Help! I Don't Know What To Talk About In Therapy
By Danielle Carney, LMHC
You’ve been in therapy for a couple weeks or months and you feel like you’ve run out of things to talk about. You reviewed your week, nothing really happened, and now your therapist is staring at you, waiting for you to say something.
That feeling of tension rises in your chest. A couple minutes of silence pass. Your therapist starts yelling at you, the room is suddenly on fire, the ground starts shaking, the therapist hangs up the video call, and cancels all of your appointments. You’re crying, alone.
…that last part wouldn’t happen (hopefully obviously, haha), but our minds can sometimes make it feel like that’s a realistic possibility! The good news is that it’s totally normal to sometimes feel like you’ve run out of things to talk about in therapy.
Some weeks just aren’t that eventful. That’s okay! If that’s the case, it might be a good time to reflect back to the reasons why you came to therapy. Is there anything on a deeper level that you might want to address on the weeks not too much happened? Is there a part of your past or of yourself that you’d like to explore as it relates to your goals for therapy? Are there topics you’ve been saving for a “rainy day” in therapy?
If you’re really drawing a blank, keep in mind therapy is a collaborative process. It would be welcomed by most therapists to name that you’re having a hard time coming up with topics that day. We can help guide you to the topics that might be of benefit for you to explore based on what we’ve heard so far. We also might help you come up with strategies to help navigate the days that it’s more difficult to fill the time..
I'm still feeling stuck!
No worries, I got you! Here are some ideas I’ve given my therapy clients:
- Keep a “topics I want to talk about in therapy” journal. Jot things down whenever and wherever ideas strike you throughout the week. I’m a huge fan of using the Notes app or a GoogleDoc on your phone so you always have it accessible. These are great to talk about on those “rainy days!”
- Ask yourself, what would I like to get out of this session? What can I ask or talk about to make sure I accomplish that?
- Reflect on your progress so far. Where are you seeing gains and movement towards your goals? Where are you still feeling stuck and running into difficulty?
- Are there certain things you’ve been curious about within yourself that you’d like to explore or give voice to?
- Are there any aspects of your personality or behaviors that confuse you or you’d like clarity about?
The Bottom Line
It’s expected not every therapy session will contain a life-changing breakthrough, but if you do the work between sessions to stay curious, and are willing to voice when you’re stuck, running out of things to talk about doesn’t have to feel so awkward.
If you’re looking for a non-judgmental space to make sense of things, therapy can definitely help. You can reach out to me here.