How Do You Open Up to Your Therapist?

If you’ve chosen to see a therapist about your addiction, then you’ve already taken a significant first step towards recovery. That being said, the idea of opening up to a therapist can be nerve-wracking no matter who you are. Men especially seem to have a hard time expressing their emotions to others. While you shouldn’t feel pressured to discuss anything you aren’t comfortable with, it is essential to know that talking about your feelings and past trauma is beneficial for addiction recovery. Therapy has also been proven to aid in the recovery of mental illnesses, including depression, PTSD, and anxiety. Therapists are there to listen and not judge, no matter what circumstances you are going through. 

What Happens During a Therapy Session?

If you’ve never been to therapy before, then you may be wondering what happens during a typical session. What happens is subjective and can vary based on several factors, including your specific needs and your therapist’s chosen methods. However, in most sessions, the patient is welcome to sit on a comfortable chair or couch and talk about whatever they want. If the patient is having trouble opening up, then a therapist will usually guide them along. A therapy session mostly offers you time to talk about the things you don’t feel like you can talk about with anyone else. 

Preparing for Your Session

While therapy sessions can often end up going to places you didn’t expect, there are ways that you can prepare. For example, if you had something significant happen in your life between therapy sessions, you may want to write it down so that you don’t forget to bring it up. Some people feel that they get more out of therapy if they already know what they want to talk about beforehand.

Some people prefer to start slow with their therapy sessions, discuss smaller problems first, and then work up to discussing larger issues. Doing this may make you feel more comfortable about opening up. Some people find it more beneficial to wait and see what comes up while talking to their therapist. There is no “one way” to do therapy, which is why it works for so many people. 

Being Honest

There is little point in seeing a therapist if you aren’t willing, to be honest. If you have had a hard time recently, then tell your therapist. That is what they are there for. A therapist will help you work through your feelings about certain situations. They will also help you better understand why you have reactions to certain situations.

The only person you are harming when you are not honest during therapy is yourself. Honesty can open the door for your therapist to trying different approaches to treatment and expand your healing. 

Have Realistic Expectations

You can’t expect to be completely “cured” after your first therapy session. For some people, therapy is just one tool in their uphill battle towards recovery. For others, having periodic therapy is maintenance to keep their mental health in check. No matter your reasons for entering therapy, try to have a goal in mind and acknowledge that reaching that goal may take time. Therapy will require work that you must be willing to do. While a therapist can help guide conversation, they cannot do the healing work for you. It is up to you whether or not therapy will work. 

Your Therapist is There to Help

If you are having trouble finding the right words to say, let your therapist guide you. A therapist is a professional confidant who can’t share anything you talk about during therapy with anyone else unless you are suicidal or are thinking of harming someone. They are the person you know you can speak to free from judgment. 

Finding the Right Therapist

Not everyone finds the perfect therapist for their needs right off the bat. Be sure to do your research about therapists in your area. Decide which one you would feel most comfortable opening up to, then schedule a session.

If you’ve had several sessions with a therapist and realized you aren’t as comfortable as you thought you’d be, then consider finding a different therapist. Your comfort is crucial during therapy sessions. If you think you’ll be comfortable with a different therapist, there’s nothing wrong with finding someone new.

The important thing is that you stay in therapy if you need it. Almost anyone can benefit from seeing a therapist every once-in-a-while. 


Therapy can be a great tool when combating addiction or other mental illnesses, though you might be nervous about going into your first session. There are many ways one can prepare for a therapy session, but it is essential to remember that you can talk about anything with your therapist and not worry about being judged. Therapists are there to listen and help you improve. At Choice House, we have a team of professional therapists who know how to properly support those going through addiction. We provide comfortable settings for our guests to reduce any nervousness about therapy sessions. In addition to one-on-one therapy sessions, we also offer group therapy, outdoor therapy, art therapy, and much more. There is a multitude of things you can get out of treatment when you choose Choice House. We work hard to ensure our guests recover in the best way and avoid relapse upon leaving treatment. Get started today by calling Choice House at (720) 577-4422.

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