eheadspace Group Chat
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Group Chat
When therapy feels awkward
September 25th 2016 @ 7pm AEST
Trust is essential to establishing a good connection with your therapist. Without trust, your therapy may never be as effective as you hope for. Research has shown time and time again that the relationship between the therapist and the person in therapy is one of the factors that will lead to positive therapeutic growth, so it is important to feel comfortable with the therapist you are working with.

However sometimes the therapeutic relationship may not be what we expect. When you’re feeling uncomfortable in therapy you might feel upset and have less motivation to go to appointments. It’s important to know what makes a healthy therapeutic relationship and what to do and how to work with the therapist to get things back on track.

You get the most out of therapy when you bring up what you are truly thinking and feeling, especially when it involves the therapy itself.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:02 am
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:02 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hi everyone, welcome to another group chat. Tonight we’re talking about a topic that comes up a lot at eheadspace – the therapeutic relationship and how to get the most out of your counselling sessions. We thought it would be helpful to host this chat to answer any questions you have, and to hopefully get suggestions and your own experience out there for other young people who might be struggling with stuff you’ve dealt with.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:02 am
Kristal eheadspace: As this is a public forum we do ask that you don’t use any identifying details to name any counsellors, and just to let you know we will send you a private message if for some reason we can’t publish a message you send through.
Tonight you’ll be chatting with eheadspace clinicians Kellie, Joanna, Clair and Sally - welcome to you all! We also have Rian, Honoree and Keiah from our hY NRG team chatting with us remotely (so sometimes their replies will be a bit slow). They’ll be able to offer a younger perspective on things and one of my favourite things about these group chats is seeing you all supporting each other. So if you have advice from your own experience please feel free to pop that through to us too!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:03 am
Kristal eheadspace: We’ve had a lot of people sign up for this session, so it’d be great if you can get your questions in pretty quickly so we have as much time as possible to answer them. The hour goes very quickly!
Like usual there are a few things to remember:
- When you submit your question it won't appear straight away
- Our team will be busy reading and preparing an answer to your question before it's posted live - we appreciate your patience!
- If we can't publish anything we'll let you know (in a private message)
- It also helps if you use a name (even if it's not your own!) so that if you have a follow up question we know who we're talking to
Feel free to start submitting questions!
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24th Aug, 11:03 am
Comment From AdamItinerant
Hey Kristal, my first time at one of these chats
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24th Aug, 11:03 am
Comment From Kayla
I see my school counsellor but I don’t like the other students knowing I go to see her. What should I do?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:03 am
Sal eheadspace: Hi there, school counsellors are a great way to access support because they’re right there on school grounds  If you are concerned about friends not knowing you see the counsellor you could email her or leave a message in her pigeon hole letting her know. That way they could work on ways to help you feel more comfortable. Some counsellors may be able to make appointments after school hours or in another part of the school that feels more private. . It might be helpful to talk though with your counsellor about the positives of friends knowing you talk to the counsellor and ways they can be supportive too.
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:04 am
Comment From Guest
Hey guys, I would like to kick off with the first question, I was wondering how do you help a friend who feels so uncomfortable going to see someone?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:04 am
Kellie eheadspace: good question Guest! One of the things that might help your friend to get there is to offer to go along with them. You don't have to be in the session with them (unless that would be helpful for them too), but just rocking up to the clinic with them and being there for them while they wait, and being available for them to debrief with afterwards could make all the difference.
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24th Aug, 11:04 am
Comment From Guest
Also how do you know that a psychologist won't judge you?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:04 am
Kellie eheadspace: A psychologist shouldn't be judging you! It can be hard not to have the thought that they will before you have developed a therapy relationship with them and feel safe and comfortable, or if you are trying to work up the courage to share something that feels really big, or shameful, or weird to you. But they are there with you because they genuinely care about people being the healthiest and happiest they can be and sitting in judgement of people is not part of making that happen!
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24th Aug, 11:07 am
Comment From Charlie
Every time I go to therapy I end up regretting what I say and just feel so embarrassed about it even though my psychologist is so lovely. I just end up worrying about it until the next session because I feel like i was just being silly. How do I get over this?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:07 am
Sal eheadspace: hi Charlie, opening up in a counselling session can leave us feeling vulnerable because we've talked about stuff that we'd prob keep to ourselves otherwise. So, letting your counsellor know this is what's happening will be helpful so you can start working on ways to feel more comfortable about it. It's also important that you don't minimise your problems. your problems are still a problem for you and that makes them a legitimate thing to take about .
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24th Aug, 11:07 am
Comment From Ebony
I’ve noticed that I sometimes lie to my psychologist so that they feel sorry for me. I don’t know why I do this and I don’t know how to stop. I feel like an attention seeker, and feel like I can’t be honest with them now.
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24th Aug, 11:08 am
Joanna eheadspace: Hi Ebony, Thanks for posting this question, too- it’s not easy to open up about stuff to a counsellor, and it’s great you have opened up about being dishonest. It can be really hard to talk with someone about things and sometimes we think they’ll judge us because we’re judging ourselves already!! it’s your counsellor’s job to be open-minded and understanding. All the same, it can be really hard to work out how to bring this stuff up with your counsellor and own up to being dishonest. You might like to let your counsellor know at the start of your next appointment that there’s something you want to tell her, and the reason you haven’t brought it up already is because you feel ashamed. Or you might like to write it down on paper, or even write it in a letter that you give to your counsellor? However you feel most comfortable! Either way, it sounds like it’d be important for your counsellor to know, and I’m hearing that your sessions together would be a totally safe place to bring this up. Good luck!!
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24th Aug, 11:09 am
Comment From Belle
I can be really open with my friends, but I can’t talk to a counsellor. My mum found out I had self harmed so she makes me go. I don’t see the point going because my friends give me good advice
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:09 am
Clair eheadspace: Hey Belle and thanks for the great question.
It’s so great to hear that you have a wonderful group of friends and I’m sure that they provide you with lots of support and advice. This is super important…. but sometimes we need a little extra support from a professional. While your friends sound really well meaning, a counsellor can give you different sorts of information, advice and strategies to help you manage.
It’s a very common experience for people to feel apprehensive about seeing a counsellor, but I’d really suggest you try it for a while. Most people end up getting a lot out of their sessions and even enjoying them!
It’s really important that you get something out of your counselling session and feel safe and secure with your counsellor. I would really encourage you to talk through some of your concerns and let your counsellor know about some of the advice you receive from your friends…. It’s a great place to discuss whatever is important to you. Be assertive about your needs and the outcomes can be really positive.
