Keeping Secrets from Your Therapist

When people enter psychotherapy, even if they’re desperate and deeply in need, they don’t fully reveal themselves in the early phases of treatment. As in any relationship, it takes time to develop enough trust so you feel safe making yourself vulnerable. A prudent reserve makes sense: how can you be sure the stranger sitting in the chair across from you won’t judge or laugh at you? Sometimes people who struggle with borderline issues will disclose powerfully intimate information right away, but they nonetheless keep some deeply shameful details in reserve. Everyone does.

Like most psychoanalysts, I advise my clients early on to be as candid as possible, holding as little in reserve as they can. I tell them I know it’s a difficult thing to do — no one discloses 100% of their most painful feelings, thoughts and memories — but they need to do their best. I acknowledge that it will take time to build trust, for them to feel I’m a safe person. As we come to know each other, they gradually disclose the more shame-inducing aspects of their emotional lives. Often their secrets relate to sex.

No matter how natural an act, despite the fact that almost everyone does it, most people feel too ashamed to discuss masturbation, at least at first. That’s understandable. After all, it’s incredibly personal and private, not something we usually discuss with other people. We do it “in secret,” out of the view of others; discussing it with another person, even a sympathetic therapist, can easily feel like exposure, as if we’ve been caught doing something that no one was supposed to see. It might also be difficult to admit to the fantasies we use to excite ourselves — the seduction scenarios, risky encounters with strangers, a fascination with schoolteachers or mild types of pain. Many people keep these fantasies a secret from their therapists for years.

Not every sexual activity or fantasy needs to be discussed, of course. Only when they’re shrouded in deep shame does it become important to explore them.

Clients also feel uncomfortable discussing the sexual activities that give them most pleasure, especially if they deviate too far from “normal” herterosexual sex in the missionary position. Anal stimulation, a pleasure in being spanked, talking “dirty” during sex … these are but a few of the areas that stir up deep shame and are often kept secret. Once they begin to open up, they may describe feeling like a “freak” or a “pervert.” They often say they’re afraid that I’ll be visualizing them in the act. When clients come around to disclosing shame-laden details about their sex/fantasy lives, it usually involves a kind of courage. I often acknowledge the bravery involved in making themselves so vulnerable; I regard as a sign of deepening trust in the psychotherapy relationship.

Some clients never reach that point, or need a lot of help to get there. In certain cases, it’s a conscious choice: I couldn’t possibly tell him that. Way too humiliating! Or they may have rationalized an exception to the rule of total candor: That’s not important. Why do I need to tell him? Sometimes, a kind of denial may have kicked in and certain ideas never rise to consciousness during session. There always seems to be something more urgent to discuss. Lately, I’ve begun asking my clients more direct questions about those important subjects noticeably absent from our work together.

Many years ago, one client and his wife had decided to pursue artificial insemination due to difficulties in conceiving a child the usual way. He was deeply ambivalent about having this child. After one of the scheduled inseminations, he came to session and told me that the doctors had cancelled the procedure because his sperm count that day was too low (or maybe it was that the amount of seminal fluid was too little). He didn’t seem all that disappointed. During our months of work together, this client had never mentioned the word masturbation; on a hunch, I asked him if he had masturbated the day before the scheduled insemination. With obvious shame, he confessed that he had masturbated three times during the night before their morning appointment. Although a highly intelligent man from a medical family, the link between his low sperm count and those three ejaculations hadn’t consciously occurred to him.

Not all secrets are about sex, but most of them involve shame. Clients understandably prefer not to describe thoughts, feelings or behavior that feel humiliating. I’ve known clients who felt ashamed to admit that they liked watching reality TV shows or reading pulp fiction, that they were consumed with poisonous envy for a certain person, that they admired an artist considered by others to be a lightweight. Whatever makes us feel like a “loser” in comparison to others stirs up shame, and for this reason, we may want to keep it a secret from our therapists. Especially if we idealize him or her, we may hold back details that we fear will incur a contemptuous response.

Because it’s difficult to identify something that’s not in evidence, we therapists often don’t know what we’re missing. We may have no idea about the importance of a certain subject because the client never goes anywhere near it. Sometimes they unwittingly let us in on their secrets when they tell us a dream. Sometimes, the therapist might have an empathic hunch, as I did with my client with the low sperm count. Sometimes, we just have to come outright and ask, especially when it comes to sexual matters.

There’s (at least) one other reason why clients keep secrets from their therapists — when they sense that he or she can’t help with the issue. In a comment to my post about why sex matters, TPG was of the opinion that many therapists are uncomfortable talking about sex with their clients because of trouble in their own sex lives. A client might intuit this quite accurately without realizing it, and then stay mum on the subject. The truth is that we can’t effectively help our clients work through those issues that still give us trouble, unless we’re actively engaged in a process of confronting them within ourselves.

By Joseph Burgo

Joe is the author and the owner of, one of the leading online mental health resources on the internet. Be sure to connect with him on Google+ and Linkedin.


  1. I had a very good relationship with my therapist for the three years I saw her. We were extremely similar and our children went to the same elementary school.
    I know she is a professional, but when i could no longer see her due to insurance changes, the therapy was cut off, and it did hurt me that this also cut our therapy-relationship.
    For this reason, I have a hard time opening up to any therapist, and it’s what prevents me from seeing one now.

