Should I Go to Therapy When I Don’t Have Anything to Discuss?
I hear variations of this question often....
“Do I still show up if I have nothing to say?”
“Should I cancel my appointment if I am feeling good?”
We often conceptualize therapy as a space to use in our darkest, most vulnerable moments. Sure, this is sometimes the case, and that is okay. However, therapy can also be for the times you are "feeling good!"
Therapy is a stable, consistent, and contained space. Your therapist is a genuine, caring, and dependable figure who wants to hear what you have to say – all of it!
So, my short answer to “Should I Go to Therapy When I Don’t Have Anything to Discuss?” is “yes.” Here are some things to consider that help me answer that question with such certainty.
1. The times that we are not in “crisis mode” offer more space for the development of
insight and deeper self-understanding.
You do not have to be in your most vulnerable moment to come to therapy. The sessions that you feel like you have “nothing to say” can be the one’s that you walk out thinking, “wow… that was mind blowing!” These sessions offer unrestricted space to explore, develop awareness, and dive in to previously discussed and/or new topics!
2. You do not have to “plan” your therapy sessions.
Perhaps you are someone who feels more comfortable prepping, planning, note-taking, and thinking about what you might say in therapy. Of course – therapy is YOUR time and space, so it is wonderful that you are advocating for the topics and instances that you wish to discuss. At the same time, liberate yourself from the notion of “needing to plan.”
Think of therapy as a ball of yarn. There is a starting point each week, and it can naturally evolve, unravel, and flow from there!
3. Your therapist is trained to probe questions, thoughts, and insight!
It is NOT your job to ensure that the therapeutic space is filled with language. Silence is okay, and oftentimes used as a tool during therapy! Your therapist is trained in asking questions, using nonverbal cues, and utilizing the therapeutic relationship to deepen insights and understandings! Try separating yourself from the responsibility of filling the gaps that you think might pop up.
There might come a time that you and your therapist discuss pausing or terminating therapy sessions – which is a different conversation that is nuanced and individual!
However, if you are considering skipping therapy based on a worry around "not knowing what to say," I encourage you to explore this directly with your therapist! Perhaps it turns into a session of exploring the anxiety around not knowing what to say. Perhaps it turns into a session of reflecting upon and celebrating your growth. Perhaps it turns into a session of moving deeper into topics and events that you now have the psychological capacity to explore. And perhaps, it is just that - a session - a container for thoughts, laughs, and a shared relationship. All of that is perfectly "allowed" and "okay!"
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