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Aibu to ask about crying in therapy?

(78 Posts)
Onlyonce Wed 01-Jun-16 22:20:32

I am interested in different views and experiences on this as I don't have anyone in RL to talk to. I'm seeing a counsellor for a few things. Self esteem and family related in the main. Last week she said something about me being very controlled and pointed out I have never cried in front of her. To be honest I might feel better if I did! I get on well with her but I usually try not to cry when I see her. Between sessions can be hard, normally feel worse before I feel better but I think that's quite normal and part of the process. Is it just me? I might be holding back a bit with her which is maybe counter productive. I have been thinking of not going back but not sure

Glovebug Wed 01-Jun-16 22:22:08

I hate crying in front of people and have always tried not to in counselling sessions but it feels so much better when you just let it all out x

KatyN Wed 01-Jun-16 22:25:32

I always cry in my sessions but I am a big crier and would cry in front of anyone.
I find the day of the session normally quite hard as we have talked through stuff that is forefront in my mind...

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 01-Jun-16 22:27:40

I bawled my eyes out non stop for the first three therapy sessions. I rarely cry in front of people,clearly I needed to!!

Onlyonce Wed 01-Jun-16 22:32:17

I just end up trying really hard not to cry, then I feel awful afterwards. I don't know if it's right for me. My counsellor is incredible but I just feel l shouldn't be taking up her time any more

BeALert Wed 01-Jun-16 22:48:51

What do you think will happen if you cry?

pinkdelight Wed 01-Jun-16 22:54:00

Don't hold back. Tell her. Even if you just say that you're holding back. Let her in and let it all out. I wasn't expecting to as also hadn't cried for years and felt like I was wasting her time but in the second session I ended up sobbing like a child and it was a real breakthrough. I know that sounds wanky but she won't judge you so don't project. Go back and try to be honest. Then the bits in between will get better.

Tartsamazeballs Wed 01-Jun-16 23:17:39

I didn't cry in therapy. I didn't need to- everyone is different, don't sweat it smile

lalalalyra Wed 01-Jun-16 23:30:55

I think you just have to go with however you feel. If you try and force anything (crying or not crying) then it'll be counterproductive and hold you back. Some weeks I cry almost non-stop and other weeks I don't, some weeks I wish I hadn't cried and some weeks I'm really glad I did.

MountainDweller Wed 01-Jun-16 23:34:34

I cry a lot in therapy. I wouldn't hold back! And definitely don't feel bad about taking up her time - it's what she's there for!

I do sometimes feel worse afterwards, more so if I have been holding back the tears (although that's unusual for me). As you say it can bring a lot of things to the surface.

I hope the therapy is helping overall.

Onlyonce Thu 02-Jun-16 06:44:06

What do I think will happen? I guess either that she will think I shouldn't be crying over the things I am talking about or that it will be too much for me to cope with, or possibly both!

branofthemist Thu 02-Jun-16 06:58:50

I think the fact that you are trying your best not to, is the thing here. If you just didn't feel like crying, no need to force yourself. But you obviously do feel like crying.

It's nothing she hasn't seen before. Remember that helping people is her job.

flowers for you.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Thu 02-Jun-16 07:02:41

I cried a lot in therapy too. When I apologised and tried to stop, my therapist simply asked why I thought she had such a big box of tissues on her desk.

echt Thu 02-Jun-16 07:07:54

Not sure if this counts as therapy, but I cried at the dental hygienist's yesterday. Not at the pain or the bill, but because of related dental shite ( pain and bill) She was very sweet and kept telling me how lovely my teeth were (which they're not, so I cried more because I hate being atta-boyed.)

I am so hard to please. grin

Back to the OP, I'd have been pissed off to be told I am controlled by not crying, even though it might be true, so what? You can only be what you are.

Energumene Thu 02-Jun-16 07:09:27

The thing about crying is that sometimes you know why you're doing it. Sometimes you don't. And sometimes you think you're crying about one thing when in fact it's something else entirely you didn't know how to address that then can find an outlet. That can be especially true of difficult or unpalatable issues and feelings.

Do what feels natural. There's no point in holding back, because you won't get the full benefit of your sessions. I suspect she's only mentioned it because she can see that you're holding back and wants you to think about why that is, because it might help you in future sessions, whether you cry or not. But being very controlled can be counter-productive: it might help you function in the outside world and hold down a job etc, but you need to be able to switch that off sometimes.

