What to Talk About in Therapy: How to Get the Best Results - Part Four
TRIGGER WARNING – Sex
I am not an expert as a Psychiatrist, Doctor, or Therapist. I am an expert on real-life experiences of having mental illness due to childhood trauma regarding mental, physical, and sexual abuse.
I feel confident talking about this subject of therapy because I have been a patient for many years.
As always, if you are in crisis or need additional help, please get medical attention immediately.
There is some online therapist that you can talk to as well. I found this by Googling “Online therapy.” This is an article about online therapy. There are a lot of ads at the top of the screen, scroll way down, and there is an article with information.
Recap of the series
Here we are with the fourth part in this series of six parts on what to talk about in therapy. I have so much to say about this! The more information you share with your Therapist, the better they can help you.
I had an article about what to ask your Therapist on the first session. Be Ahead Of The Game With These Superior Questions To Ask A Therapist.
The next logical step after that article is what you would want to discuss once you start. Some information you might not share right away or you may skim over in the beginning, but as you go on, you need to share more with your Therapist. Know the more you put into therapy, the more you will get out.
Here is the information on those three articles
- Your Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Family History
- Medical Conditions
- Religious Beliefs
- Political views
- Things you want to work on
- Addictions and Bad Habits
- Substance Use History
- Attitudes about Medication
- Your Childhood
- Your parents and other caregivers
- Relationship History
This part is about
- Sexual History
- Whom you love (or hate)
When researching for this series, I came across many topics about what you should talk about in therapy. Each thing is equally important, some more so to other people.
Following my series, you will see that I used my real-life experiences as examples for many of these topics. Sometimes it is hard for me to share such personal information.
I feel that it is valuable to my readers to see where I come from but also to know they are not alone. You are at home here if you are fighting the mental health battle or have been abused. My family and friends that support me, you are at home here.
Being Triggered in Therapy
I have not been well this week with my mental health since writing the last section of this series. I feel that I was really triggered into a hard time. I think it is important to share that too.
When you are in therapy, bringing up past trauma will probably trigger you to feel anxious or upset. It is a perfectly natural thing to happen when you remember something that hurt you. Share with your Therapist that you feel triggered. They can help you with additional coping skills or just be there to listen while you calm down.
Why I am writing this blog and this series
I am on my 7th Therapist from 2006. That is so much repeating the same stuff over and over! Rehashing horrible memories and failures. I hate telling these things time and again.
To you, my reader, it’s different because I want to share my life with you. I know so many people just like me who are alone, tired, and just want to know that someone has felt like they feel. They want someone to notice them and care that they have been through the valley of the shadow of death, and they did FEAR!
I want to be the 1st words that you pull up online when you type “childhood sexual abuse survivor story” into Google. Not because I want to be famous… I love you, and I am reaching out to my fellow survivors. I care about what happened to you. I care about what you are feeling about mental illness.
I was scared when I started researching “What is bipolar?” I was so afraid the first time I sat on some lumpy couch in an equally lumpy office space to talk to a therapist.
It is scary enough to say things out loud and make them seem even more accurate than not knowing what to talk about or what they need to know.
I venture off-topic. I feel those things needed to be said. I hope that I have helped you.
Let’s look at Sexual History now. Your Therapist is looking for not WHO you have had sex with. She doesn’t want names or details. To some people, this is a very uncomfortable topic.
Sometimes with mental illness, people have hypersexuality or risky behaviors. You might have had one-night stands that you would rather forget about or had multiple partners at once.
You may also have an aversion to sex. Someone who has been hurt in the way I was might not want to have sex at all. That is nothing to be ashamed of, either.
On the other hand, a person’s sexuality might be significant if they are gay, for example. Being that they are gay shapes that person’s lifestyle, so I would think they would want to bring that up and how it affects their relationships with family, friends, and partners.
For my personal examples, as much as I want to leave this out. It would not be fair because I have used my life in all the other areas.
I have had boyfriends and just friends before I was married to my true love, James. I have always had a hang-up about sex because I feel incredibly triggered if I am not touched the way I am comfortable. I did not remember my abuse until after I was married.
When I was pre-married and having sex, I was not always happy about it and thought I might just not like that person or didn’t want to have sex. Other times I was hypersexual if I was very comfortable with that particular person. I would say that my sex life has not been perfect before I was married.
James is the most loving and caring person I have ever been around, and I knew immediately that I was safe with him. He never pushed me into anything, especially after I remembered my trauma. He is the most incredible husband!
OK, that was a lot of sharing! Wheeew!
Whom You Love (or Hate)
I can really write a book on this topic. I will try to keep it to a minimum. I believe your Therapist is looking for your intense relationships, and finding things in common with those relationships might show more of who you are.
I LOVE my family, who lives in my apartment with me. I am NOT in love with family outside of it. My family outside my apartment has treated me horribly and is not there for me.
I LOVE my friends, especially those I have had for a long time. I have friends that I love that I have never met. The power of the internet and many years of talking to people have brought me fabulous friends who have stood by me. I have friends here that I haven’t seen for a while, but I know they are there for me at the drop of a hat, one phone call away as I would be for them.
I hate my abuser. I know this is wrong, but I know God does not want me to hate anyone. I try to show forgiveness in my heart, but there is still hate.
I hate people who are mean to children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
I love my readers because I want to help them. I want to show you that we can stand together and be more vital than alone by ourselves.
Who do you love? Who do you hate?
I am going to give a sneak peek into next week.
Next week's topics are
- Financial Status
- Educational and Work History
- Legal Troubles
Week six is much more exciting! Don’t miss any of them, though! They all include practical advice and my real-life experiences and examples.
Please leave me a comment as to how you are finding this series. I hope it is helping you!