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24th Aug, 11:09 am
Comment From Em
I find it really hard to talk about myself, I always have these great plans to talk but when I get in the room with my counsellor I just start saying yes or no or I don’t know. But I do know, I’m just so scared that I’ll cry if I actually start talking. I don’t know how to hold my self together and I’m so scared of crying and not being able to stop.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:09 am
Kristal eheadspace: I can hear how much you want to get these words outside of yourself but that fear of crying and not being able to stop is holding you back. This is a really common anxiety that lots of young people have in counselling and it can really hold them back from being open about the very things they’re there to talk about.
Expressing emotions is so important for our mental health and when we are not used to it we can feel scared or worried that once we start it will never stop. When we talk about tough times we feel emotions and having a safe space to start to express them is so important – and exactly what counselling can help with.
Maybe you can start with one things you want to take about, the least scary one, and experiment with telling your counsellor. It will feel totally scary (and you might cry) but the emotion will pass and the process will help you to start moving forward in therapy. Best of luck with it 
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24th Aug, 11:10 am
Comment From Guest
Hi is it possible to ask a question privately so it doesn't go into the group for everyone to see?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:10 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hey guest :) you could log onto eheadspace.org.au if you want to talk privately :)
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:10 am
Kristal eheadspace: Thanks for all the questions guys! We're all typing as quickly as we can - just remember that your questions won't show up straight away :)
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24th Aug, 11:10 am
Comment From AdamItinerant
My question is around dealing with being 'stuck'. I've been seeing a Clinical Psychologist for a couple of years and feel like I'm making no progress. When is it time to the towel in or move on to another therapist?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:10 am
Kellie eheadspace: Great question Adam! Sounds like it might be a good time to ask your psych for a review of where things are at in your therapy. It is totally ok to say that you are feeling stuck and like progress has stalled and you need to stop and do a bit of review of what you guys have worked on, what feels better/the same/worse for you, and what your goals are now. It may be that a change of style or therapy technique could be helpful for your new goals, or it may be that you and your current psych just needed to regroup and refocus and you start to feel like you are progressing again.
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24th Aug, 11:10 am
Comment From Pippa
I have trouble maintaining eye contact, and I often feel bad about not looking at my therapist. I also become distracted easily and am not always paying 100% attention to what they are telling me, but I feel too embarrassed to ask if they can repeat the question. Any advice on how I can focus more so during my sessions?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:10 am
Sal eheadspace: hi there Pipa, lots of people find it hard to focus in counselling sessions at times. If you are feeling anxious or upset, it's pretty easy for our mind to start looking for distractions. I wonder if not maintaining eye contact might be about feeling confident or keeping focus. Your counsellor will prob have noticed this and would feel quite ok with you asking them to repeat things . we can also help improve our focus by using mindfulness techniques. it takes practice but over time you will notice a difference :)
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24th Aug, 11:11 am
Comment From Lani
This is really awkward. I think I like my counsellor. I don’t know how to tell her. I don’t even know if she’s queer. I’ve been seeing her for over a year and she’s so attractive and supportive. I really look forward to our appointments. How would I tell her that I like her without her saying we have to cancel our appointments?
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24th Aug, 11:11 am
Comment From Rog
Hello, I would like to know, if it's alright to love a teacher?
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24th Aug, 11:11 am
Comment From ml 78
thats a good question Adam , I was gonna say something like that , thank u
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24th Aug, 11:11 am
Comment From AdamItinerant
Thanks Kellie, a clear and open review with a forward plan sounds like a great idea. 😊
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:12 am
Kellie eheadspace: Hey Lani & Rog, I'm hoping this might answer both your questions ok?
Developing feelings for your counsellor is more common than you think! When you are in a safe and comfortable environment, talking about things that make you feel really vulnerable, things that you might not have ever shared with anyone, it can create a real sense of connectedness and understanding between you and the counsellor. Sometimes that connectedness can start to feel like something more, like attraction or love. The ‘father’ of psychotherapy, Sigmund Freud, coined the term ‘transference’ to describe this process – so there you go, it’s so common it has its own name!
There are lots of theories about how transference occurs – therapists can be the most accepting, positive influences in our lives at a certain point in time, they can unknowingly represent the roles played earlier in our lives by someone really important to us (parent, lover, sibling, friend - which can be good and bad!), or we can get really keen on having someone’s undivided attention for a whole hour in a world where everyone seems to be responding to a whole bunch of different things at once (the ever-present multi-tasking approach, and constant checking of devices).
“Falling in love” with your therapist happens. What it really means is that you’re feeling positive, intense feelings for another person who is helping you with important issues in your life. You don’t need to run away from these feelings – or your therapist – in fear. Talk to your therapist about them (they should know how to deal with transference issues because, you guessed it, it’s pretty common!), and chances are, it will help. These feelings are nothing to feel ashamed or afraid of, and it doesn’t ‘cross’ any therapeutic boundaries for you to be feeling this way.
BUT it’s really important that if a therapist returns your feelings of love in any form whatsoever, it is a breach of the professional therapeutic relationship and ethics. Professional therapists are trained to cope with their own “counter-transference” issues, and in the Australia, a romantic relationship between a client and their therapist is considered unethical and not ok. You should talk with a trusted adult about any breaches and know that your therapist will be registered through a professional body that you can lodge a complaint with so that their behaviour/actions can be investigated.
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24th Aug, 11:13 am
Comment From Crystal
I’m thinking of seeing someone and I was hoping you would tell me what are some general tips to make sure I get the most out of therapy?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:13 am
Kristal eheadspace: That’s a great question (and a great name!!)! I’ll pop down the things I think are most important, but other people might have ideas too.
- Get there early so you have time to relax, or try to calm down before your appointment
- Don’t think about the time when you’re in the room, the counsellor will keep track of that
- Try to use the things you learn in your normal life, practice any strategies, do any “homework” and notice how these things work (or not) so you can report back
- Write down anything you think of between sessions – often we’ll start off by asking how things have been since we saw you last, I know when someone asks me that question I default to “good”, so having some things written down can help you start off with something that’s more true than “good” or “ok”
- Tell your counsellor at the start of a session if anything they said or did last time troubled you, trust me, they really want to know this stuff!
- Ask anything you want to – it’s your time, you’re paying for this and you’re allowed to ask whatever you want
- Following on from that last one – ask why, ask why as many times as you need to until you feel like you’ve understood something about yourself, the way you think or what might be behind something
That’s my list of top tips, there are probably lots more tho!
