This article first appeared on The Good Men Project and has been republished with permission.
But what happens when you have nothing to say in therapy?
It could mean a lot of things. Having nothing to say doesn’t mean that your problems have gone for good. Sometimes you’ve been working hard through some issues, and your brain needs a break. So it’s kind of like the feeling when a computer shuts down for a little while. You’re in mental hibernation until you can figure out what the next move is.
Another reason you might not have much to say in therapy is maybe things are going well. You’ve put in a lot of effort into working on your stability and it shows. You don’t have much to complain about, and at the moment life is good.
If that’s the case, it’s worth it to talk about what is happening in your life that’s working. Therapy isn’t always about working through problems and challenges. It’s about acknowledging successes and triumphs.
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Another aspect of this is you might feel pressured to have something to talk about in a session to impress your therapist. Some people feel like if they don’t have anything to talk about their therapist will be disappointed. A good therapist doesn’t mind if you sit there in silence. This is your time and you have the right to say or not say whatever you want.
You might think you’re not working hard enough and that’s why you can’t find anything to talk about. That isn’t necessarily what is happening here.
In fact, you might not know what to talk about in therapy because you are overthinking it.
If you still don’t know what to say, a good therapist will help you figure out what’s going on. They will ask you a series of questions and try to get you to dig deeper and figure out why you’re feeling at a loss for words.
Not knowing what to say in therapy is much like when a writer has writer’s block. It can be creatively frustrating for a writer to want to tell a story but not able to find the words. The same goes for having no idea what to talk about with your therapist. After all, you are probably paying this person a lot of money to help you work through your problems. You better think of something to say.
Even if you feel like you should know what to talk about in counseling or therapy it’s okay if you can’t seem to figure it out. Remember there’s nothing wrong with you if you feel stumped as to what to talk about with your therapist. Maybe a big breakthrough is coming and your brain is processing it. Be patient with yourself and the words will come.