    1. Hey J, I understand from the inside out how hard it is to balance wanting the therapist to like/love me, w/ recognizing that my therapist does what they do as a business, for money. Things usually go best when I do like a client, and I share that, like much of what all I feel/Think about a client. At this point in my career, I can & do see only people I pretty much like. Partly because that makes things go better , partly because I’ve found I don’t do well for folks I don’t like, and partly because I’d rather spend time w/ someone I like. From what I’ve read about therapists’ choice and preference in our own therapists, aside from lengthy experience, high competence and friends’ recommendations, we too seek someone warm and empathetic, who actually talks with us, whom we like and feel liked by . Though these feelings must be discussed and related to the problems we’re having, still I have to come to terms withthe fact that therapists had better be in this business to make a good living by doing things we’re good at with people who often feel so emotionally deprived and ashamed that they focus way more on our liking them than on what that means in their inner lives — at least till we come to terms with the more basic family relationship issues usually important for their happiness. Dr Bob

      1. Thank you for your response and for letting me see the other side. I guess these past few years that I’ve gotten older and money has gotten tighter it is easier for me to see that it is a business and less about my feelings towards my former therapist. Now that I know my core problem is shame -(which is how I found this blog.) I’ve read some really great books and it’s helped a lot.

  2. There is a new level of depth and richness in this post, the writing more thoughtful and fulsome. Diffidence and a sense of not sharing transcended, something of yourself more freely and warmly given. I sens that it is healing for you too, not to ‘stay mum on the subject’ both literally and subconsciously.

  3. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the title of your latest post. Just yesterday, I searched After Psychotherapy for “secrecy” (and came up empty-handed) then Googled “secrets psychotherapy,” which led me to the book “The Psychology of Secrets,” by Anita Kelly, parts of which are online at Google Books. What I really want to know is why some people (i.e., why I) have such a compulsion to keep secrets in the first place — I mean as a routine part of their personality. I have kept so many secrets, many of them dating to my childhood and adolescence, and I find that even after six months of therapy, I have not been able to tell most of them to my therapist. Some of these are sexual, including sexual abuse, and I guess all of them involve shame of some kind. Anyway, thank you for bringing up the subject. My therapist has never asked me about anything, suspecting, I guess, that it would probably activate too much defensiveness on my part. But I will take your advice and start unpacking some of these secrets, if for no other reason than to try to be truly known and seen by at least one person in my life.

    1. Hi Sioux, I imagine we keep our secrets in order to avoid anyone else discovering who we really are and what we’re really like – i.e. unlikable and unloveable. The biggest secret of all is that everybody seems to have that same deep fear and hides whatever feels shameful about them to prevent avoidance, disgust and abandonment by both particular people and everyone in general. Speaking aloud these secret thoughts, feelings and behaviors to someone, perhaps a therapist, who accepts us despite who we really are, someone we’ve come to trust, admire and even love, seems the secret and scary path out of shame. It takes great courage and is well worth the risks.
      Dr Bob

      1. Thank you for your thoughts, Dr. Bob. I had figured out the fear and shame connection, but I still wonder why I have always had such a propensity for secrecy, even from my childhood, and about every kind of thing—from any money I had to my whereabouts to who my friends were. I guess I always felt safer if I was the only one who really knew about me; it was also a kind of reproach, I think, of my parents and siblings. Anyway, I will keep your final words in mind as I come clean to my therapist. I do hope it is worth all the pain and anxiety.

        1. People in other countries look with puzzlement on the American obsession with transparency the way that Americans look with puzzlement at other countries’ obsession with honor 0r manhood. It’s entirely cultural. Therefore, we American keep secrets in part psychologically defensively. as a way to maintain our own individuality.

        2. sioux

          I’m not intending to cloud your journey of discovery here, but secrecy, shame and the like are very common in people who have been sexually abused and often it’s directly related to the abuse/power dynamic.

          In your own time and you’re own way, I believe you will come to understand that it was not your fault, you therefore deserve no shame, and the road to that is paved with demystifying the problem by not keeping it secret anymore.

          Your therapist is definitely a good place to start. Keep going with it. You’re not alone and you will get there 🙂

  4. My therapy went the opposite way, and this is probably one of the reasons it didn’t work. I’m an extremely sincere person through, after reading your book, I think this may be partly because I use “shamelessness” as a defence against shame.
    I didn’t feel hiding things from the therapist made any sense and there was nothing I was consciusly ashamed to tell her. Maybe years of confession as a practicing catholic had made it super easy to talk for a woman, as I am used to tell very intimete things to men.
    Over the years I began to hide more and more things and thughts from the therapist, when I felt she wouldn’t understand. For instance, sometimes I refused to have sex with a guy because I didn’t feel loved, but told the therapist I wasn’t attacted to him, because she would not accept my real motivation and call it an “excuse” or even evidence that I was a sadist who tormented the guys she dated by refusing sex. Please note that I was not in an exclusive or commited relationship with any of these guys and so the situations you described in the previous post don’t apply. They were free to choose to keep trying with me or seeing somebody more available. Not surprisingly, some of my alleged “victims” did both things.

