What To Talk About In Therapy When You Have Nothing To Talk About
You were going about your week from task to task, not thinking or feeling much because you have been busy at work or school. Then all of a sudden, your weekly session comes and you ask yourself, “What do I talk about?” Don’t worry, I got you.
At this point, some clients decide to carry a list on their phone with them from week to week where they jot down things to talk about to bring to therapy. This is a good idea. However, it check with yourself to see if it is a way to control your therapy sessions instead of yielding to awkward silences or going deeper into different topics. Sometimes it’s better not to have a list if you notice that this is happening.
Here’s my top 5 list of things to talk about in therapy when you have nothing to talk about:
- Whatever is on your mind. This is called free association- give yourself permission to say whatever comes to your mind not only at the start of therapy, but throughout your session. You may not think your reaction to the new display in the lobby is important, but it is! Your reactions display an emotional response, which may shine some light on what is going on in your subconscious. All of those random thoughts/feelings are fair game and can be brought up in therapy.
- Talk about the relationship with your therapist. This might be more vulnerable, but if you feel comfortable, you can bring up thoughts you have about your therapist with your therapist. The relationship with your therapist is, by far, the most healing part of therapy. This is so important to bring up. Sometimes the thoughts and feelings that come up in the relationship with your therapist are also feelings you can have about people in other relationships. This is a good place to work through some of those feelings. It could honestly be anything from you don’t like how your therapist dresses to you think your therapist is going to get bored of you. Put it out there and see what happens.
- Give yourself time to think at the beginning of the session. It might feel awkward, but if your therapy session is the first time in your week that you’ve had to think about what you were feeling, give yourself that space. It might take a minute or two to know where to start, but that’s okay! Something will come to mind and you can start there.
- Tell stories. If you feel like you didn’t get enough time to talk about yourself growing up, or people tend to talk over you, therapy is a good time to shine. You are important, and your therapist wants to know more and more about you and what you were feeling at different times in your life. Your therapist can also explore some feelings with you along the way.
- Talk about the important people in your life- people who have influenced you- for good or for bad. We carry in our minds the impressions that were left by different people who influenced us. Sometimes these are ideas and impressions that need to be worked through. It could be a critical boss, a supportive coach, or your favorite family member. How we felt around them matters, and the so-called good ones we can call on when we need their support. If you had a coach who really believed in you, you may need to think about them when studying for a test or preparing a presentation. All good things to talk about in therapy.