I get a lot of questions about this topic.
The questions come in the form of : “How do I know if my therapist thinks I’m ever going to get better?” or “Should I tell my therapists things I am ashamed of” or “How do I tell if my therapist is about to tell me to leave?” or “How do I know if my therapist thinks I’m crazy/have a personality disorder/ finds me hard to work with?” or ” My therapist is suggesting I go to another therapist – is it because she doesn’t like me?” or “I think my problems are pathetic and I should just wise up and get over them. Is that what my therapist thinks too? How can I find out?”
Questions in this vein are all about being afraid to talk directly to the therapist about whatever is on your mind. First of all, I want to remind anyone who decides to go to therapy – us therapists are only hired help. But I also understand that when one makes themselves so vulnerable by baring so much to a therapist, while the therapist of course tells very little about themselves, it can be an uncomfortable, often one -down feeling situation. In my opinion it is part of the therapists job to let the client know that they find the client interesting and likable. I can’t open up to a therapist unless I feel accepted and OK. Since it is the young parts of ourselves that are being aired , these young parts don’t have the cover of our adult modes in the world making us all the more vulnerable. Therefor it’s all the more important to know you are liked and accepted; even parts of yourself that you don’t like very much yourself!
My suggestion is to ask tell the therapist whatever you are feeling in this area of being acceptable to the therapist. Then observe how you are responded to. If you get any of the attitude “What’s the matter with you, of course I accept you as my client or I wouldn’t be here working with you.” In other words ” What’s your problem? This must be about your family” you have got a defensive person as your therapist, an uneducated one, or somebody who has very little empathy. None of these traits make a good therapist. You have a right to look elsewhere.
I don’t think much is accomplished in therapy if you can’t talk freely. You should get a warm, positive response, full of reassurance and intelligence when you tell your therapist your feelings. I hope you do.