  5. I was stunned by how mild these examples are. Anal stimulation? Pulp fiction? Those are some of the most innocent indulgences available to the mankind. Most people agree they are not things to be ashamed of, even though we don’t declare them proudly and openly.

    I agree with the TPG’s point. If even those innocent activities cause therapist anxiety, how can you talk about more ambiguous pastimes and fantasies? In my experience, such information is met with “why did you tell me that”, “what do you expect from me” attitude. While therapist may not say it quite so openly, it’s obvious he/she attempts to push the subject away.

  6. Really wonderful stuff, and it picks up nicely on the last blog. Your point about secrets, sex, and therapist discomfort is especially well taken. I wonder if part of the issue too is the imbalance of the therapy room. That is, therapists keep plenty of secrets, so is there some unintended modeling for the patient? I know that’s a stretch, but the unconscious mind works in mysterious ways. The therapist is saying, in effect, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Not that I’m arguing for it to be done another way!

    I want to say too that I’ve been reading and commenting on your blog for quite a while now. You are a kinder, gentler, more humble blogger now, and it shows in great thoughtfulness and depth in what you’re writing. Your experiences of the last year have changed you for the better; at least, they’ve changed your blog for the better and made it even more compelling. Kudos.

    1. Thanks you. I do feel that I’m getting more comfortable talking about whatever happens to matter most to me. I’m enjoying the blog even more now.

  7. Hello!
    Speaking about shame regarding sex – Do you understand how fetishes are formed? For me personally, I really like being dominated, choked, and controlled. I love the feeling over being overpowered by a man. It is incredibly sexy to me and the thought can turn me on INSTANTLY. I have never thought too much about it until recently. I believe this is because I am the youngest in the family and have been always told that I am so young, I am such a baby. I think that because of this I never learned how to be the responsible one or how to be an adult. I always look to others for guidance rather than being the one to take control….I’m just beginning my process of exploration at this point. Yet, for others some fetishes are pretty intense – like the peeing on one another, etc. How do these things come about in the human psyche? Is it related to sexual abuse?

    1. Those are complex questions. The answers usually relate to the person’s particular history and associations, but when humiliation is involved, it’s usually a way to make shame bearable and manageable by sexualizing it.

  8. Sometimes I disclose secrets when doing so will get me something in return like intimacy or respect. Many times I disclosed secrets in therapy so the therapist would believe I am committing and have courage. Kind of like asking her to accept me and also to use as leverage if she ever told me I’m not trying hard enough to change. Also, by her thinking I have courage I would feel proud of myself and that would help numb the feeling of shame a bit.
    In a way I felt that her asking me to tell her my secrets was some kind of threat, probably because I projected onto her my idea of mother and how, for me, a request from a mother is really just an order in disguise. I also sought her approval, like with my mother. I had merger fantasies with her. She did not address these even after I told her I fell in love with her. I fired her (mainly because she didn’t like talking about my past and avoided it) and then I had dreams where she was blown up and I grieved her loss as if I had lost a mother.
    I regret sharing those secrets now specially because she wrote them down on paper and now anyone who has access to those documents will have access to many of my deepest secrets.
    It feels like rape that has been recorded. Like deep betrayal.
    I understand why people are scared of disclosing such stories to a therapist. It’s hard for a client to differentiate the therapists from the-rapists.

  9. I, too, have a problem with this. Keeping secrets of the present (how I really feel–due to fear of hospitalization) and of the past (including sexual abuse stuff). I don’t really know how to be honest at all. In fact, I cancelled my appointment today telling my therapist that I was going out of town with my husband, when in fact, we just stayed home all day and there was no real reason for me to be unable to get to my appointment. I just didn’t want to and the lie came so easily–also accepted easily, that I did it.
    Lying to others has become a habit. I don’t lie about silly things, I lie only about how I am fundamentally doing. I feel it is the only way to maintain my autonomy and not make other have to worry about my actions. I am always fine.

  10. The one time I got into a sex discussion with a therapist, she responded in the most mocking and humiliating way imaginable. I still don’t know if it was deliberate and part of the therapy process – but she wouldn’t accept payment for the session.

    Not fun.

  11. From personal experience I feel like some of the greatest opportunities for omission is during intake and disclosure of personal history and issues. I often wonder if this has set back the therapeutic process because I have found links to issues from the past but hesitated to submit that because it would make a liar out of me if I wasn’t sharing it at the beginning. It can’t be a rare occurrence, I can imagine, for clients to not report suicidal ideation, abuse, past mental health history, etc. at the beginning of the process but eventually it can’t help but be exposed in session. I often have felt the urge to “come clean” about all that I haven’t admitted to but shame is that overwhelming influencer that keeps it hidden within.

  12. I was puzzled how anyone ever trusts a therapist in the first place, so keeping secrets seems pretty natural. But then you indicate relationships that go on for years, which I’ve not heard of. The one time I tried therapy, he looked at my insurance, saw it covered 13 sessions, determined that was exactly what I needed, and by the end of 13 sessions, the “diagnosis” was that there’s nothing wrong with me that I can’t fix with a good self help book, and I should read a few.

    But then I guess that’s not really “keeping secrets” if he never bothers to ask anything.

