Author Stories, Therapy

Do you lie to your therapist?

My guess is if you you have ever been in the chair staring across the room at them with the notepad and pen in hand you have TOTALLY lied to them. Right? RIGHT? Or is it just me?

I’ll be the first to admit it that it usually takes me like 6 sessions before I go all in. The very first appointment it’s usually like a get to know you on the surface level. Hi My name is Amy and I’m having a few issues and thought it’s best to maybe come and talk to someone. I have dogs, I work here and I like doing this stuff. Totally like a dating app bio. Putting your best out there first so your not coming off too crazy right?

The next few sessions I ease into what is going on with me but not the ugly crying on the bathroom floor type stuff. It’s weird how I don’t go all in when it’s clear I’m there for help. They ask how I’m doing. I dance around and say I’m fine just sad or “off”. They dig deeper. I give a little but then it’s time to go:) Success in not having to get to the ugly stuff.

By the time the 6th session is happening I’m a freaking mess and then spill it and it’s not pretty. I’m crying, UGLY crying and they are totally going to have to restock the tissues because I’m USING THEM ALL!!

For me when I was in my abusive relationship we moved every 6 months or so. I would have to sneak around to get to my therapy sessions. During that time I would always have to start over with someone new and the cat and mouse game would start all over. My issue was I was still in protective mode and I wanted to feel better but I was scared to give up too much info for fear I would get him in trouble. Like the secret would get out. I would talk about me being depressed. How I lost interest in things I once loved. Moving all the time was hard. All the things but being abused. I would talk about it without talking about it. I always wondered if they knew or if they were going to let me bring it out on my own in my own time. Did they notice my bruises that I was trying to hide?

When I was finally out of my relationship it still took me that long to finally get comfortable with opening up about the abuse. There were some very ugly things that I knew I had to talk about but even the thought of retelling it made me want to throw up. I think I actually had to get up in the middle of a session once to do just that. YUCK!

So why do we feel we have to lie or sugarcoat to our therapists? Are we scared? Too much pain? Embarrassed? I’m sure it could be all three or at least one of them…so how do we get more comfortable with it all? We are paying big bucks for it after all.

After doing a little research I found Time magazine did a little study and found a whopping 93% of us have lied in our therapy sessions. Most of the reasons why is what I listed above.

Regardless of what your in therapy for most of us may find it weird to have someone attentive to your thoughts and feelings. They listen and don’t interrupt and when they start asking questions our defenses go up and lying seems like a way to protect ourselves.

Here are a few things to remember and help you feel comfortable while talking about uncomfortable things.

1. Remember they are there to help you feel better. You took the first step to call to make the appointment. Ease into it like I have done but you and the therapist will become partners in your recovery so you do your part so they can do theirs.

2. I usually wear comfy clothes to my appointments. I tend to bring my legs under my body and if I’m going to be sitting that way I sure as hell better not be in skinny jeans. The more comfortable you are personally, the more you will be in a comfy headspace to open up.

3. Bring a water bottle. If your a cryer like me you need to stay hydrated. I tend to get wicked headaches when I cry so stay hydrated and maybe have some Advil handy too!

4. Just always remember these guys have heard way more crazy stories that you could ever tell. As sad as that sounds you are doing a hell of a good job just for walking in the door. They are there for you. They know the best ways to maneuver around your issues. It took me a bit to understand I could not fix it on my own. Had to bring in the pinch hitter.

5. Just breathe. Keep an open mind. Speak your truth at the pace your comfortable with and know you are strong and going to come out a bit better than the day before. You got this!!

What’s the biggest lie you told your therapist?

I swear she HAD to know I was full of it but I told mine once that the reason why my eyes are puffy is because I have extreme allergies and it kept me up all night. Ugh so lame. Meanwhile I was on my bathroom floor crying all night but of course the allergy lie felt easier to say.

Any tips you have that makes therapy a bit easier I’d love yo hear them.

Til next time

XOXO,

Amy

Mental Health

Lay down and tell me what’s wrong

Hey all,

By now you have read about my struggles with Anxiety and Depression. I’ll link them here if you wanted to catch up.