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24th Aug, 11:13 am
Comment From Jamie
I think sometimes therapy is uncomfortable because we have to leave ourselves feeling vulnerable in front of someone who you don't know. I feel like it might be useful for me to see someone, but I think well why do this when I can talk to my friends?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:13 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hey Jamie :) Thanks for the question - I'm wondering if the answer Clair gave to Belle at 7:12 is helpful to answer your question?
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24th Aug, 11:14 am
Comment From Jayde
The counsellor I’ve been seeing for a long time recently told my mum some private stuff I’d told her. I was really angry about it and still feel like I can’t trust her. She said it was because she was “acutely concerned about me” and that mum needed to know so I would be safe. Since then I’m not telling her anything important and I feel like shes really ruined the only help I was getting. Mum won’t let me stop going to see her and I don’t want to go anymore because its not helpful. Mum won’t let me see someone else either because she says that Lisa is really good and trustworthy, but she’s just saying that because obviously lisa is telling her everything.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:17 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hi Jayde, I’m really sorry to hear about how tough things have been with Lisa since she spoke with your mum about things. I imagine it would have left you feeling angry, hurt and betrayed.
Sometimes counsellors have to do this stuff when they are worried about our safety as safety is always most important. It can feel awful then this happens and I think all the feelings you’re experiencing are normal and valid - and important to talk about in therapy. Discussing these thoughts and feelings can help you to build trust again with your counsellor.
Another thing to know is that your counsellor is unlikely to be telling your mum everything you talk about. It might be worth going over confidentiality and the limits of that in your sessions with her so that you have a clear understanding about what will and won’t be shared.
For the most part, it’s only concerns about safety that would need to be shared with your mum. That’s not about betraying your trust; it’s about making sure you’re safe.
Here’s a bit more info worth a read over: https://au.reachout.com/articles/confidentiality
It takes time to rebuild the trust but open and honest communication with Lisa will help you to move forward with this process.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:19 am
Participant
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24th Aug, 11:20 am
Comment From Guest
I am unable to articulate myself when explaining my thoughts to my psychologist. If I don't get it right the first time, I leap away from the topic since I feel I am being a burden.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:20 am
Sal eheadspace: so sometimes, if we are a bit anxious or feeling stressed, or we just have a lot of things on our mind it can be hardtop gather our thoughts or say exactly what we wanted to say. if you have a particular topic you want to discuss it might be good to write out what you'd like to say beforehand . that can help to clarify things and give you an opportunity to re write or clarify anything before you even go to a counselling session. And there really is no wrong answer because they're your thoughts, you can express them and clarify them if you feel that will be helpful.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:20 am
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:20 am
Comment From Guest
I had been seeing a psychologist for a little while, but recently stopped because I find it very difficult to talk about my feelings and experiences. I'd often end up feeling nervous, stressed, and frustrated with myself because of this, which made it even more challenging. I feel a like I'm not good at therapy
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:20 am
Kellie eheadspace: hey Guest, you know, that is a very common experience that people have in therapy - and it's really important to know that there is no 'right way' to do therapy! One of things that I encourage people to do when they are finding it hard to express themselves out loud is get them to write down what they want to say, what they need to say. Then you can use that as a guide to help you verbalise your concerns in a session or just hand over the notes to your counsellor and they will use them as a prompt to guide you to feel more comfortable expressing what you need to.
When you go back to therapy, take a deep breath and start off by letting your counsellor know that you sometimes struggle with getting out what you need to and you would really appreciate their support with that aspect of therapy (or you can write that down and hand it to them!). A good therapist won't judge how you get across your feelings and experiences, they will be wanting to work with you to do what needs to be done to make it happen!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:21 am
Participant
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24th Aug, 11:21 am
Comment From Adam
What should you say when someone asks about it afterwards? I want my Mum to know it's helping but don't really want to tell her the substance of our discussions. Although sometimes I want to share a bit but not everything and if I say anything then she wants to talk lots. Sorry if too off topic
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:21 am
Clair eheadspace: Hey Adam and welcome.
Lots of people are faced with the dilemma of how much information to share with family or friends. It’s sometimes helpful for you to share things you’ve talked about (when it suits you), but more importantly perhaps some of the things you’ve learned. The key I think, is to be clear about what you are wanting to share and when. It really needs to be on your terms!
Perhaps make a time to sit down with mum ( or other support people) and explain to her what you are getting out of the sessions, but that you would like to maintain some privacy about the conversations you have in counselling. Reassure her that you want her to be involved in supporting you, but sometimes you are not ready to talk… but if you feel it would help or when you are ready, you will be sure to speak to her.
Mum may find it hard to keep these boundaries sometimes, so being clear with her about your needs from the beginning, will help both of you manage this situation. It sounds like mum really cares and wants the best for you…. so persevere with her… this is a learning process for both of you. Good luck with your counselling.
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24th Aug, 11:21 am
Comment From Gavin
What if you're too scared to confront your emotions, what if that's what is making it uncomfortable?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:21 am
Kellie eheadspace: Gavin, that's a really good place to start exploring that issue! Let your therapist know that you believe one of your core issues is a fear of confronting your emotions.Then you and the therapist can begin to carefully unpack what that means for you and how you can get more comfortable with it, in a really safe and manageable way.
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24th Aug, 11:22 am
Comment From Annie
I struggle to talk in session even though I know what I want to say and answer the questions. I generally just say that I'm not sure because I just can't seem to get the words out, any tips?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:22 am
Joanna eheadspace: Thanks for your question Annie, Your question of how to open up to a counsellor is quite common. Deciding who you want to talk to is an important first step. You need to trust them, and to feel comfortable opening up to them. Many people feel overwhelmed at the possibility of sharing their deepest, darkest secrets with a virtual stranger.
First, I suggest talking with your counsellor specifically about your inability to open up. This type of honest conversation can be a bridge to building trust in other areas. You might say “I’m really anxious because I want to share, but I’m afraid of …” Simply naming the anxiety when it appears can help clear the way through it. Another tip is writing down how you're feeling before the session- this might be in journal/diary- and it might be when you're feeling really down or when something has happened- you could then take this in to your counselling session and use this as the focus for the session.