    1. I agree with you. Therapy is the business of making money, pure and simple. I tried many different therapists but the relationship never went on for more than 8 sessions because it was expensive (my insurance doesn’t cover much) and because it was a waste of time. Mostly filling out paperwork and being asked the same basic questions over and over. Because I’m a young woman they would assume I had an eating disorder and we would never get to the real issues.

      1. I don’t think it’s “just to make money”; I think there are many therapists out there who DO care and are competent. The problem is, who has the time and the money to filter through looking for them? If you already have problems, and the therapist you encounter is incompetent, doesn’t care, or is just a bad match for your personality, it’s too easy to just save yourself the bother and not do it again.

        I suspect the field attracts a high degree of the wrong sort of person. That makes it hard for someone seeking help to find someone worthwhile.

  13. Everybody who has commented hitherto, has mistaken the signifier attributed to the word ‘fetish’. It is a definite word, a definite article no less in classical English. And we must take care to note that specific words have specific historical meanings. What people want to signify in their use of the word,’fetish’, here, is actually perversion. But the mystification, is that, when they use the word ‘fetish’ to mean what they imagine to be perversion, they are also wrong in this articulation also. What they are indeed articulating, is a false ideology of transgressing a societal code, there in lies the excess of libidinal ‘x’, the thrill of transgression itself, which is somatised as fetish/perversion, but in actuality in neither. All therapists and trainee psychologists/psychiatrists, see Jacques Lacan, for more on this, although you should already know it.

  14. Dear Joseph,I wrote to you about recovery I think, from a teenage sexually abusive relationship and at the age of 66 perhaps finding myself having intence sexual responces to the occasional man I find attractive,and asked you for any helpful comment.
    I find your writing above helpful by seeming to be open to a broader lot of people: not just regular ,seemingly, quite well evolved couples.(My interpretation of your writing)

    So you encourage me by your more inclusive attitude to further discuss and pursue my own life,at this point in the sexual area of myself.You bring great encouragement to many I am sure,Joseph,therapists as importantly, as we can get blocked by them and not realise.Pippa.

  15. The problem with the standard therapist client relationship is that there’s pressure to assume that you should trust. After all, you’re paying them, right? It can make up for the lack of wise people we can be vulnerable with in our isolated society, but the setup is still unnatural and forced. You don’t built trust over time as you would a friend – you go in there with the assumption that you’re going to talk about everything. In some ways, it’s forced intimacy. It’s pressure to open up your soul before you might be ready. Ideally we need to listen when we’re ready to open up to sharing something, but the reality is that most people just want to get results quick, and patience is hard when you’re paying someone a good hourly rate.

    There are many screwed up therapists out there, and part of why people go to therapy in the first place is because their own judgments are haywire. So sometimes the pressure to open up leads to revealing things before what is natural.

    It can be hard for a therapist to see this as that’s his job. There is something unnatural about starting this relationship this way – I think in villages in ancient times you’d see someone that you might not know well, but have at least built trust around. Any time you force trust, there’s a counter reaction and it sets a tone for the rest of the therapist relationship that can be disempowering.

    1. I agree with this. And I also don’t believe anyone becomes a therapist because they’re caring. They become therapists because of a personal need. My former therapist tried to facilitate bonding by deliberately using words in the first sessions like “us”, “we” and “together” (I believe he picked this up in AEDP workshops). I asked him to stop. It was unnatural, forced and had the opposite effect than intended-I felt suspicious and disappointed. I don’t want fake intimacy, I want real-no matter how long it takes.
      He would also sit like me, another mirroring/bonding technique. It was ridiculous. I kept forgetting to ask him to stop-it kind of amuses me now to think of him doing that. Just because a therapist says she has no judgment, accepts you and does all the right things to make clients feel safe, doesn’t mean they ARE safe. My therapist ultimately betrayed me. I don’t understand how people are expected to trust a stranger on a deeply intimate level just because that stranger has a business claiming to be someone who can be trusted this way. It takes virtually years before a person knows another person enough to trust them deeply, and therapists are people we can’t get to know personally. It’s quite a leap of faith to choose to trust a therapist early on; some people get burned and some don’t. It’s a gamble.

  16. I agree with some of the other folks. My previous therapist became squeamish and uncomfortable when sex came up, and my current therapist, while open to the topic, calmly waits until he is able to delicately change the topic. If I’m lucky, he’ll release a philosophical moan.

    When I talk about sex in therapy it’s often about testing limits. I want to make sure that I can truly talk about anything, and that I expect him to be able to handle it. Besides, what I really want to talk about is need. I want to say that I need him to love me, even though he never will (not the way I fantasize about). I want to say that I need to know why my parents didn’t love me. I need to feel angry and envious because he has it all figured out, and I don’t.

