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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Therapy without a clear goal

Topic: Therapy without a clear goal

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. theo-m
    theo-m avatar
    7 posts
    4 December 2019

    I find therapy challenging as I'm not a big talker and I tend to cut myself off from my feelings as much as I can if I have to be emotionally vulnerable. Earlier this year I had some good sessions with a therapist as I was tiptoeing around a possible mental health crisis (I succeeded!!). After we'd passed the crisis I definitely had issues that I wanted to bring up but I found that:

    1. I could barely think about them, let alone verbalise them

    2. They weren't impairing my day-to-day functioning so talking about them wouldn't solve an immediate problem (so in my mind I didn't consider them necessary to talk about)

    I've been able to write some of it down, both the situations and the way that they make me feel, but I don't know that talking about them would help me? As I said, my functioning is fine, and there's no real goal with talking about them apart from having someone know. Hilariously during my last session with my therapist I tried to talk through these thoughts, however, at the time I could barely think about them so it was all a bit of a wash.

    How should I approach bringing up issues that have no goal other than to have someone know about them? Should I even bring up issues that I don't have a goal about? Previously all my therapy has been functioning focussed so I'm kinda lost.

  2. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2547 posts
    5 December 2019 in reply to theo-m

    Hi theo-m,

    Thanks for your post; I'm so glad that therapy helped with your mental health crisis and you succeeded! It's always good to hear when therapy now isn't so much based on functioning.

    This is a good question, and probably a little bit vague because the issues could be anything - but I guess the thing that sticks out at me is that you said "wanted to bring up". So that means there's a part of you that felt this was important to bring to therapy, even if it wasn't impairing your day to day functioning as such.

    I think part of therapy can be bringing things to the table and seeing where they land. I know for me sometimes my therapist might challenge me on something, help me problem solve, or see things differently. Sometimes it will help to get things off my chest - and sometimes, being able to talk about things early helps me bop it on the head so that it doesn't get too intense later. Maybe talking about it and tackling it early could be an option?

    Of course this is something that you can talk to your therapist about;- you can say to them that there are things on your mind that don't quite feel important, or that you don't have clear goals at the moment. Letting them in on how you are feeling about therapy itself can be really helpful.


  3. theo-m
    theo-m avatar
    7 posts
    7 December 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thanks rt!

    What happened was that I reframed some of my childhood (as a result of therapy, a separate health assessment, and a family breakdown). Thinking more and more about it does make me feel a bit more confident to bring it up in therapy, and especially letting them know that it doesn't feel important right now, or that I'm just getting it off my chest? Basically I'm gonna try clear communication! We'll see how it goes :^)


  4. iamanxiety
    iamanxiety avatar
    79 posts
    7 December 2019 in reply to theo-m
    Hi all,

    great post ,it got me thinking. congratulations on overcoming your major issues.

    I think the fact that your thinking about and posting about these other issues means they may be something you need to discuss and work through even if it is as you say ,to just get them off your chest.

    I personally have the problem of feeling ok when I speak to a pcsycoligist even if I was at my lowest just before I can go to the appointment and put on a brave and neglect to bring up the feelings I have just suffered and waste a session.

    writing things down as you feel them is a great way to bring them to the table as you need them.

    I would like to think of your therapy as not having a clear goal but maybe maintenance.

    just my thoughts, hope I made some sense and all the best to you all.
  5. theo-m
    theo-m avatar
    7 posts
    9 December 2019 in reply to iamanxiety


    I've made the appointment, and I have a fair few pages of feelings that I can read out if I can't think up words in the moment. I am worried about avoiding the topic and wasting my therapists time but as I keep on reminding myself, I do have feelings that I wrote down that I can refer to. I'm feeling pretty cut-off emotionally about it, but It'll go how it goes!

    Thanks for your thoughts, hearing from other people is really helpful!

  6. WokingOnIt
    WokingOnIt avatar
    29 posts
    14 February 2020 in reply to theo-m

    Hi theo-m,
    I've just read through your post and was wondering how you were going.

    I completely relate to feeling like you have a clear goal for conversations in therapy, and also in feeling disconnected from your emotions and unable to speak clearly about them while actually in session.

    I have a specific therapy book/journal that my therapist gave me for this reason. i write things down as I think/feel them in between sessions, and he reads the book at the beginning of each session (unless I want to do something differently). Quite often (usually) by the time the sessions rolls around and I have my 'public face' on, I don't feel that way anymore, consciously - so it is really helpful to have the truth about it written down. There is no way I would be able to explain things adequately in session with only verbal communication.

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