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24th Aug, 11:22 am
Comment From Zoe
I have a really good psych, she’s been so helpful and really helped me grow into myself and understand and manage myself. The only issue is that she’s really expensive and I’ve used all the sessions where I can get some money back. Is it ok to explain this to her? I don’t want her to think that I’m asking to see her for free.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:22 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hey Zoe :) That’s such a great question! As you’ve probably worked out from the major theme in this group chat – honesty is always the best policy in therapy. So even though it’s almost always awkward to talk about money and finances this is something that’s really important to discuss! Perhaps your psych has some methods to help her clients manage when they’ve used all their medicare sessions, she may not have brought that up with you because she doesn’t know you’re struggling. Digging yourself into a stressful financial hole isn’t going to make you feel ok, so this is something that’s really important to discuss. So yes, it’s totally ok to explain that to her!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:22 am
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24th Aug, 11:22 am
Comment From ml 78
I have alot of different problems and when I go to the counsellor i tell her whats going on but sometimes I find it difficult to put my emotions or everything that is going on in my head into words , I really fear I would get judged and I know she won;t and i jtrust her but yeah
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:22 am
Sal eheadspace: hi there ml78, this sounds like you might also benefit form writing down a few things b4 a counselling session. feeling vulnerable about talking is a big barrier to getting help so it will be great if you can talk more about it in sessions, and as you keep going and building that trust with your counsellor hopefully this will become less of an issue
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24th Aug, 11:22 am
Comment From Eleanor
I wanted to add a couple of tips to the ones you guys gave about getting the most out of therapy. Sometimes my counsellor uses words I don’t understand, or says something that makes no sense. I used to feel really dumb, but I started asking what those meant. She always laughs and tells me its good I asked because usually its because shes used psychology words that I wouldn’t know. Then she can explain things in normal ways and I understand what she means. So my tip is, always ask if you don’t understand. I also think it’s really important to make sure that after an appointment you don’t have any stressful plans, I like to make my appointment for mid afternoon and then spend the night looking after myself maybe with a movie and good food. Sometimes I’m really sensitive afterwards so I don’t want to be doing anything stressful. And my last tip is to try to be honest always. I find when I tell my counsellor the honest truth about how I feel I get so much out of my appointments.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:22 am
Kristal eheadspace: Thanks Eleanor! They're great tips too
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24th Aug, 11:23 am
Comment From Addie
I’ve never been to see anyone and I’m thinking it would be good to – eheadspace told me it would be helpful. I’m just worried that I won’t like the person when I meet them.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:23 am
Joanna eheadspace: How great to hear that chatting with us made you start thinking about seeing someone in person! It’s not uncommon to be worried about that first appointment. Meeting new people is often stressful, and there can feel like a lot of pressure when you meet a counsellor to feel like you like, trust and feel comfortable with them straight away. Sometimes that happens, but not always!
I think the most important thing to remember is that you get to choose. You know yourself best, and you need to feel comfortable with your counsellor – otherwise therapy may not be helpful. I think it’s also important to say that sometimes even if you don’t gel straight away they still might be the right person to help you achieve your therapy goals. If there were good reasons why you chose that person – not just because they were in your area, then it might be a good idea to have a few sessions before you decide to go to someone else.
It might be helpful to know that it’s totally ok to ask about what their therapeutic approach is, what they expect from you and what they think will be the best way to work on what you’re wanting to prioritise.
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24th Aug, 11:23 am
Comment From Rog
Do you have any of your services in Melbourne Australia?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:23 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hey Rog :) You can pop your postcode into this search to find your closest headspace cnetre https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/
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24th Aug, 11:23 am
Comment From Amanda
How do I open up to a counsellor? I’ve seen a few since I was 16 and I really struggle to talk about myself, I can’t even talk about normal stuff with them without feeling really uncomfortable. People always tell me that counsellors won’t judge me and that as I’m paying for sessions I should get my money’s worth. I know that’s all true, but I still can’t open up.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:23 am
Joanna eheadspace: It’s so impressive that you’ve recognised what a problem this is for you, and the fact that you’re asking for support here, and you’ve seen a few counsellors already tells me that you’re really wanting support! This is such a common question, and it’s really no wonder. How weird to think about being so open with someone you don’t know at all! There are a number of reasons why you might be feeling uncomfortable with this: you might not have developed the trust you need to feel safe with the counsellor, you might be worried about being judged or maybe you are afraid that opening up might be painful or too much to handle.
Firstly, building trust in your counsellor and yourself are really important. You need to know that the counsellor can handle whatever you need to talk about and that you can handle talking about it. A way to build this trust is to talk with your counsellor specifically about your inability to open up – this type of honest conversation can help to build that trust. Then you could intentionally decide to take a risk and share your honest fear “I’m really anxious because I want to talk about something, but I’m afraid…” Sometimes naming your anxiety can help it to disappear, but otherwise the counsellor can help you with the anxiousness preventing you from talking.
You’re very right that the majority of counsellors do not judge, honestly most of us have heard “everything” so we’re pretty unshockable. We also really believe in the importance of empathy and holding the people we work with in high regard and that seeking help is a sign of strength rather than weakness.
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:24 am
Comment From Jay
I see a social worker at the mental health team, she’s very young maybe only a couple of years older than me. Shes lovely, and very kind but I don’t know if I can take her seriously. Sometimes when we’re talking it feels like I’m just talking to a friend. I’m thinking of asking to change case managers but I’m not sure what reason to say.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:24 am
Kristal eheadspace: It’s awesome to hear that you’re linked in with a social worker and that you think she’s a kind person. Sounds like it’s been really tricky trying to establish a professional relationship with her, though.
It’s important to feel like your social worker is taking you seriously, and to feel like they are giving you support on top of what a friend could provide. I know it can be a hard thing to bring up, but it might be really helpful to bring this up with her and let her know how you feel.
It’s your social worker’s job to support you, and help you to feel supported, and should be open to your feedback in helping her to do her job. If this seems like it’s too daunting, you are able to request a new case manager because it’s ‘just not working out’ or ‘not feeling connected’ with the current one.
Best wishes!!
