It’s the day before your scheduled therapy session, and you’ve had a great week! So when you start to think about what you want to talk about in session and you can’t come up with anything, does that mean you should cancel?
In fact, there are a lot of benefits to coming into therapy when you feel like you have nothing to talk about. Believe it or not, those can actually be some of the richest and most productive sessions!
So what are the benefits of coming to therapy with “nothing” to talk about?
When you come to therapy without a planned topic in mind, you give yourself and your therapist an opportunity to get to know you better. While it can be great to think ahead of time of what you’d like to work on with your therapist, sometimes spending too much time planning out what you’d like to talk about can hold you back if you’re too focused on figuring out what the “right” thing to talk about is!
And, sometimes, the topics you plan to talk about aren’t as engaging as you think they’ll be, and that can make you feel like you have to just come up with more related things to talk about to just fill time. Whereas, if you come in with nothing specific on your mind, you get to see where your thoughts go on their own, without any prompting.
Coming in after a good week, rather than one where you feel you need some extra support is also a great way to explore which strategies are working! If you’ve had a good week, then clearly something is going well. Take some time to explore what that is! Remember: tending to your mental health isn’t just about eliminating “bad” things but identifying and cultivating more “good” things in your life.
And of course, participating in your session even when you feel you have nothing to say is a great exercise in slowing down, being comfortable with silence, and not distracting yourself from your thoughts. Many people struggle to sit in silence, finding it rude or uncomfortable, but it’s good to be able to sit quietly with yourself and someone else. Learning to be comfortable and not run from the silence or the thoughts that come up in that silence is a great skill to cultivate in therapy.
Alright, so what should you talk about on those weeks when you have “nothing” to say?
1). Why you have nothing to say:
What went well this week? Was there anything that in the past would have been difficult for you to navigate, that you were able to handle better this week? What allowed you to feel content this week? What brought you joy this week?
2) How you feel therapy is going for you:
Are you happy with the work you’ve been doing and the progress you’ve made? How do you feel before sessions now? Do you feel comfortable broaching new, uncomfortable topics with your therapist? Do you feel comfortable telling them when something they’ve said has upset you or isn’t working for you? Do you struggle to think of things to talk about regularly? Is there anything about the communication style of your therapist that isn’t working for you?
3). Why you wanted to cancel your session:
Was it really because you had “nothing” to talk about or is there an underlying reason? Is there something you know you should talk about, but have been avoiding? What is making wanting to show up for yourself seem difficult or like a chore? Bringing these questions up in therapy can help you and your therapist identify and work on any lingering fears, anxieties, apprehensions, etc. you may have when coming to therapy.
4). Old goals you haven’t revisited in a while:
What are some old goals you set for yourself in therapy? Were you able to meet them? What got in the way? Are those old goals still relevant to you now, or do you need to spend some time exploring your priorities and values now to set new goals?
5). Anything that pops into your mind:
If you don’t have anything to talk about, just start by talking about how your week went. What happened this week? What stuck out to you? What bothered you? What made you happy? Don’t put pressure on yourself to do anything other than share. Chances are it will naturally take your brain in a new direction, and lead you to something you want to explore!
You deserve to have support and care. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.