Starting therapy can be overwhelming enough, but coming up with topics to talk about in therapy can be even harder. If you want to get the most out of your therapy conversations, this list of topics can help. The biggest reason that patients struggle to start therapy is because they feel uncomfortable talking about trauma. While therapy is the place to work through your trauma, there are other “safe” topics you can discuss with your therapist during sessions.
1- Your Feelings About Coming To Therapy
If you are first starting in therapy, starting with the why can be a great way to get the ball rolling. Your therapist will often ask you why you thought coming to therapy was necessary or what goals you are wanting to accomplish while having therapy sessions.
Some people may want to share their fears about coming to therapy, what they expect to do in each session, or how they want a therapist to approach certain triggering topics. This can be a great way for a therapist to get to know you and devise a plan of action for future sessions.
2- Update On Current Relationships
Navigating platonic or romantic relationships can be difficult when you are dealing with mental illness or past relationship trauma. Navigating relationships requires developing good communication skills which you can learn with your therapist. Talking to your therapist about all your relationships, healthy or unhealthy can help you understand how they affect your mental well-being.
3- Childhood Experiences
The experiences we have in our childhood can affect us for years into adulthood. Sometimes without us even realizing it. Even if your childhood wasn’t traumatic, other instances like family loss, financial struggles, or an absent parent could affect your mental health.
Diving into childhood trauma during therapy can be difficult, but a lot of your current issues could be stemming from past trauma. Throughout therapy sessions, you can work with your therapist to work slowly through your childhood experiences.
4- Life Changes Or Challenges
Some may assume that you can only talk about past experiences during therapy, but talking about your current life situations is something you can always talk about in therapy. Your current job, current relationship highs and lows, and even small annoyances can be beneficial for your therapist to hear about.
5- Life Goals Or Short-Term Goals
As you move through different seasons of your life, your goals will change. If you are meeting with a therapist once a week, you may not feel the need to discuss your goals during every therapy session. However, if you are working towards a big goal giving an update to your therapist may help them suggest different ideas or techniques to help you.
6- What You Have Learned From Past Struggles
Therapy is all about growing and learning. If you are struggling with what to talk about in therapy, try talking about what you have learned from a past struggle. Your therapist may also be able to use this information to help show you that you can use what you learned to overcome a current problem.
7- Patterns You Are Noticing
Humans are creatures of habit, but not all of our habits and routines are healthy. If you have an addiction, bad financial coping habits, or anger control issues, noticing these patterns are common topic discussed in therapy. A therapist can give tools on how to notice patterns in your life and avoid the damaging effects of them. If you are looking for topics to talk about in therapy, talking about your routine may be the best way to get to the bottom of your issues.
8- Little Things That Make You Happy Lately
Not all of the topics you need to talk about in therapy need to be about mental struggles or past challenges. Little things that have made you smile or boosted your mood are good things to share with your therapist. This can also be a good time to see what habits could lead to bad patterns or what activities are healthy for you.
Not all your therapy topics need to be about challenges. When your life is going well or you are not focused on your mental challenges, sharing happy things with your therapist allows them to celebrate you!
9- Thoughts You Never Share With Anyone
The difference between ranting to your best friend and talking to your therapist is that your therapist is required to protect your privacy. Everything you share with your therapist is confidential, which gives you the freedom to talk about thoughts you would never share with anyone else.
If you are scared of some of your mental processes or are feeling things you are not wanting to feel, working with a therapist can help reroute your thoughts and create new pathways in your brain.
10- What Scares You About Therapy
It is completely normal to feel nervous about attending therapy sessions. Sharing your fears or reasons you waited to start therapy can help your therapist dispel some of your fears. Therapists hear many people talk about their anxious thoughts about therapy and can help provide clarification on how therapy works and limit anxious thoughts.