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  • Matt McTeague

Tips for Opening Up and Feeling Safe During Counseling Sessions

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Therapy isn’t easy. It takes a lot to admit that you are dealing with problems and even more to summon the courage to get started with counseling.

It can also be hard for you to open up to the counselor and feel safe during sessions. For counseling sessions to yield the best results, you must be able to open up and feel comfortable enough to talk about your issues. In this article, you’ll learn some tips for this.

Talk about behaviors and patterns

It’s helpful to keep journals and note certain important things between counseling sessions. You don't need to bring the journals along with you to read out at each session.

However, tracking your behaviors, patterns and thought responses to different feelings after each session can be an easy way to really open up to your counselor when these sessions begin.

For example, your journal notes could indicate feelings of insecurity or inadequacies. Once you identify these trends, you can start discussing them with your counselor.

Avoid self-criticism

It can be hard to open up to your counselor when your feelings of insecurity extend to self-criticism and fear. For instance, if your counselor gives you some homework or task, you shouldn’t feel guilty about not being able to do it for some reason.

Allowing yourself to feel guilty and criticizing your ability to get the assignment done can make you feel unsafe with the expert, as you’ll avoid important questions or resort to lying. You should never forget, first and foremost, that the counselor is not your teacher. So, you don't need to strive to impress or criticize yourself if you couldn't complete a specific task. Instead, talk about the reason why you couldn't get it done. Sometimes, the reasons for this could be more important than you imagined and could prove a great benefit from your counseling sessions.

Don’t apologize for your emotions

Counseling sessions are a safe space for you, and you must understand this to benefit from it. Feeling sorry or embarrassed about emotions can stop you from fully opening up to your counselor during sessions and make therapy unproductive. It’s alright to express these emotions at any time, and the expert will guide you to a better place as a result.

Choose the most convenient time for a session

This is especially helpful if you have mood swings from time to time. Arriving at a counseling session in the wrong mind frame can make you feel unsafe and unable to open up to the expert properly.

For the best results, ensure to choose an optimal time and date for your counseling session, preferably a time when you’re calm and less worried about happenings in your daily life. Only then will you be relaxed enough to open up and make the best of the counseling opportunity.

As an experienced therapist and counselor, I am dedicated to helping you get help and gain back control of your life. Get help now.


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