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:24 am
Comment From Ellie
(I accidentally sent half a message before I'd finished typing, here's take 2) I've been left without a therapist after a bad experience, my sessions were cut short before any real progress was made. I find myself very unwilling to see someone else after the experiences I've had. How could I find a way to comfortably make that step into someone's office again?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:24 am
Kellie eheadspace: Hey Ellie, I'm sorry to hear you've had a bum experience in therapy! But you know, it happens! Finding the right therapist is a bit like shopping for shoes - they don't all fit and some of them are just plain uncomfortable ;) While it can feel really challenging to do so, it's totally ok to decide that you don't really 'click' with a particular therapist and to try someone else. The first step is to find someone you think could be a good fit (maybe get a recommendation from someone you trust, your GP, or look at clinic websites - they will usually have pics and a bit of a blurb about the staff), and then have a really good think about what didn't work for you last time. When you go to that first new session, let the therapist know about your previous experience and the things you have reflected on that didn't work out. Most therapists will be really open to hearing that stuff, so that they can help to make you feel as comfortable as possible, as well as to work out if there is a particular approach that would be better suited to you and to make some recommendations for other therapists that you would find a better fit.
There are lots of different therapy approaches and styles and it's ok to 'shop around' until you find what works for you.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:24 am
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:24 am
Comment From Guest
I am a med student and I see a psychologist but I’m worried about them finding out that I’m an intern. It makes it hard to be able to answer their questions and sometimes I lie about what I’ve been doing during the week or what I am stressed about. I’m thinking of not seeing him anymore but I know I need to. Do you have any advice? I’ve been so worried about it and anyone finding out.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:24 am
Clair eheadspace: Hello Guest
Please keep in mind that everything you talk about in your sessions is confidential. The counsellor would only break confidentiality if they were concerned about your safety, or the safety of others… and they would likely speak to you about this first. Even if they were to break confidentiality, it is quite unlikely that this would involve any contact with your university.
I would really encourage you to be open and honest with your counsellor about what is really going on for you, and your sessions will be far more productive if you are able to do so. I hope it all goes well for you.
Well done for seeking the support you need.
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:25 am
Comment From Lauren
I don't want to see my psychologist anymore because I just don't think that it is helping me very much. The problem is that I'm too scared to tell her this, because I feel guilty and I don't want to offend her. Do you have any advice about what I should do?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:25 am
Joanna eheadspace: Hi there Lauren, sounds like you’ve really put some hard work in over all your sessions with the psychologist and perhaps now you could be reaping the benefits. Like any sort of transformative change we do notice the big changes earlier on and then a slower gradual change that moves towards a state where we feel we’ve reached our goals. That sounds like where you are now. You can be really proud of yourself for all that hard work and effort and I wonder if your counsellor is thinking the same thing.
This can be a really good time to open up a discussion with them about how you’re feeling and any anxiety you have about ending your therapeutic relationship. Making the decision to finish counselling is a big step and your counsellor will be able to guide through the most comfortable way of doing that. Lots of people find it difficult to finish a relationship with their therapist, and you can bet your counsellor has had this discussion before. Keeping communication open about your current support needs is still important and all professional therapists understand the importance celebrating achievements made 
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:25 am
Comment From Caitlyn
My psychologist is really funny, he always laughs at the things I say which I used to find really good for getting to know him. I’ve now been seeing him for a while, and I really like him but I feel like he doesn’t take me seriously at all. He laughs at almost everything I say so I feel like maybe he thinks I don’t need counselling and that everything I worry about is insignificant. I’d like to keep seeing him, but it makes it hard to open up to him if he’s not really concerned for me.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:26 am
Kristal eheadspace: What a tricky situation! On the hand you really like how funny he is and on the other you worry that maybe he doesn’t fully get how things have been for you? That’s a tough space to be in.
Psychologists are humans just the rest of us and sometimes they can do stuff that they might not realise is impacting on our ability to feel connected to them. I think it’s so important he knows about how you’re feeling. These conversations can be pretty awkward at first but your psychologist will really appreciate your openness and honesty about things.
If you’re finding it a bit difficult to bring this up with him, you might like to write it down in a note or a letter and give it to him at your next appointment. This can help to prompt discussion and you guys can both talk about the best way forward.
Wish you all the best with it.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:27 am
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:27 am
Comment From Mandy
It took me a while to open up to by counsellor, and then it felt really good to talk and start to understand some things. The problem now is that I am starting to feel a bit worse, I felt better, but now I feel worse again. My life is improving, and it’s only around my appointments that I feel worse so I think it’s from them. Do you think it means it’s time to stop going? I feel like theres still more to talk about, but I don’t want to get even worse.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:27 am
Sal eheadspace: Hi Mandy, sometimes the progress we make during therapy can be a bit like a 2 steps forward, one step back. If you're talking about things that bring up difficult emotions in sessions then it stand to reason that you may feel tired or have less energy after putting in so much effort. But if you learn to work through those emotions and feel like overall you have grown to feel like you are really understanding things more then it sounds like counselling is still quite beneficial for you.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:27 am
Kristal eheadspace: I came across this picture which I think is a really good example of how counsellors see themselves!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:28 am
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:28 am
Comment From Craig
I just recently told my counsellor that I think I’m an alcoholic. I’d never told her before how much I drink. It felt good admitting it, and I was really hoping she would help me deal with it. But she’s recommending that I see someone else to talk about that because she said she’s not very experienced with drug and alcohol counselling. I’m really disappointed because I feel like she’s helped me so much with other stuff which helped me understand how much I was drinking. I really want to keep seeing her, is it possible to have 2 counsellors?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:29 am
Kellie eheadspace: Hey Craig, great job on being able to let your counsellor know about your drinking - it's really helpful to have as many pieces of the puzzle as possible in therapy! It is possible to have two counsellors, but it can get a little bit tricky if they don't have good clear communication, consented to by you. It sounds like your counsellor is being really appropriate in acknowledging the limits of her experience and wanting to ensure that you get the best treatment possible.
What could be a good compromise, given that you are really happy with your current therapist, is agreeing to a specialist alcohol and drug assessment to see what treatment recommendations they have for you. You could then discuss the recommendations with your current therapist to see if she feels comfortable and competent to work on them with you and make some decisions from there.
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:30 am
Comment From Guest
Hey I don't know how to express the way I feel throug typing words but I'm gong to try my best.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:30 am
Kristal eheadspace: Go for it guest! It's sometimes hard to get it out in writing :)
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:31 am
Comment From Jenna
My counsellor takes notes during our appointments, she said that it helps her concentrate and remember the important stuff. I never used to mind, and she’s always been really supportive and I’ve learned a lot from her. I noticed she was doodling in our last session not taking notes, I felt offended by that because I don’t know if she was even paying any attention to me while I talked. Should I change psychologists?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:31 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hey Jenna :) Sounds like the counselling sessions have been really helpful and that your counsellor has been paying close attention to what you are saying. There are many reasons for someone doodling. It is often something that you do absent mindedly, and can be a way of focusing your mind.
