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A few tips please

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Hi all,

I am finding it difficult to open up to my therapist (cbt). We are at about session 8. I keep giving short answers and not expanding on subjects or avoiding certain topics altogether. I know it is a part of avpd to be reticent.

There is one delicate subject I want to bring up, about my relationship with my husband, but am too embarrased. The Therapist seems to have picked up on the fact that there is tension with my husband, and has created openings for me, i.e. mentioning my husband. I just avoid the issue altogether.

I don't feel able to write it down either. The Therapist did say at my last session that due to the disorder I had trust issues. I really, really want to engage with him, I do trust him and believe he is a good Therapist.

Any tips on how to get over this I would be most grateful.:)

Edited by goose
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I don't know if this will be helpful, but try it on ...

I was writing a song many years ago when I did that sort of thing. I was trying to describe how I felt about something, and the words just were not coming out. And then it hit me that the words I wanted were exactly "describe how you feel".

If you can't talk about the issue itself, due to embarrassment, can you talk about embarrassment itself? Don't bother with the reason for why you feel embarrassed. Maybe just talk about that you feel embarrassed. Don't shoot for where you want to get to - try just describing where you are.


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Good morning Goose,

Mark offers an excellent approach!

There is another way also and in CBT it is often used. I'll often quip to a client who is unable to discuss an issue: "I'm much less interested in how you got here and more in where you want to go from here?" Next I may ask: "If the problem you're struggling with was solved to your satisfaction, today, what would it look like? What would be different?"

Essentially, solving an issue doesn't always require that one understand and/or know where a problem comes from. The goal becomes one of understanding what you want to be different, what you want to achieve and less on what problem brings you to therapy. Once we know were you want to go, we begin to develop strategies to get you there, and all w/o delving into what led you to where you are (thus circumventing the digging up of old hurt stories and painful experiences while offering hope thru solutions that work and are based on where the client is and wants to be). This has been highly effective with couples and families and has good research to back up its' effectiveness.

Read up on "Solution Focused Therapy" to get a better idea.

Good luck and keep us posted.


Edited by David O
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Thank you Mark and David,

I am really pleased with your posts. You both have given me a way forward with this and I now know how I can approach this. I am heading for my session in an hours time and am feeling quite confident about it.:)

Thanks again


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Hi Goose,

Thanks for posting this question as the responses have also helped me.:) I to have had difficulty opening up in therapy. It frustrates me to the point where I scream at myself (in my head) and end up shutting down communication altogether and withdraw.

I am about to start with a new therapist after a 7 month break.:eek: I am so worried that I will end up avoiding the issues or minimize the issues and basically waste the therapists time. So I will try and focus on some of the tips Mark and David have suggested.

Nice to meet you goose. :o


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:) Hi Confused12,

Well I'm just back from my session, and I can say it was easily the best one I've had.

Not being under pressure to discuss the events leading to my low mood but rather the negative thoughts and feelings I'm having as a result has opened the door for me. I was much more relaxed with the Therapist today.

Wishing you all the very best in your up coming Therapy.


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