    If only we were allowed to tell our therapists our secrets…

  17. My experience with secrets is similar to others expressed. In therapy specifically there could be many reasons I would not say something. One is shame. I hate disclosing things to people if I feel I will be judged. It used to be extremely hard for me to admit “bad” things I did to anyone but especially someone who I want to respect me (like my therapist). I remember when I was in my first therapy in my 20’s I had a therapist I deeply respected and wanted to like me very much. I had lots of transference going on with him I’m sure. I decided I needed to admit that I smoked but it was incredibly scary and anxiety provoking to think about it. One day I decided I would do it. I will never forget the session because right at the beginning I told him I wanted to admit something to him. It took the ENTIRE session for me to get to it. It was the craziest hour I remember spending in therapy. He just waited until I was ready to tell him and I squirmed for literally 49 minutes and at the 50th minute I finally told him. I smoke sometimes. I couldn’t believe how hard it was. That was it, I didn’t die and he was like “that’s ok”. I realized it was a major breakthrough for me though.
    I also wanted to say that in my most recent therapy I got into a control struggle with my therapist. In my life somewhere I learned not to disclose things to people unless they asked. I decided at some point if someone didn’t ask me about something, they weren’t interested enough to know. So I don’t tell people things if they don’t ask. Well in classic psychodynamic psychotherapy apparently, the therapist usually lets the client lead. This created a very hard dynamic for me. If my therapist didn’t ask me questions about myself I didn’t want to tell him anything and then I assumed he wasn’t interested and didn’t care about me. I wanted him to lead. I thought he didn’t care, he said he did, we were both stubborn. This seems to be a way I kept “secrets” I guess. It will be interesting to explore this if I ever go back.

  18. I struggle with revealing my deepest secrets with my therapist, because even though I’ve been seeing him for over a year, he’s still a stranger to me. I know maybe five things about him, only three of which he voluntarily revealed, and one of those three I already knew! I completely understand his desire to keep his personal life private. In fact, I’m a medical student applying for psychiatry residencies, and I intend to keep a similar separation b/w myself and my patients, though not to that extreme. At this point, I could never talk to him about sex – I was best friends with someone for 7-8 years before we finally had an open, honest, and PERSONAL discussion about sex (partly opinions, but mainly desires, preferences, experiences).

    1. I think that you can “know” your therapist without being privy to the details of his or her life. There’s an emotional intimacy that develops over time, a coming to know one another in profound ways, even if you’re not a part of the other’s everyday life. This intimacy should eventually lead to trust and a feeling of safety.

      1. I totally agree with you Joe. As clients we have such a unique relationship with our therapists. Although I do not have a place in my therapists life, what I do have in some ways is better, more intimate & very real in its own way. I know him him like no other person does & feel that I have a part of him that no one else has. What we have is totally unique to us. I value that & I know him, in my own way regardless of him not sharing much about himself. However, I do like to remind him occasionally, that he’s very lucky & extremely privileged, to have me as his client, as he knows me, like no other.
        Trust takes time to establish & no person can expect trust merely because they are therapists. My therapist had to earn my trust. Agreed, it took many years & a lot of internal fighting on my part & testing him just to see how he’d react, before I got to the position I am now in. I’ve only recently been able to talk about my hatred & sheer terror of sex ( I’m a survivor). I have been able to tell him how it makes me feel & he helps me to understand why I feel like I do. I know without the level of trust I have with him, I’d never have been able to speak about it & it would have stayed as my secret.

    2. @Dingbat – sometimes it’s good to not know too much about your therapist. When I was 18 I saw my first therapist, a charming 28 year old in his first year of practice. I developed a bit of a crush on him, idealized him, and because I wanted to know more about him, searched him on Facebook. Well I ended up finding out stuff I didn’t like about him and lost a lot of respect for him in the process.

      @Dr.Burgo I don’t know if you use social media, but please remember to keep your settings private, there are a lot of nosy patients like myself out there! : )

      1. Since I posted here, I’ve actually sort of accepted that difference (in a good way). A week or so after Dr. Burgo’s comment, I had an appointment with my therapist. During that appointment I kept the doc’s comment in the back of my head. Later, I reflected on how he was when I first started seeing him and how he is now, and I realized that our dynamic HAS changed. He seems more relaxed, makes more jokes. We even talked casually about football a few times, something that wouldn’t have happened a year ago. So I think I’m okay with it now.

        That makes me sad, because I’ve built a relationship with him but will have to move in a few months. I’m really reluctant to look for a new therapist, only because I don’t want to waste time telling someone my story and then decide they’re not the right fit. I still remember the first few appointments with my current one, and I was crying the whole time; it was really painful. Of course, I cried after that too 🙂 but the first few were the worst

  19. Great topic Joe.

    The most pressing secrets I’m keeping atm relate to wanting a more personal rather than therapeutic relationship with my T. Mainly because I know my wishes will never come true.
    No doubt there’s some sort of romantic/erotic transference happening but I’m scared of going near it.

    On the subject of sex, I had a really difficult experience many years ago where my therapist confessed he had fallen in love with me and wanted me to leave my marriage. My father had just died so I was incredibly vulnerable and fragile and very young (mid 20s). The therapist I saw immediately after him spent the first session pounding me about my sex life, sex habits, masturbation, fantasies etc. I felt this was outrageously inappropriate and sensed he was getting off on what I was saying. I never paid the bill. Tact, timing and trust are so important with anything that is linked to shame and humiliation.

    1. I agree about tact and timing. It’s not something you can just rush into in great detail. With new clients, my questions tend to be discrete and general.

  20. I see from the comments that I am very fortunate to have a therapist who is wise, kind, respectful and tactful. She is the only one I’ve ever tried, & I’ve been with her for about 15 yrs. I think of her as a dear friend and life coach. At this point in life, with her help, I think I have a strong enough ego that I would be out the door immediately if a therapist made me feel bad about myself.

