The most helpful thing about therapy is relearning how to think about problems. It’s about what you can do, not just what you feel. Often I tell Lauren, my therapist, about a feeling or situation I don’t like, and the first thing she asks is “What can you do?” or “What has worked in the past?” I’m learning to ask myself those questions in order to improve my life.
There is only one thing I have held back from therapists in the past, and even that one thing would have been far more beneficial to have said than to have kept to myself. That one thing was “I am actively planning my suicide.”
I held this back because I know that the only two pieces of information a therapist is legally allowed to report (other than child abuse) are 1) if you are planning to hurt yourself or 2) if you’re planning to hurt someone else. If they find this out, they can work to have you held in a hospital for 72 hours to assess your mental health and try to make you safe again.
I held this back because I didn’t want to be stopped in my progress toward suicide. I had already decided and was putting the necessary steps in place for a successful exit. Long story short, I lived. Twice.
Now, I tell my therapist everything, because I need her feedback on sensitive subjects; my failings with my son, my frustrations with my husband, my sometimes injudicious choices, and other personal weaknesses. She is an excellent sounding board and it helps me tremendously to share things with her that are hard just to say out loud. It destigmatizes these topics that I am ashamed of and helps me cope more healthily and realistically with them.
I hope you have a therapist you can trust, and I hope you will choose to trust her or him with your darkest secrets. There is nothing you could say to a therapist that would not be in your own best interest.
If you are struggling with your emotions or life, therapy could be a tremendous help to you. I hope you seek whatever help you need.