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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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I don't know. - September 22nd 2014, 04:29 PM

I don't really know much of what I am asking here, sooo sorry.

As soon as I started school, I made an appointment at our counselling center. My counselor is a graduate student. Let's call her L any time I have to reference her, okay?

I don't think I'm getting my point across well enough with L. She's really nice, don't get me wrong, but there are a lot of awkward silences because she always asks me what I want to focus on and honestly, I don't know. I don't know what to suggest on how she can help me, so the sessions just kind of drag on more than anything.

Plus, I've noticed that when I'm not upset/stressed/etc, it makes it hard to find anything I want to talk or focus on, because on my good days, I don't WANT to talk. If something brilliant happened I'll want to talk about it, but on the days when I'm just generally feeling decent, I don't have anything I want to say and don't know what I want to do with the session. Like today, I felt pretty decent so it turned into me rambling about things that don't matter.

But, that's the thing. Sure I'm not stressed right now, and I have good days. Hell, sometimes I can have a lot of good days in a row. But the good days don't last forever and I know they don't (generally they last no more than a few days to a week), and then the bad days come fast and hard and I'm left to pick up the pieces once more.

But I'm scared I'm not getting that point across to L. I withdrew from my stats class, which was at that time my top source of stress and anxiety. So I'm scared that now that I'm feeling fine and nothing else is really going on in my life, she'll think all my problems are solved and I have nothing to worry about. But I know that's not the case. I know I'll start feeling bad again, because it always happens. And I'll start feeling anxious and depressed and low again, and I'll start to want to cut again.

With my current lack of stress and the fact that I never know what to do or where to guide things or what I want her to work with me on, I'm scared L will think there's nothing wrong. But I know there is. There's a lot wrong. And I don't know how to get that across or how to figure out what exactly she should work with me on.

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Re: I don't know. - September 22nd 2014, 04:37 PM

I had the same problem when I was sent to my phyc, often I didn't know how to explain what was wrong so the sessions where led by him, and after a while he thought I was just an attention seeker and stopped contacting me, since he did that I've tried to commit suicide and started cutting again, see what happens if you don’t get across what’s wrong? It's not likely, but it's possible that she may ignore you if she thinks your OK, you need to make the most of your sessions, explain the ways your mood changes, explain the things that set you off, what keep you low, things that make you anxious, the things your thinking, just talk through everything because every detail is important.

Hope that helped but I feel it may have been more rambling uselessness than anything.

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Post Re: I don't know. - September 22nd 2014, 06:21 PM

I understand what you are going through as I have also not known what to talk about with my therapist and I feared that she would think I have no problems when in fact I had/have a ton problems. I stopped going to my therapist because I felt as though that she would think that I was not "full of problems" to even need a therapist. I think that you should think of topics maybe before you go in to see L, so that you could maybe talk about those. Like probably making a list of your top worries or things that bring you the most anxiety. If that doesn't work you could maybe talk about the fear that you have about starting to relapse into your depression and self harming. You could also tell L. about your worries that you think they might think you are just fine and don't need to see anyone. If all this doesn't go how you would like to go, you can always talk to me if you need to just PM. me if you need to. I really hope that you can find some way to open up to L. Good Luck

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Re: I don't know. - September 22nd 2014, 07:48 PM

Could help if you tried to build up some confidence to express this to her, its nice to know that you can reach out to us to help to solve it with you with out you feeling scared. I can feel from you that you find a lot easier to voice what goes on in your head into words when you are writing, why don't you try to write her a letter explaining what is going on. Then she could help you more, she is there for you but she can't help if she doesn't know what is going on.

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Re: I don't know. - September 22nd 2014, 08:54 PM

I know exactly what you mean about the goals thing! I had the same issue when I went to my schools counseling center. I don't really have that much to suggest but I would just straight up tell her that you don't know what to talk about on days you feel okay but that you know you're going to get bad again.

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Re: I don't know. - September 22nd 2014, 09:43 PM

I think you should tell her what you just told us. I know it can be a drag going to therapy on days when you feel fine, but those can be the days you're really able to look at your problems since you're not stuck in them at the moment. A lot of times I know it can be a buzzkill to talk about the bad things when you're actually feeling okay at the moment, but other times it can be helpful to think of solutions and coping strategies when you're in a better mental space.

Since your counsellor is a grad student, she's not as experienced at guiding the conversation. I've been in a group led by grad students and there were SO MANY awkward silences when no one knew what to talk about. But my individual therapist is more experienced and we always find something to talk about. Even when I go in and she asks me what I want to talk about and I have no clue, we somehow end up finding something to talk about for the rest of the session. I'm just telling you this to let you know that not all counselors are like L. More experienced ones can guide the conversation and ask the right questions to lead the conversation. It's not anything that you're doing wrong in therapy, it's that your therapist doesn't have very much experience. (Also, I've noticed that it's gotten easier to find stuff to talk about as I've formed a more long-term relationship with my therapist. In the beginning, I felt like I was just rambling a lot of the time, but now she knows me better and can usually steer the coversation in the right direction.)

That being said, I think you should try to use the days you feel okay to make a list of coping strategies or to really analyze your problems in ways that you can't when you're feeling down.
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