How Much Do I Have to Tell My Therapist in Rehab?

How Much Do I Have to Tell My Therapist in Rehab?

In order to get the most out of therapy it is important to be as honest as possible about your addiction

When you first start therapy, it is completely normal to wonder how much you should tell your therapist. Individuals recovering from addiction are used to having to lie and keep secrets in order to use, and learning to be completely honest about their thoughts, feelings and behaviors can be challenging.

Assuming you are in talk therapy, which is also called psychotherapy, during each session you will just talk. You may want to discuss how you are feeling, what problems you are facing, and how the rehab process is working for you. When you seek counsel from an outside party that has experience in dealing with whatever issues you are facing—you have someone with first-hand knowledge in your corner. This individual can help you through the recovery process. According to the American Psychological Association, there are five different approaches often drawn on in psychotherapy, and your therapist will work with you to determine what style of treatment works best for you. Some issues that are commonly treated by psychotherapy include: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, addictions (in this case substance abuse), personality disorders and schizophrenia.

Here are some things to consider when deciding how much to reveal to your therapist and when.

Start Wherever You Are

Do not feel you have to tell your therapist everything about your entire life history in your first session. Tart wherever you are and with whatever you are feeling in the moment. Talk about what you feel comfortable saying. If the therapist asks you a question that you are not ready to answer, be honest and say you do not want to discuss it at this time. A good therapist will show you respect by not being condescending or rude if you answer in that way. The key is to try not to shut down emotionally or to discount the therapeutic process. Be open to it and take small steps. Recovery does not happen in one day.

Build on Your Relationship

As you continue to work with the same therapist, you should feel more open to discussing your addiction. This could mean talking about cravings, triggers and things you find stressful in your life. You could even discuss your history with substance abuse or addiction. If you are using any medicine, it is important that you therapist knows about that as well. Your doctor and therapist need to both be aware so you will not have any unnecessary health risks.

Talk About Your Feelings

Be very honest and direct with any feelings or side effects you experience during the detox and rehab process. There are certain side effects of withdrawal that have serious implications such as suicidal thoughts, self-injury and depression. If you are taking medication, discuss how the medicines make you feel both physically and mentally. The more you talk things over with your therapist, the better you will do in your recovery.

Keep in mind that as you bring different areas of your life to light, you will find healing and restoration. If you have any concerns, tell your therapist. If you feel like something is not working and if you would like to try some alternative therapy, do not hesitate to say so. The more you tell your therapist about your experiences, the better she will be able to help you. Your therapist should be supportive of you and your decisions. You must have a level of comfort with your therapist to get the most out of treatment.

Talk About Cravings 

It is absolutely vital to talk to your therapist if you are having cravings to use again. This is normal, so do not be embarrassed; talk to your therapist and explain the situation. The outside perspective provided can help you in many ways.

Open communication with your therapist is the best way to help you move forward in recovery. You may not feel comfortable telling your therapist everything you think and feel right away, but as your treatment progresses you should begin to develop open and honest communication.

Find Addiction Treatment Today

If you want more information about therapy and addiction treatment, please call our toll-free helpline and talk to one of our counselors. They are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and give you the information you need. If you have any questions at all, please know our helpline is there for you. There are no wrong questions to ask about treatment. You are making a healthy decision by seeking help to live a sober life.