Counselling can feel like hard work to some clients. What am I supposed to say they ask. It might help to realise that this is a normal response. The following are some quotes from the literature which may resonate with you:
“It feels a bit like applying for the job of being oneself, but we’re not too sure what the qualifications are. And what will happen if we mess up the interview” (Sands, 2000, p.5).
“I could never see quite what we were trying to do. I’m supposed to sit and talk and I don’t know what to talk about” (Oldfield, 1983, p.61).
“You make me think for myself, and I don’t like it. I want advice (Rogers, 1951, p.68).
Sometimes clients come to the first session and tell their Counsellor ‘everything’ all at once. To get it over and done with. Some clients feel embarrassed about this and may be reluctant to come back and may feel unsure about how to proceed. Other clients prefer to say little and to use the first few sessions to get to know their Counsellor and test the waters out.
There is no right answer about what to say in counselling. It may take weeks before you decide to trust your Counsellor with some things you have never talked to anyone about before. If you feel stuck it’s fine to say this. Ask for help and say you don’t understand. Your Counsellor should be skilled in helping you to tell your story. Counsellors work in different ways and it may be that working with a different Counsellor may help.