    Until beginning therapy in my mid-40’s I was always one to be too open with others. I had no secrets, & didn’t want to be around anyone who didn’t welcome me with open arms & preferably share their similar experiences. (I’m picturing myself, like a cartoon dentist w/head mirror– many must have fled from me!) If I felt that the other person withdrew from me, even the teeniest bit, as a result of what I’d shared, I felt AWFUL.

    Dr Burgo, thanks to your blog, & the reading I’ve been doing here about shame, I’m starting to really get this. That awful feeling is definitely shame, & I think I understand why I feel it in such moments– or any time I sense anger or dislike toward me–( looks like I must be working pretty hard to keep that ever from happening!)

    My family of origin was dominated & warped by my manipulative, abusive borderline narcissist grandfather. To get around successfully in his presence– that is, with minimal damage to one’s boundaries– it was best to have a confident, pleasant, respectful, businesslike manner. (Naturally, as with any predator, never display fear.) This was how you got him to LIKE you (unwritten corollary: one must please grandpa /keep him LIKING you or all hell breaks loose).

    The shame I feel when someone is displeased with me is utter mortification & humiliation that I can’t lay off on anybody else. It feels as if I have let myself down by stupidly exposing myself to very real danger.

  21. Amazing post, I always read your blog have never brought myself to comment but this really hit close to home. Even though my psychologist knows alot about my childhood which I shared emailed (couldn’t bring myself to say it to her face) I still have kept things hidden from her. I fear she will reject me or not be able to help me with certain things. I also have a major fear of trusting her, despite the fact she continues to prove to me she is loyal and I can trust her.
    I often wonder what goes on inside your heads when you sit and talk with us? Maybe I’m just paranoid but I always get this feeling she thinks to herself that I’m odd or beyond help 🙁

    1. Be brave and talk to her about all those things! It’s important for her to understand your fear that she’ll view you as beyond help.

  22. The #1 reason I do not open up to therapists is because they dismiss me and refer me to a new therapist. Masturbation is not a big deal, it’s hardly illegal. But if you confess you have suicidal thoughts they’ll kick you out pretty quick. Then refer to you to a new therapist who will do the same. I’ve had this experience with 6 people! Can’t seem to find a therapist who is affordable and will listen to me.

    1. What? You had multiple therapists reject you because you were suicidal? That is insensitive, inhumane, and must have been extremely painful for you. What ever happened to first do no harm?

      I implore you to keep trying to find the right therapist. There are practitioners out there that are both well trained and willing to reduce their fee. I hope you never experience such traumas again. Peace and love, my friend.

      1. Thanks Y, you’re very kind : ) Fortunately there are some very good therapists out there. Dr. Burgo who writes this blog seems very compassionate! I’m a student and look for sliding-scale fees so that limits me quite a bit. But I no longer live in an abusive home so that cured my suicidal impulses pretty quick.

  23. How do you know if your therapist is discussing sex in an appropriate manner?

    For example, is is a red flag if a therapist asks questions about your sex life when you have never mentioned that it’s an issue that you wanted help with? Or if you do mention sex, and he/she wants to hear more details about your sexual experiences, activities, specific feelings, etc.?

    My last therapist occasionally asked me for more details about sex than I was comfortable revealing, like asking me if I was having orgasms when I had sex with my boyfriend. I had a squeamish feeling that those questions were inappropriate but I never knew if he was doing something wrong by asking. It didn’t happen frequently but when it did, the comments/questions came out of the blue and kind of shocked me.

    1. Those kind of questions don’t strike me as inappropriate per se. He may have felt that you were holding back important information. I think the red flag is when you sense there’s an inappropriate level of interest.

      1. Hi Dr. Joe-
        A survivor of CSA with my male pediatrician, I would never feel comfortable discussing sex with a male therapist. I would take it as a red flag if ANY therapist asked for sexual details out of the blue.

  24. You MUST find out if the therapist is trustworthy and can bear your secrets without punishing you for revealing them. A therapist who can’t tolerate your secrets can cause a lot of harm. While I was in therapy I was put on a new anti-anxiety medication which in rare cases causes priapism in males. Being female, at first I didn’t recognize that it can also raise libido in women, but after researching the drug I found a lot of information about a connection to “persistent genital arousal disorder.” After years of anti-depressants and a legacy of child abuse I had virtually no sex drive, and in my confusion I thought the sexual urges were related to another kind of transference (not sexual, more of an infantile feeling) that started towards my female therapist. This confused connection caused me such distress and anxiety (I’ve been married many years and have not been attracted to a woman before) that I went into a very dissociated state. My therapist discharged me at this point because I made her “uncomfortable.” I was so distressed when she cut me off that I ended up writing letters to both her and my doctor about what the medication was doing to me, an excruciating admission. My doctor stopped the medication, at which point the sex drive quickly decreased. My therapist took me back, conditional on me not making her feel uncomfortable again. She told me a week later that I could trust her because she “wasn’t going anywhere.” We lasted a few more months before she cancelled an appointment, which made me very upset. My expression of anger (again in a letter) apparently made her uncomfortable — so at our next session I was discharged again, this time with (as she put it) no possibility that she would ever change her mind. This took me completely off guard because I didn’t know expressing anger could break her rule about being made uncomfortable. Apparently my bouts of dissociation, distressing sexual confusion, and anguish over abandonment meant no more to her than reasons for HER to be uncomfortable enough to dismiss me. I ended up being hospitalized by my M.D. My motivation to tell the therapist my sexual “secret” was strong because I was becoming attached to her during the time she first wanted to discharge me. Yet if I HAD kept secrets from her, both sexual and emotional, I’d still be in therapy rather than suffering ignominious rejection as a punishment, but still painfully wondering what I did wrong. I’m not sure there is any point in seeing another therapist since my trust has been destroyed. At least with self-help books, the disclaimers are printed in the preface!

