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  • julienaylorcounsel

'THE THING' that we just cannot say in therapy..........................

You’re sitting on the chair in your therapy session.  You’re going through the motions.  You’re there, but you’re not.  Your therapist is working with you, offering support and warmth and you really wish you could just say ‘this thing’ out loud, but there’s a problem…………………. What if ‘the thing’ is so serious that you’re ushered out of the room right there and then and carted off to a hospital ward somewhere far away? 


I mean, it could happen, right? Lots of us have seen movies and heard stories where people have been taken (often against their will), put in a hospital, (where they’ve usually been injected with some kind of sedative), whilst concerned looking psychiatrists wrestle to ‘restrain them’ and work out the best course of treatment.  You don’t want that – no way!  The mere thought is horrifying.


Meanwhile, the ‘story in your head’ about how unwell, ridiculous, weird, ‘clinically insane’, damaged, (insert any term of choice here) you are, continues to gain momentum.  You’re living this now – there’s definitely something very, very wrong with you.  There’s no way you are saying anything incriminating.  The last thing you want is a hospital admission, diagnosed long-term condition or any other kind of intervention.  You might just knock this on the head now, actually.  What’s the point in coming when you know you will never be able to be fully truthful anyway?


Can you see the above cycle?  Can you see how it gains traction?  Before you know it, you are in a spiral – the leading person, centre stage in your very own ‘story’.   And what a story it is!  That this whole ‘story’ occurs right in the very place that you sought to gain support, comfort and safety just makes it all the more upsetting and distressing.


Let’s just stop and breathe for a minute. 


Therrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre we go.


I’d really like you to know that the thing you’re thinking about is probably way more common than you actually realise (yes, even your thing).  I know that they can burn holes inside of you, tear you up, make you feel like you want to crawl out of your own skin.  It’s all yours, you see, ‘the thing’.  It’s had space and time to grow inside of you, winding its roots around your bones, organs, tissues, psyche.  It’s dense and heavy, deeply disturbing. 



I’d also like you to know that fear of the unknown makes it very common for people to not go to therapy at all or hold back whilst in therapy.  It can be utterly terrifying thinking about what might happen with the information shared there.  Fear of the unknown makes us cautious and wary, especially with something as precious as our very personhood.


Perhaps the most important thing to know though, is that your therapist is an experienced professional, there to support you.  We are trained, ethical practitioners, familiar with lots of different presenting issues (yes, even yours).  We recognise the fear present for lots of humans as they dare to bare their souls.  We know it’s scary.  We know you have deep, deep fears around sitting in that chair opposite us and saying ‘the thing’.  We work with other humans like you, who believe they are the only one, too. We know that isn’t true. 


More than anything else, we believe in you.  We care about you.  We trust in your experiencing and hope that over time, you can trust us too. 


Oh, and those stories that you tell yourself about how ‘damaged’ and ‘broken beyond repair’ you are, along with the fear of potentially being hospitalised?  Well, sharing those truths with a trusted other, just might be the opening into a much different realm of living.  One where the load is lighter and the future brighter.  One where you can start to live again, like you deserve to.


Sounds terrifyingly liberating to me 😊





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