How to Get the Best Results: What to Talk About in Therapy – Part One

What to Talk About in Therapy
What to talk about in Therapy is a mystery to some. There are so many topics that I have decided to do a series on it. This is the first part.
What to Talk About in Therapy

How to Get the Best Results: What to Talk About in Therapy - Part One

What to Talk About in Therapy will be a series from an article I recently posted about questions you should ask upon your first visit, “Be Ahead Of The Game With These Superior Questions To Ask A Therapist.” In the post, I listed a few questions and why I thought they were necessary. 

Please remember I am not a therapist or psychiatrist. I am just a woman with mental illness who has had many years of Therapy due to abuse I have suffered for most of my life. Even though I am not an “expert,” I feel qualified to talk about this subject because I have real-life experiences with it. I want to remind you. You should always seek medical treatment if you are in need.

The Start of Therapy

Let’s pretend that you had decided to seek help and start Therapy. You researched practices, and you made an appointment. You found my post on questions to ask, and you were prepared when you met the perfect Therapist! Now it’s time for your next appointment.

Here we go! What to talk about in Therapy!!!!!?????? I gotcha covered! Most therapists will want to ask you questions. I will address these questions in another post. They need to get to know you. Several of those questions are fundamental questions about your history so let’s start there.

  • Your Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
  • Family History
  • Medical Conditions
  • Religious Beliefs (Previous post)
  • Political views (Previous post)
  • Things you want to work on

Your Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Your sexual orientation and gender identity are who you are. If you go by He/Him or She/Her or They/Them, you will want to make that clear immediately so that you are comfortable. In today’s world, people choose to be who they wish to be, and therapists are knowledgeable if you are having difficulty with this subject.

Family History

Say one of your parents has schizophrenia. It is thought that there is a higher chance of developing this disability if it is in your family history. Some other mental illnesses with this characteristic are Bipolar, Anxiety Disorder, and Depression. According to NIMH (National Insititute of Mental Health), a few factors are related to family history.

Many mental disorders are caused by a combination of biological, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors

Medical Conditions

There is a connection between medical conditions and mental health. I will use myself as an example to state this. I have chronic back pain. I have had x-rays and an MRI that showed significant bone spurs on my spine. My back hurts all the time. I take medications for mental illness that have caused me to gain a lot of weight. This added weight is putting more pressure on my back. This example is mental health to physical health. It is also physical health to mental health, in my instance. Here is how. Because I have severe back pain, I can’t do many things, which adds to my depression. It also causes enormous anxiety when driving because it hurts my back when I press the brake. Other examples of medications and side effects can lead to mental conditions. This is my experience. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, there is a connection between the two.

People living with mental illnesses experience a range of physical symptoms that result both from the illness itself and as a consequence of treatment. Mental illnesses can alter hormonal balances and sleep cycles, while many psychiatric medications have side effects ranging from weight gain to irregular heart rhythms. These symptoms create an increased vulnerability to a range of physical conditions.

Religious Beliefs & Political views (Previous post)

I covered these in the other article, but I want to reiterate them in case you haven’t read the other post. Religious Beliefs and Political views are a part of who you are and your views on life. If you were a Christ follower and your Therapist is an atheist, do you think they would relate to you talking about your prayer life? They might be knowledgeable about religious beliefs, but I am asking if they could truly understand how you feel when you pray. Political views play a part in your identity as well. If you are liberal, would you have a CPL and go hunting with your friends on the weekend? What if your Therapist is conservative and thinks your gender identity is not as important as you think? I know these are extreme examples and very stereotypical. I am pointing out that your Therapist needs to know these things to help you better.

Things you want to work on

Why are you seeking help? What do you hope to gain from treatment? The ultimate goal should be the answer to these questions. An Example from my personal experiences, I need to seek help from Therapy because I need help processing the abuse that I suffered as a child through my teen years. I need help to cope with depression and anxiety. My Ultimate goal from Therapy is to have a healthy view of what happened to me and be better equipped to handle situations that would cause me stress. See my story to understand better where I am coming from here. It is Uncover My Account In The Journey Of My Life

I have so many ideas about where I want this series to go. Please stay tuned to this blog for more posts about what to talk about in Therapy. I am not an actual “expert” on Therapy because I have not gone to school to be one. I feel I am an “expert” because of my real-life experiences. 

What would you like to see covered in this series? Leave me a comment and please like and share on social media.

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2 Responses

  1. Good morning, Danielle. I really enjoy reading your blogs. I identify with the back pain and use any relief I can find. Heating pads are a big help which I use in bed at night. Our love to you and James and Joey. Pops and Sue

    1. Hi Pops!!!! Im so happy you found my blog!! I really enjoy writing it!! I use a heat pad in bed too sometimes. James spoiled me when we moved into our apartment and got me a recliner that has heat and massage. Somedays I live in that chair!!

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