13 Therapists Reveal the Things Patients Are Reluctant to Tell Them That They Actually Hear All the Time

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If you see a therapist, that means you have the opportunity to confide in someone with zero judgment. However, it can still feel scary if you’ve been holding in some pretty deep, dark secrets.

No matter what it is, know that you’re probably not alone. In fact, in a recent Reddit thread, therapists shared some of the things that their patients were reluctant to tell them, even though they hear similar stories all the time. Take a look at some of the top responses below!

  1. Having Intrusive Thoughts

    “Nearly everyone has thoughts about pushing the old lady onto the subway train, swerving into opposing traffic, or stabbing their loved one in the stomach while cooking dinner with them. Some folks, however, take these thoughts very serious that believe that they might act them out. It’s called thought-action-fusion. Most of us are able to brush them off, though.”

  2. Believing Something is Wrong With Them

    “I’d say a common one is believing that there’s something innately, irreparably wrong with them that makes them unable to ever truly ‘fit in’. For a lot of people it’s such a deeply ingrained belief that it can be extremely painful to acknowledge or express, regardless of the level of personal success in their lives.”

  3. That They Don’t Know What They Enjoy Doing

    “Often they have people in they’re life, including therapists, say “try to do something fun today” or ask “what do you like to do when you have free time?”. Many people I work with do not know what those are.”

  4. Not Being Able to Be Your True Self

    “I have heard some variant of “This is probably weird, but I feel if I am my true self around others than they won’t like me” more times than I can count.”

  5. Don’t Know Why They Are How They Are

    “A common one in the time I was a therapist was simply “I don’t know”. You’d be surprised how reluctant people are to admit that they don’t know why they’re feeling how they are. But that’s exactly why you’re (or were, I’m not a therapist any more) sat there with me; so we can figure out why together.”

  6. Relapsing

    ” With adolescents, they are extremely anxious to tell me if they’ve relapsed or aren’t doing well. They cut one night or they were suicidal. They’re having a lot of negative self-talk or panic attacks. They’ll come in, pretending everything is okay. It’s usually in the last 10-15 minutes that they’ll say something. They’ll reveal that they worried they’d let me down. That I’d be disappointed in them. It usually turns into a discussion about policing other people’s feelings and tolerating emotions. I explain that I care about their well-being and it’s my job to monitor my emotions and reactions, not their role.”

  7. They Dislike Their Family

    “That they don’t like their family members, are angry/want to stop communication with their parents, etc.”

  8. Parent Burn Out

    “Women often feel really ashamed when they tell me they are burnt out on being a parent or that they never want to have kids. I wish all of them knew how common this thought is.”

  9. Things They’ve Done When They Were Younger

    “Some people are ashamed of things they did in childhood or adolescence, haven’t ever told anyone and think the team will be horrified. We have heard everything. Everything. I’m always compassionate and always understand why we do the things we do. I’ve yet to have anyone bring something I can’t ‘get’.”

  10. Having OCD

    “OCD gets misunderstood a lot. It’s not just having a clean house or liking things to be organized. Common intrusive thoughts can include violent thoughts of harming children and other loved ones, intrusive thoughts of molesting children, fear of being a serial killer etc. My clients can feel a lot of shame when discussing the thoughts or worry I will hospitalize them.”

  11. Hearing Voices

    “I’ve found that a lot of people aren’t familiar with their own internal dialogue or “self talk” and that this is typically “normal” internal processing. A lot of people think that they are “hearing voices” and hallucinating. There are some pretty simple questions we can ask to determine if it’s hallucinating or just internal dialogue, and most often it’s the latter.”

  12. Guilt Surrounding Sexual Abuse

    “A lot, and I mean A LOT, of people who experienced sexual abuse feel very guilty for a myriad of reasons that are not their fault. Guilty for “attracting the attention. Guilty for not speaking up. Guilty for enjoying being “seen” by someone. Guilty for having any sort of pleasure from their abuse. All those feelings are common and addressed in therapy. But it is so hard for people to discuss it.”

  13. Not Progressing

    “Clients become quite fearful of admitting that they weren’t successful since the last time they had a session. This could include not succeeding in using a coping skill that they’re learning about, or not being able to complete a homework assignment I gave them. Humans aren’t robots, and therapy is a lot of work.”

Have you ever been hesitant to share something with a therapist?