Often I have been asked by some clients what is allowed and alright to happen during a session or in other words how freely could someone express himself/herself in front of a psychologist? I always answer that a client should feel free to act and express without hesitation himself/herself because in this way he/she helps a psychologist to understand circumstances and emotions in a better, deeper way. On the other hand freedom without a borderline is something problematic. Someone can be true and honest with his/her psychologist but he/she should always try not to push things out of logical limits. But to be more specific here are some examples of what it is okay to do during a session with your psychologist:
One of the most common and expected facts during a session is crying mainly when a client talks about difficult, painful and traumatic situations. In the end what is more natural than some tears when we recall memories and we talk about secrets, hidden truths and conclusions? However, many people don’t feel comfortable to cry in front of their psychologist regardless of the fact that tears could liberate and help them during next rest session.
We don’t discuss only unpleasant or problematic situations with a mental health specialist. Often a session includes conversation regarding beautiful, positive or even pleasant experiences! You may laugh or maybe your psychologist will laugh. This is also part of the whole procedure: Don’t avoid it, on the contrary try to enjoy it!
When you are asked to describe situations that make you feel anger, tension or disappointment you could easily lose your self-control and speak louder than the usual or even shout. Don’t worry about it. A psychologist completely understands your intensive feelings and his/her job is to help you manage them. By the moment you will feel more calm you could discuss your negative emotions which are related to a difficult situation. Your goal is to find better ways to control/solve your difficulties.
Not talking about a specific subject
This is a permanent, unconditional and non-negotiable right you have. You will talk about various stuff with your psychologist but only for those you wish and you are ready to talk about. Whenever you feel that your psychologist brings up a subject you don’t wish to discuss (at least yet) you could say with no fear and hesitation that at the moment you don’t want to get into this conversation. Probably your psychologist is already aware of the fact that there is always a right moment and some right circumstances to discuss crucial things. So, until the right moment you could discuss other subjects that are important to you.
Wondering if the whole process succeeds
Any time you may feel that communication with your psychologist is not good or not helpful enough. In this case you should speak clearly about that during a session with your psychologist. All the people are not familiar with sessions with psychologists or other mental health professionals so it is expected that they will have questions about the procedure and also the expecting results of it. A psychologist offers services because he/she thinks that can help you. The existence of his/her ability to help should be loud and clear, in other words obvious to you. If it isn’t, have an open discussion with your psychologist. Express your doubt, fear, questions. From the answers you will have you will understand if you should continue having sessions with this specific psychologist.