When people are concentrating or thinking about something, often they will do things to help focus, like twist a ring on their finger, fiddle with a necklace, or spin a pen in their hand. These things do the same thing as doodling, they focus your mind so you are able to concentrate on what is going on. Something to consider is whether you feel comfortable to ask her about it? And whether that would ease your worry.
Participant
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24th Aug, 11:31 am
Comment From Russell
I had wanted to get help for a while and I'm going to a psychologist in a few days, but all of this was planned by others. I don't know how much I should tell my parents or friends because they jump to help and it gets overwhelming. I feel I lack control with my health because I am not able to do things in my own time. How can I explain this?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:31 am
Sal eheadspace: hi Russell, it sounds like you have lots of family and friends around who'd like to support. That's great! If you find this overwhelming at times I guess having an open honest discussion with them about what's helpful for you and what isn't. They will prob appreciate that in any case. Inviting family members to a session so you can discuss this with your counsellor there can also be really helpful .sounds like you'd like to take more responsibility for your health and wellbeing and that's awesome. Again, it will be a good thing to chat about with family so you can come to an agreement about who can organise what and when. That way everyone will be on the same page :)
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:31 am
Comment From Luci
I’ve seen a few cousnellors but they always think I’m too hard and then pass me over to someone else. They don’t actually tell me that’s why I need to change, but I know it’s true. The one I felt best with had a baby so she left. It’s like I’m too hard to work with so they all leave. What can I do to make there job easier? How can I trust that when I tell them the truth they wont make me change again?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:31 am
Kellie eheadspace: It can be really hard to make changes once you are already in a therapy relationship – it can be such hard work to let yourself feel vulnerable enough to be real and truthful with your therapist and then bam! Your therapist says that they are leaving or have some work changes coming up that means they need to hand over your therapy to someone else. It is a very natural thing to assume that this means that your issues are “too hard” and that’s why it’s happening. But it’s important to remember that life happens for your therapist as well and things can come up (like babies, new job offers, family issues etc) that mean changes have to happen. If your therapist is recommending a change of therapist in order for you to get to work with someone who has more experience in the particular issues you are dealing with that, that’s pretty awesome! They clearly want you to get the best possible support – and they will usually tell you that’s why a change is being made. So if they don’t tell you that, then it’s highly likely that it’s not about you!
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:31 am
Comment From Jess
Counselling is supposed to be confidential right? Well my psychologist tells my mum everything. They both say it’s for my safety and because I’m so young. But its not fair. I want to feel like I can tell her everything but I don’t because I don’t want mum knowing. Id like to tell her that I have stuff to say that mum cant know, its not really safe stuff so it shouldn’t be told to mum. What should I do?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:32 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hi Jess :) Confidentiality with counsellors and psychologists can be confusing! Having a trusting relationship with your counsellor is a really important part of the support they give you, and confidentiality plays a part in this. When you start having appointments with your counsellor, they should give you information about their ‘confidentiality policy’ which says what stuff can stay between you and your counsellor, and what stuff needs to be shared with other people.
The stuff that needs to be shared with others is usually about safety- if your counsellor is concerned about something happening that makes you unsafe, they have to (by law) let others know this information so that the other people can act to help keep you safe. Sometimes this might be your parents, other times it might need to be emergency or protective services like the police.
Your counsellor doesn’t need to be telling your mum ‘everything’ though. I’m wondering if you have tried talking with your counsellor about this?
Your mum doesn’t need to know everything you have told your counsellor if there are no safety issues involved. Maybe you could ask her to talk with you first about what she wants to tell your mum, and let her know if there’s something you don’t want her to share.
If you want to take a look at more information about age and confidentiality, you can read some more here: https://au.reachout.com/articles/confidentiality
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:32 am
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:32 am
Comment From Rog
I'm scared to tell my mum that I want to do counselling again, so how can I tell her?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:32 am
Joanna eheadspace: Hi Rodge, thanks for your question. It's important to find a time that allows for few distractions and a lot of privacy with your mum to have this conversation.Let her know you wish to talk with an adult about some things you have going on, and that you want this person to be completely objective to your situation so they will be able to guide you with basic, non-influenced decision-making in a way that family members generally cannot).
Assuming you are not in danger, reassure your mum that you are not in danger and that you just need some support from another person. If your mum does not respond well, it might makes sense to end the discussion for the night. A fight is not necessary. Some statements like this might help you: “I need additional support from another adult,” “You did nothing wrong as my mum. I just need to learn how to get through this on my own,” “I need a space that allows me to discuss private things.”
This is just a starting place Rodge. If the conversation doesn’t go well you may want to talk with your counsellor to see if they are willing to talk with your mum about your need for counselling. The counsellor can help your mum understand your need for therapy (without spilling the beans about what's going on).
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:33 am
Comment From Thank you
Thank you so much for this – I’ve learned so many tips already and feel like I’ll be able to be more open and honest at my next appointment. I have had 3 different counsellors and feel most comfortable with my current one because she genuinely seems to care. I’m wondering what you guys would think if I asked my counsellor if we could sometimes talk outside. I feel like I would be able to concentrate more because sometimes I feel a bit trapped in the room with the door closed. Would you mind if someone asked you that? Do you think you would say yes?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:33 am
Sal eheadspace: Hey there.., absolutely, you can always ask  If you feel more comfortable to change things occasionally and it doesn’t stop you from benefitting for the session then going for a walk whilst you talk is a real positive. Talking in a private space like an office is the usual way people feel more comfortable talking as it provides natural privacy and a feeling of security. It can also help us focus as there will be less distractions than elsewhere but that shouldn’t stop you from discussing the possibility of doing something different once in a while. Every therapist will have their own requirements re how they wish to work during sessions so it will be important to have a discussion about why you feel uncomfortable in in the room and how you feel you might get more out of a session if you were outside. You may need to take into consideration any physical health concerns as well. In it’s favour walking is considered a healthy activity and being in nature can help us feel more grounded and relaxed Walking and talking can also help to improve engagement as it can feel less intimidating than face to face sessions. You can always ask you therapist about different therapy concepts and feel free to discuss ways in which you will feel more at ease in a session so as to gain the most benefit from all your work 
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24th Aug, 11:33 am
Comment From Cloe
I don’t think my counsellor knows what to do with me. She always says “that’s a tough one” when I ask her what I should do. I just want her to tell me what to do, but she only talks about what things I could do. I don’t think shes helping at all
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:33 am
Joanna eheadspace: Hi Chloe thanks for your question.
