How to broach a difficult subject with your therapist
Here are some tips that work very well! Also, my favorite tips are to:
- email them beforehand that I would like to bring up (x subject). Email feels more removed and safer to me, and this way the pressure is off me to bring it up. I can also include in the email how I feel about talking about it, and ask the therapist to be accommodating.
Example: “Hi, I want to talk about my concerns RE: eating/body image next session but I don’t quite feel comfortable talking about it. I think it would be easier if you asked more of the questions/simpler questions so there was less pressure to talk about it. Is that okay?” or “I think I need to talk about my eating issues next session. There’s a few things I’m sensitive about. Please go slowly when you ask questions just in case something comes up that gets overwhelming. Thanks.”
- write it down on a notecard, in bullet points or with short sentences you can read right off the card. Even if you freeze up during the appointment, you can just hand them the card.
- remember that you can go as slow as you need to. Sometimes it’s helpful to have the first half or even a whole session dedicated to just talking around the issue. Example: “I need to talk about something, but I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about it yet.” A good therapist will meet you where you are and work with your feelings around bringing it up, and then when you feel ready to actually name/talk about it can just go right ahead.