  25. “They often say they’re afraid that I’ll be visualizing them in the act.” This is my exact problem. I want to talk about this stuff to my therapist at some point so I can tell him about one particular experience, but I can’t bring myself to.

  26. I would have loved to have a therapist to trust. Instead, I spent 10 years in the hands of a psychopharmacologist who wasted my 150 dollar per month med checks talking mainly about himself and his bonsai trees and his numerous trips around the world. The other couple of minutes were spent downplaying my side effects, so I learned quickly to shut up about those. He also made sure to tell me I was incurably ill and would need his happy pills for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until I had a full blown manic/psychotic break on an increased dose of an SSRI that I began to wonder why I was with this guy. Until then, any doubt was hushed by my oldest and constant companion, shame.

  27. I am glad to have found this article. Came across it when searching for “should I call my therapist if I attempted suicide and failed.” I understand that I shouldn’t keep secrets from her, but feel so ashamed and am fearful that she’ll have me committed. Not sure what to do, but your article gave me something to ponder.

    1. If you’re still a risk to yourself, she would have an obligation to intervene, so I understand your concern. Still, I don’t see how constructive therapy is possible without full disclosure.

  28. Interesting article. I have a hard time opening up to EVERYONE, not just therapists. I seem to have a compulsion to be perfect, or at least try to maintain that image. I know intellectually that I’m far from perfect, and that others know I’m not perfect, but I just can’t stop acting like that. Even to my closest friends and family, I’m always “great.” I don’t know how convincing I am, but I wish I could be vulnerable sometimes and let people in. It makes me feel like an imposter, that I can’t be honest about my true feelings. In therapy I desperately want to be completely honest, so that I can get better, but I compulsively sugar coat everything and leave out the worst details. I rehearse conversations in my head of things I want to say all the time, but I can just never follow through. I’m not even scared of judgement (at least not consciously), and I know that my people will love me regardless, but I just can’t seem to make the words come out 🙁 it’s like I’m scared of people finding out that I’m human… Like I want to be better than that …

      1. So I been seeing my therapist for like 5 sessions are i think and I been holding this deep dark secret for awhile. When I was young I was involved in incest abuse except I was the abuser to my sibling. After that my relationship with that sibling has changed drastically. Im usually angry towards them and hateful. I opened up to my mother about this which she was understanding. I have been holding this in for SOO long im desperate to tell my therapist and fix my low self esteem (I use sex for attention and feel overwhelmed with sexual thoughts constantly) but I’ve always been the person to tell everything for attention and sympathy even to strangers. I can’t tell if im ready or not. My therapist seems wonderful sometimes i make her cry cause she can feel my pain so well which i like that in people and im the same way but im scared im sharing too much too early. Im also scared about her not being able to help with sex topics. I wrote down what happened due to an assignment she gave me. She knows it’s shameful and said i could even record myself reading it but she wants me to read it out loud or play the recording. I know im all over the place but im having this inner battle. I think im ready but scared she can’t help or im saying too much too early but i have held this secret for years and i want a better relationship with my sibling.

        1. Your therapist is right, that the sexual abuse memories are shameful, and your anger and hate toward your sibling is defensive. You need to move into your shame, hopefully with the aid of your therapist.

  29. I try to be very honest with my therapist because I know therapy doesn’t work otherwise, but, as a result, instead of coming away feeling strengthened by therapy I regularly leave sessions feeling anxious and vulnerable, and this anxiety can last for several days after the session.

    I think I feel afraid of being judged, and shame around what I have revealed but I especially feel nervous around the leakage of my private information, for example via letters from the therapist to doctors. Having moved a lot I change doctors fairly regularly and am very aware of the ever accruing trail of notes that follow me in my file for one more anonymous face in a string of medics to have access to and pass judgements on.

    An unpleasant experience regarding an unprofessional letter written by my then therapist to the referring doctor some years back woke me from my innocence in this regard and highlighted how partial, glib and inaccurate a therapist summation can be.

    In short, I feel the benefits of therapy are substantially undermined for me by the sense that I cannot really trust my therapist with the things I nevertheless feel obliged to offer up.

  30. What is it about BPD that may make me share intimate details about myself right off the bat? This is something I had done, but had never thought I had BPD. And it’s okay if I have it. I am just curious to why I’d share so much so soon. Can someone tell me what is behind this behavior? Is it wrong?