It can be really hard when we go to counselling as we all want someone to tell us how to feel better. The most successful counselling is when the counsellor helps you work out a solution to your problem. Because only you know what is going on in your mind, it can hard for a counsellor to give clear direction, they can suggest things to try but aren’t mind readers.
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24th Aug, 11:33 am
Comment From Jonno
I have depression and I have been seeing a counsellor to help with that. I’m also taking anti-depressants. I’m just feeling so stuck in my sessions. I feel like we talk about the same stuff over and over and nothing changes. I really do like my counsellor and I trust her, but nothing is changing. I really thought that after 4 appointments I would have noticed something.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:33 am
Clair eheadspace: Hi Jonno and thanks for that question.
It’s great that you are keen for things to move along quickly, but given that the first couple of sessions were probably about building your relationship with the counsellor and gathering information, I’d really encourage you to give it some more time. Change can sometimes be a slow process, but your investment will be worth the effort in the end.
It’s still worth mentioning these concerns to your counsellor and perhaps coming up with a bit of a plan and some goals, so you feel as though your needs are being met, you can see your achievements and make sure you are keeping on track.
I’m sure that your counsellor would be more than happy to hear that you are invested in counselling being a success and would be glad to talk about this. Being open and honest about your needs and concerns is really important.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:34 am
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:34 am
Comment From Loulou
My counsellor has asked me a few times if I ever feel suicidal, I keep saying no but actually I do sometimes feel suicidal. I’ve never told anyone this. Obviously the counsellor should be the person I tell but I’m really worried she’ll say she can’t work with me anymore because I’ve lied to her. I’m also really worried that she’ll say I need to go into hospital or medication or something.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
23rd Oct, 12:05 pm
Kristal eheadspace: I’m really sorry to hear about how tough things have been feeling for you. You’ve done so well to talk about these thoughts and feelings tonight – not at all easy to do.
Your worry that the counsellor might not work with you anymore would leave you feeling so stuck. I can reassure you though that that wouldn’t happen. Counsellors really understand how tough it can be to let people in on these thoughts and feelings. In fact, your counsellor will really appreciate your openness with her and it will help her to better help you.
If you’re concerned about medication or hospital (or other stuff) then you can let her know this too. It’s unlikely you would need to go to hospital unless your immediate safety was at risk. Talking about these thoughts and feelings early is the best thing you can do to prevent things from getting to this stage and to get some support in coping with these thoughts and feelings.
You’ve done really well to get these thoughts outside of yourself tonight and I hope it’s not felt too scary. If talking with your counsellor is tough maybe you could let her know you posted on this group chat and she can read it as a starting point to talk more about things?
In the meantime, you might like to read over the group chat we had on coping with suicidal thoughts:
And if at any time you need immediate support you can contact a crisis service like lifeline (13 11 14) or kids helpline (1800 55 1800) too. Take care of yourself.
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:34 am
Comment From anon
I had to see a counsellor because the courts said I had to. I’ve just found out that the court says they need to have access to the records about my appointments. I didn’t understand that this was the case and thought the counsellor would just be giving them an opinion. What kinds of things will the counsellor be telling them?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:34 am
Kellie eheadspace: Hey Anon, that's a great question. Courts have the ability to request a wide range of info from health professionals. It may be as simple as the court's only requiring a record of the dates you attended therapy (given that it was court ordered) to prove that you have met the requirements of the order to attend therapy. What gets provided takes into account a number of things including how relevant the information is to the question the Court is trying to answer by getting hold of the info, whether providing the info to the court could be harmful to you in some way, and whether the info makes reference to people other than you (people you might have talked about in sessions for various reasons). It's ok to t ask your therapist about what information they will be sending the court and what information they won't be sending. Depending on your age and legal circumstances you may be able to request a copy for yourself.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:35 am
Participant
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24th Aug, 11:35 am
Comment From Olivia
My mum came with me to an appointment because she wanted to know what happened during them, my psychologist saw me and my mum together and then saw my mum alone, and then me alone. She told me that she talked to my mum about ways mum could support me at home and that she tried to explain why I sometimes get really angry or isolative. Since then my mum is being really nice to me, but now I wonder if my psych told mum some other really private stuff which is why mum’s being so nice. I don’t know if I can trust my psych anymore?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:35 am
Sal eheadspace: Hi there, it sounds like Mum is able to respond and support you more positively now since you both spoke to your psychologist. That will hopefully add to a less stressful environment at home and help you feel more confident in opening up to her when you might otherwise not. If you are worried about what Mum and your psychologist discussed I’d encourage you to have an open, honest chat with mum about how you’re feeling and let her explain why her response to you has changed.
Most parents will want to help as much as they can and once they have more understanding of how they can be supportive they will  It’s also totally ok to chat with your psychologist about the privacy and confidentiality agreements they work with so you understand exactly what information is being discussed with Mum. As you continue to see your counsellor and you get to know each other more it’s important to build up trust so you can feel comfortable to open up and talk about things that are important to you. This might be a good time to chat with your psychologist about feeling unsure of Mum’s responses and how to approach it.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:36 am
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:36 am
Comment From Josiah
I really want to tell my psychologist, who is really lovely and so helpful, that I’m gay. I feel like if she knew that it would explain some stuff that I know she doesn’t quite understand. I haven’t told anyone else that I’m gay, and my family wouldn’t like it if they knew. I almost don’t care if they know though. I’m thinking that next time I see her I tell her there’s something I want to tell her at the end of the appointment. I figure I can blurt it out and then leave to give her time to deal with her thoughts about that. Then maybe we can talk about stuff next time. I know she always says it’s good to talk about hard stuff at the start though, so what if she tells me I need to tell her at the start?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:36 am
Kellie eheadspace: Hey Josiah, It’s great that you have reached such a safe and comfortable point in your therapy relationship that you are ready to let her know about such an important issue for you – awesome stuff! Your therapist will want you to tell her in whatever way works best for you. If that’s to throw it out there at the end of the session, that’s ok! But given this is something that could really help her to understand you and what you are dealing with better, it could be good to lead with it so you get maximum ‘bang for your buck’ from that session! And don’t forget, when we have something we need to say but we are trying to hold on to it until the last possible moment, it’s pretty distracting and likely to make it hard for you to focus on the rest of the session.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:36 am
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:37 am
Kristal eheadspace: We're just answering the last 3 questions, then we'll be closing this chat :)
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24th Aug, 11:37 am
Comment From Roger
I remember when I talked to my first counsellor, I never really talked about a lot of things. Is it okay if you don't have something to talk about to your counsellor?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:37 am
Clair eheadspace: Welcome Roger and thanks for the question.