Real Talk: Anxiety and Depression Pt. 1

Real Talk: Anxiety and Depression Pt. 2

Today I wanted to talk to you a little bit about therapy options. I do have a little issue with it. Not in the sense that I go and you should too if needed, but I hate the stigma around going. Some people still to this day think its a sign of weakness or shameful and something that should not be talked about. People that say suck it up and it’s not needed. What i am happy with is the push to talk about it openly and that mental health and selfcare is starting to be put first in peoples lives.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll never be the poster child for therapy. I have made first appointments and then cancelled. I have gone to therapist’s one time and after spilling my guts never gone back. I have called crisis 800 numbers but hung up before someone answered. I’m done some of the bigger online therapy apps. Texting someone all my biggest issues seemed less scary at first. I can honestly say I’ve done it all.

The most important thing is to try. Finding the right therapist is key and now with so many different platforms and groups you can totally find the right fit for you.

Let me break down a couple different options for you

In Person Therapy

Sometimes it’s easy easier to talk to someone in person. This is my preferred way. It’s seems more like a conversation and for me a bit easier to get my thoughts out. The main thing is for you to be comfortable in that setting and finding the right one you can open up to. I can tell you I’ve gone through a few that I knew right away it wasn’t going to be a good fit. Just whatever you do don’t feel like you have to stick with them if your not comfortable. They go through it a lot so no need to feel obligated. Check with your health insurance provider first to see what is covered. If you need to find one in your network you can easily search on your plan’s website to find locals near you. Another option is to use the site goodtherapy.org. You can put in your zip code and it will pull up everyone by you. You can also get specific on what type of therapist you would like from family, relationships, anxiety and depression. Do some digging and try and match the best you can and if it doesn’t work out on to the next one.

Online/App

Two of the bigger companies out there are Talkspace and Betterhelp. These online platforms are great for people who get really nervous or are new to therapy. You can send text messages, live chat, video chat or call. It’s a great way to test the waters and see how you feel. While normally in person visits could cost $150-$200 per session online can cost you that per month so it’s a great way to get the help you need if you are on a budget. Both companies have top notch theripists and are backed by many organizations in the health care field. play around on both websites and see what you think about it. This is also a great option for if you have a hard time taking off work for appointments. Texting throughout the day might we way easier for you.

Group Therapy

This one took me a bit to come around too but I actually like it the most now. Something about sitting in a group with people that are going through the same type of struggle you are is somewhat soothing. I’ll fill you in on my backstory in another post but I have going to a domestic violence group for a while now. It’s one thing to have close friends say they understand but these women REALLY understand. You never have to sugarcoat what happened because they lived it too. I found myself watering down what happened when I had to tell my friend for the first time. It was completely weird the first time and it’s EXACTLY like what you see on TV. Hi! My name is Amy and I …Blah Blah blah. But it really has been the best experience. And best of all it is FREE!!!!

Those are kind of the big 3. all very good and all with different price points. I did want to touch on how to pay for therapy if you are having a tough time will the price tag.

When I was free of my abuser I had nothing left to my name. Like 20 dollars at that’s it. But there are things you can do. I just mentioned the group therapy option. These can be run by non profit groups or churches. I found mine through a domestic violence shelter. Google can be your friend to try and find one.

The other option is if you find an in person therapist you like ask them if they can work on a sliding scale. They of course need to be paid for the help they offer but some really do understand the need for therapy and the struggle it can be to pay for it and they can work with you. I think my very first therapist was right out of college and I was living off of Ramen. I paid this saint of a woman 50 bucks each time.

If you are a student check with your student health center. they may offer free or discounted resources. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what they are there for.

The last option could be to check out a few of the federally funded health centers in your area. They also can offer free or low cost mental health options.

If you are overwhelmed and are having a rough patch and just need someone RIGHT NOW..please utilize the 1-800 numbers. They are crisis lines and they are trained to get you the help you need ASAP.

Here are a few I have used in the past and are fantastic.

Someone is available to help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-8255

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio
(888) 628-9454

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Options for Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-7233

Veterans Crisis Line
(800) 273-8255, PRESS 1
Text 838255
Chat online

National Grad Crisis Line
(877) 472-3457

National Sexual Assault Hotline
(800) 656-4673

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
(800) 422-4453

CDC National HIV and AIDS Hotline
(800) 232-4636

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline
(800) 662-4357

If you need help please reach out to any one of these options…Hell reach out to me if you need to. Just remember you are never alone.

XOXO

Amy