A common question clients have for therapists is:
How deep is too deep for my therapist?
While this question comes from a heartfelt place of wanting to take care of another person by not disclosing information that feels traumatizing or painful to hear, it is not a client’s job to take care of their therapist.
We have been trained to sit with people in their most painful and scary places. It is our job to be with you in those moments because chances are, we may be the first person to really actually see and hear you in those dark corners. It is a privilege to be able to hold space for you in order for healing to truly begin.
If you feel as though you need to tell your therapist information that feels big, it may be helpful to let your therapist know how you are feeling about sharing this information.
“What I feel like telling you right now feels (scary, overwhelming, like a lot) and I am worried it may be too deep.”
“I am worried that if I tell you this it will be too hard for you to hear.”
This transparency lets your therapist know where you are in that moment, which will help both of you go slow, and hopefully will make you as a client feel much more comfortable exploring the places that you need some love.
This can also happen in reverse. Sometimes a client may disclose something in therapy that makes them feel as though they went to a place that they were not ready to process. This can cause a ton of emotion to come up. Rather than pretending you are ok, or spiral into a place of worry, the transparency piece again is very helpful.
“I don’t know if I was ready to share that.”
“Saying that out loud has made me feel very (anxious, overwhelmed, all over the place.”
“I am worried that what I just shared wasn’t ok for this room. No one has ever heard that before.”
Again, the goal is to make you as the client feel same and heard. As you therapist, it is my job to help go where you want to go and to help heal the places that are affecting your ability to live the life you want to live.