I've had some sessions which have been filled with dark humour and laughter, others where I've gone through half a box of tissues. I've had equal benefit from both, it just depends what comes up on the day. Try to go with the flow. The therapy room should be a safe place, so crying in there won't come back to bite you, and nobody will think worse of you for doing so.

TowerRose Thu 02-Jun-16 07:16:48

I'm a trainee counsellor and I don't judge clients on whether they cry or not. I think maybe they're just trying to give you the confidence to react in a way that's natural to you and also to show you that it's okay and not shameful to be upset.

greengreenten Thu 02-Jun-16 07:43:01

My therapist was really happy when I turned up in tears to my session as that was what she called the 'break through' moment. I blurted out everything I felt awful about and we dealt with it ALL. It was great and I felt renewed.

Do what you feel is right for you. smile

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Thu 02-Jun-16 07:47:46

She will most definitely not think you should not be crying.

I might be beneficial to her to see what triggers the crying so she work with it.

If you want to cry, then do. However, if you don't then don't. Just don't force yourself not to.

Onlyonce Thu 02-Jun-16 10:51:57

Thank you all for being so helpful and supportive

We just got on to the topic as she had forgotten to bring tissues at this particular session (she normally always has them) and commented that crying was an important part of her work. Which of course I do understand.

I have to keep a check on my emotions at home as DP cannot deal with them at all and can be quite dismissive. She says there has to be an outlet somewhere which again makes sense.

I just find it all gruelling some times and can end up feeling really numb for a few days afterwards, which makes just doing normal stuff feel like a massive effort when it shouldn't be.

I am seeing her privately so not a limited number of sessions as such. No idea how long to keep going. She doesn't pressure either way.

Numberoneisgone Thu 02-Jun-16 10:55:46

Therapy often involves laying bare the emotions that come up while you are there. If during therapy you are very upset talking about something and your normal response to that level of upset when alone would be to cry, then it is holding back if you don't. But maybe you do not express your upset through crying. I tend to express anger and frustration through crying and joy and sorrow needless to say I cried a lot during therapy.

FrenchJunebug Thu 02-Jun-16 11:01:13

you should explain all this to her. Your therapy session should be a safe place where you can cry without worrying about being judge. I find crying really cathartic.

notquitegrownup2 Thu 02-Jun-16 11:03:07

It is totally normal to feel worse after counselling before you feel better. You are bringing stuff to the surface which we normally keep locked away, for a good reason - because it would make us feel worse. It sounds to me as if your counsellor is doing a good job - she's letting you get stuff out, asking questions which are making you think, and giving you space to explore them - you can't deal with everything in an hour a week, so it's good if she is leaving you with things to mull over. As long as you feel you are starting to make progress, after a couple of months, knowing yourself better, starting to find new ways of dealing with stuff that was holding you back, it sounds as if you are getting something out of it.

If you feel that you are going in circles, going back over old ground and not making any progress, then that is a good sign that you might have exhausted the possibilities of your counselling.

Oh and to answer your initial question - crying is fine if you feel you need to.

Squarepegina Thu 02-Jun-16 11:28:53

Yep completely normal to feel worse before better after you've dredged stuff up in a counselling session. Counselling is hard work.

I'm a counsellor and some clients cry and some don't. Crying isn't a mark of successful therapy. It's your space to do with what you feel might be most useful to you.

But as with all things that bother you about your session it's useful to raise them with your counsellor. You could talk about your not crying and see where that takes you...if you'd like, and maybe explore your uncertainty about continuing.

It is hard work but it's usually worth it.

fascicle Thu 02-Jun-16 11:36:31

If you want to cry, then do. However, if you don't then don't. Just don't force yourself not to.

Oh and to answer your initial question - crying is fine if you feel you need to.

Sensible comments, as is Squarepeg's advice above. Feel free to cry, but don't feel that crying is a requirement or some sort of benchmark.

Janecc Thu 02-Jun-16 11:36:34

My counsellor is incredible but I just feel I shouldn't be taking up her time anymore.

That sentence broke my heart OnlyOnce. You are so worth it, every moment. Sometime in the future you'll have the confidence in yourself to let her see the whole, unadulterated you, that's when you'll realise what a great person you are. She's there to help and she sounds like an awesome person too. All you need to do is place trust in yourself and her to guide you. Even if you become a blabbering wreck, it doesn't matter, the most important thing is to follow your instinct. That's what you're there for. To heal.

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