Many people show up to therapy, armed with life’s quirks, insecurities, and enough emotional baggage to make an airport security scanner blush. Sadly, they often harbor some hope that their new therapist is a mind-reading wizard, donning a mystical cloak and brandishing a crystal ball. While I think we can all certainly agree that would be splendid – it ain’t gonna happen! ????

So buckle-up as we demystify the therapeutic process!

9 Therapy ‘secrets’ you really should know

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1. Therapists Aren’t Mind-Readers

You know how you expect your therapist to just “get” you? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but they’re not psychic mind-readers. If you don’t open up, they can’t magically pluck your deepest secrets from thin air. Holding back or telling half-truths in therapy (like, “I only drink once or twice a month” or

2. Therapists Have Therapists

Yep, even therapists need a dose of their own medicine. They have their own therapists to deal with life’s messy curveballs. It’s like a secret therapy club you never knew existed!

3. The path isn’t always clear

Therapy isn’t a straight line to enlightenment. It’s more like a rollercoaster with ups, downs, and twists and turns. Don’t be surprised if you leave a session feeling on top of the world, only to face-plant into your issues the next day.

4. Therapists aren’t magic 8 balls

Contrary to popular belief, therapists don’t have the magic answer to all of life’s mysteries. They can guide you, but the “a-ha” moments often (and should) come from your own revelations.

5. Silence is Golden

Awkward silences in therapy? They’re not a mistake; they’re a feature. And the benefit of this feature is to give you a chance to let your thoughts marinate and figure out what’s going on upstairs. It’s way more effective when you come to these conclusions on your own.

6. Judgment-Free Zone

Your therapist isn’t silently grading your life choices (hopefully ????)!

They should provide a safe, non-judgmental space where you can dump out your emotional baggage without disapproving glares or the like. However, if you do feel like you’re receiving disapproving glares or other judgmental cues – hit the road because you’ve stumbled upon a terrible therapist!

7. Boundaries are for real

Therapists aren’t your new BFFs. They have professional boundaries to keep the therapeutic relationship healthy – for your benefit. So, no, they won’t invite you to their weekend BBQ and you shouldn’t invite them to yours either.

8. Homework is Not Optional

If your therapist assigns homework, it’s not because they’re trying to be sadistic. It’s to make ensure you’re practicing what you’ve learned outside of the therapy room. Ya know, so you’re not wasting your time and money. ????

9. Therapists Can Be Wrong

Shocking, right? Hey, guess what? We’re human too, and we can misinterpret or misjudge things. If you ever feel like your therapist missed the memo on your emotional rollercoaster, don’t hesitate to set the record straight. Believe it or not, we prefer that!

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If this is they way your therapist is looking at you, there’s a good chance they’ve got some dark secrets! ????

Therapy is like a treasure hunt, where your therapist might hold the map but won’t always reveal all the hidden chests of wisdom along the way. It’s a bit like searching for a missing sock in the laundry – you know it’s there somewhere, but you might need a little patience to find it. So, as you wander through the mysterious corridors of therapy, know that your therapist is by your side, even if they occasionally keep a few quirky moves in their back pocket.

Life is short and hopefully your therapy experience is too. Find an awesome therapist you like and trust to help you navigate life’s challenges. Just don’t expect them to do all the heavy lifting.

James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in Greater New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.