.

If I asked my T a question that he did not want to answer, he would probably a) not answer and b) want to discuss why I asked the question.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:37 PM #4
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

I voted Other. In theory, yes...but it's entirely dependent on whether I can open my mouth and use my words. When I am having a particularly hard time, I will reach for her hand like a life raft.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:02 PM #5
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

I also put other. Not because I couldn't talk to my T about certain topics (actually quite the opposite, he makes sure to mention that I can tell him whatever I want), but I think it depends on wording. As in it's okay to tell your T you are mad at them or that you are jealous of their wife or children. But it's not okay to yell at your therapist because you are mad, or to insult the ones they love and so on. As long as it is worded in a respectful manner, everything is okay to be talked about.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:05 PM #6
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

Yes, I'm totally confident that no topic is off-limits in my therapy. It does not mean that I'm able open my mouth and say those things though.

Mostly I'm unable to talk about myself because I don't seem to find myself in therapy session.

I have no problems in bringing up questions about my T and letting him carry the full weight of me demanding the answer and figuring out whether I really want/need the answer or I'm just testing him. Sometimes he gets it wrong and answers and then I feel that he shouldn't have done it and then I hurl against him with accusations and complaints how he should not have answered.

Also, I have yelled at my T and cursed him and also said some very mean things about him and his family and no - it is not off-limits in my therapy.
The only things he does not allow is aggressive or self-harming behaviour - throwing or breaking things, threatening or attacking him physically, slamming the door, hitting or harming myself in session. How do I know that these are off-limits? Because I've done them all and always a discussion initiated by T has followed about whether I am able to tolerate the treatment or whether I should start taking medication or even stop seeing him altogether because if I can't control my behaviour in these aspects then he can't help me.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:11 PM #7
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

Yes. we talk about anything and everythihg. i cant think of any topic that would be off limits or odd to talk about with her.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:15 PM #8
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

I don't like talking about sex and periods because makes me feel dirty, but where I am right now I feel like I could share anything with him that we've gone through the cringe fest that was/is erotic transference complete with a sexual fantasy that involved him. When I was trying to provoke him I said a lot of weird stuff like: I bet I could **** him better than his wife could and that I wondered what kind of kinky **** he was int, but he didn't shame me about any of that and was cool as a cucumber.



Today was suicidal feelings and SH 101. But when we first started I found even admitting the parental transference hard. Because I don't have to walk on eggshells in the fear that he's going to flip out at me, I can tell him things like I feel his interpretation is wrong, he's being defensive and tell him that perhaps he should examine his countertransferance towards me with his own therapist . all of which I couldn't do before.. And I haven't really asked intensely personal questions about his life.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:20 PM #9
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

Former T, yes. Current T, I haven't made up my mind. She's said several times that I can say anything to her, and I have no concerns about confronting her if the need arose. I can ask her anything personal--I'm just not usually interested in doing so. What I'm undecided about is gory details of abuse; I'm not confident that she could tolerate it. And I don't want to have to take care of her. But since I don't feel much sense of needing to get into it, it hasn't posed a problem.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:24 PM #10
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Default Re: Can you tell your therapist anything?

Theoretically the idea behind therapy seems to be one can, may and should tell the therapist anything they want. It is the line those guys tout the most. It is the big selling point they tell all the clients.

Realistically, in practice, I have never found it such that those guys are competent enough or mentally equipped to hear anything or everything from a client. More like when cell phone companies say you are buying unlimited data but really it is only 20 gb (or whatever - just an example) - Taking such a statement literally leads to disastrous results for the client in my opinion.
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Last edited by stopdog; 06-21-2018 at 05:36 PM.
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