Counselling is a fluid process and there are no hard and fast rules about things should happen. There is no expectation that you have a pre-prepared ideas to talk about…. sometimes these things just happen organically.
Not having anything ‘pressing’ to talk about can be a great time reflect on your achievements so far, evaluate what has worked or not worked in counselling, or perhaps thinking about re-evaluating some goals for future counselling support.
Participant
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24th Aug, 11:37 am
Comment From Guest
My question is a little bit similar to Ebony’s. I find myself being dishonest and making things up – I think I do it to get attention but I’m not sure. I’ve tried really hard to stop doing it and I ‘came clean’ to my counsellor but then I ended up starting to do it again with another counsellor. I do it with people in my life as well and I have different groups of friends who know different stories – almost like I lead multiple lives. I really want to stop doing it but I don’t know how and it’s messing up my life because I’ve even been put in hospital for problems I don’t have. I hate myself for it so much but I can’t stop lying to people.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:37 am
Joanna eheadspace: Hi Guest, thanks for your question. It sounds like like you're starting to realise that this might be an issue. Perhaps you could come clean again to this new counsellor about this- you could even copy what you've written down now in this group chat and take it to your next counselling session to start the session? There is nothing wrong with being honest about this to your counsellor, they will still continue to see you and not judge you.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:37 am
Kristal eheadspace: We will need to wrap up very soon. Usually I post a big list of resources and links for you to read afterwards, but unfortunately there just aren’t that many that I could find.
This is a link that you can use to find your nearest headspace centre - https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/
This image tells you more about what headspace can do to help :)
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:38 am
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:38 am
Kristal eheadspace: This is a link to find a psychologist in your area, but more than that you can narrow down your search and find someone who offers specific support for the areas you want to address - https://www.psychology.org.au/Find-a-Psychologist
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24th Aug, 11:38 am
Comment From Claire
I know I need to see someone but always feel like I'm wasting their time and they have more important things to do and I don't deserve help
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:39 am
Kellie eheadspace: hey Claire, you would probably be really surprised to know that you have just expressed one of the top reasons why people put off seeking therapy support - because they don't think that their issues are valid or important enough. It is really important to remind yourself that if it feels real and important to YOU then it is totally worthy of seeking some support! At worst, the therapist will say "hey, this is feeling really big for you but we can get this under control in less time than you might think by working together on it" - not such a bad response at all hey?!
Therapists know that it can be really really hard to attend that first appointment and part of their job is to help you feel as safe and comfortable as possible. They also know most of the reasons that people are feeling uncomfortable and how to reassure you that you matter and it's ok for you to be there. You are definitely not wasting anyone's time Claire.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:39 am
Kristal eheadspace: It doesn't look like any of our hY NRG team joined us tonight unfortunately - we usually do have some of them here to offer advice too.
We've had so many questions from you tonight that we're running over time, and we all feel like we've earned our dinner!
Hoping you've found it helpful too
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:39 am
Comment From Guest
Thanks eheadspace!
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:39 am
Comment From Guest
Thanks for all your advice
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:39 am
Comment From Tash
I recently ran away from home and stayed with my nan. My mum organised a family therapy session so I would go back home. I feel like the therapist was on mum’s side and basically used everything I said and turned it around to make me feel guilty and go home. I’m back home now and I’ve asked mum if I can see another therapist because I do think it would be helpful to have someone understand my side. But mum says I should see the lady we saw last time. How can I get them to let me see my own person?
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:39 am
Kristal eheadspace: Oops - we did answer this question a bit earlier :)
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:40 am
Comment From couch scared
I'm scared to see a counsellor because i don't want to lay on a couch and i'm scared I might be hypnotised to feel better. I'd rather just feel better!My friends say it's not like that - but even the pictures youve put in here show it is
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:40 am
Clair eheadspace: Hi Couch Scared.
Counselling rooms are quite varied, but most are a basic room with a few comfy chairs and maybe a coffee table… no couch… and not swinging watch.
Your friends are right…. and I’d really encourage you to give it a go. You could always ask about the setting and the process before you confirm your appointment... just to be sure.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:40 am
Kristal eheadspace: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I think most of our answers talk about how important it is to be honest when you’re having counselling or therapy.
The honesty starts with being honest with yourself. We haven’t talked about that so much tonight, probably because by the very act of asking us these questions you’ve all been very honest with yourselves about the things you’ve noticed, the things you’re not happy with etc That self-honesty is the first step in any process of change, acknowledging that there’s an issue.
We’ve talked mostly about how important it is to be honest with your counsellor. We really do believe that, and we really do believe that the counsellor wants to know when you have concerns about something they’ve said or done. You’re working with them, it’s a team effort and both sides need to know as much as possible about what’s happening within that team. Working together you and your counsellor can identify anything that’s getting in the way of the therapy.
Thank you so much for joining us tonight, we’ve been really busy here answering all your questions. We had a feeling this would be a busy night because when we’ve talked with you guys at eheadspace you’ve told us how awkward therapy sometimes can be. That’s definitely true, and it can be really scary being honest and open about stuff that’s difficult. We’re really glad that you’ve all been so open about the things you’re noticing and we’re hoping that this chat has helped give you some ideas about how to bring those things up at your next appointment.
Remember, if you feel like you can’t say it out loud – it’s ok to write your counsellor a wee note or a letter and ask them to read it at the start or your appointment :)
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:40 am
Clair eheadspace: Have a great night everyone and thanks for your questions.... it's been really interesting chatting with you. :)
Participant
Participant
24th Aug, 11:40 am
Comment From Honoree
Hi everyone. Sorry i just got home now. I totally lost track of time. I'm one of hy nrg members and I'm keen to chat
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:40 am
Kellie eheadspace: bye everyone, thanks for the great questions!
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:40 am
Sal eheadspace: thanks so much for all your questions tonight. hope we managed to make the whole counselling thing a little easier :)
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:41 am
Kristal eheadspace: Hey Honoree - we're just closing now, but thanks for popping in :)
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:41 am
Joanna eheadspace: Thanks everyone for participating tonight, its been a hot topic and generated some good discussion. Have a great night.
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:41 am
Kristal eheadspace: Good night everyone :)
eheadspace Moderator
Moderator
24th Aug, 11:41 am