  31. Call this naive, but shouldn’t a therapist detach him or herself from his or her professional judgments? Isn’t there a “frame” in which a therapist sees things in a professional light per proven medicine and not just relaying his or her personal beliefs/morality?

    Granted, therapists are human. However, it seems many other professions can divorce the personal and professional aspects, such as the police, teachers in compulsory/higher education, etc. So I don’t get why therapists must or should be different.

    Maybe I am being naive, but then I think most of us in many vocations put ourselves in a frame because we accept the responsibility assigned with the role.

  32. I do not mean to offend those that work in the field with my statements. I love psychology and psychiatry and find this site great.
    Yet as a former patient and an MD i absolutely hate some aspects of therapy and psychiatry especially. I know hate is a strong word but my negative experience compels me to be rather aggressive on the topic.
    Overall I saw 5 shrinks some for very short periods, with two of them I built a longer relationship, about 2 or 3 years.
    She was very dominering, had values and ideas that were totally opposite to mine, reeked of narcissism in my opinion. And she was punitive. She yelled at me and scolded me like a child upon being confronted on something clinical. I was just trying to explain myself on what had happened to me (sexual assault) and had photocopied a book page trying to explain my point. She bit my head off because she thought that I was daubting her knowledge. She didn’t know zip about trauma. She forced me to swallow those nasty pills when I wasn’t even technically depressed. The guy was ok until he started hitting on me, in such subtle ways, and when I told him that he was flirting he blushed and therapy was interrupted. He’d be too chummy in my opinion, but the way he was moving and smiling made me feel sexualized. I cannot explain better. For instance he threatened to spank me and that raised a red flag.
    He never admitted to anything, of course I was the one with the sexualized transference.
    So of course once again after the assault i felt like i was not believed. I wish i had found somebody that had let me tell the truth without punishing me or censoring me. Maybe i was angry but their punitive attitude the infantilization lead me to lie or act out because my voice had been silenced. My male therapist was a warm person and he liked me, and i felt he was attracted to me and that scared me but his lies scared me more because i didn’t know who the heck I was dealing with. And i do not like hearing i imagined things because even years later when i met his he was teasing me and looking at me way too long…
    Thank you

  33. My therapist is aware that I have been sexually abused. I trust her but scared to open up completely for fear of judgement and talking about sexual terms uncomfortable.

  34. I invested in telling the truth in my first therapy. But eventually I had told too much and the therapist became as fearful and overwhelmed as I am. I never have hurt anyone, never have done a crime, but was deeply worried I might could not control parts in me that are angry for me – and my logic convinced the therapist too. The more I told (in terror over myself) the further away the therapist pulled away. Eventually she ended it. Still I never did anything, never threatened to… just was afraid of the evil power living next to me, inhabiting my body.

    I am now in a new therapy. But now I try to balance what I say, try to keep in mind the therapist still also only a human and doesn’t want to be scared etc. Now I find it hard to tell anything too heavy. Like current abuse happening to me. The parts inside me that I have no control over, you name it.

    Maybe one day I find that balance between honesty and keeping it safe for me and the therapist. For now it seems a bit more complicated that you indicated in your blog.

  35. I think it’s wrong of you to assume that a therapist has some kind of God-given right to know everything about a client. There are some topics that I simply don’t feel comfortable discussing with my therapist. With my wife, sure. With my children, great. But w/ my therapist? No way. And there are issues I discuss with my therapist that I don’t discuss with other people. I don’t see anything wrong with that. If therapy is simply another relationship, as my therapist constantly tells me, then like any other relationship, there are things I will share with her, and there are things I won’t. That doesn’t make me repressive or secretive, it makes me normal.

    And there are some things I will never tell anyone. Ever. For any reason. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re human beings who have choices. The problem with many therapists is that they want to dehumanize their clients in the name of helping them help themselves.

    I say this as someone who has been in therapy for 11 years and who enjoys and benefits from it very much.

  36. Thank you so much for this – it’s so helpful to me right now. I have been seeing a great therapist for about two years and we’ve worked through the aftermath of abuse and violence and currently in the middle of looking at some life changes around going back to college and how things are for me in my marriage, as it’s not a good relationship at times. He’s a great therapist and we recently had a break for about a month, as our holidays overlapped, it was the longest break in two years of seeing each other and it was interesting as something came up during the break, that I think would never have come up otherwise during our weekly sessions and I tried to tell him but couldn’t get the words out. So today, I’ve emailed him to say there’s something I need to tell you and I have no idea where this comes from but the fear of judgement is huge and holding me back and I need your help with this, because I want to tell you that I made a stupid mistake 9 years ago and slept with someone and I’ve obviously kept the guilt from that somewhere inside and it’s boring a hole in my self-worth. After I sent the email, I read it again, I could see the words I need and help so many things, I thought oh what have I said, it was like the language of someone much younger. There are so many reasons we keep secrets and some we don’t even know why but I realise now a big part is trust because it takes a huge amount of trust to believe your worst actions will be treated with kindness and yet in order to progress, I have to trust and I really want to. Fingers crossed – I’m seeing therapist tomorrow and I plan on telling him about this.

  37. This article helped me a lot- thx! Ive been seeing my therapist for about 6 months now and Ive shared a lot with her. It took me a long time to open up to her because Ive never spoken to anyone about these issues before. I would like to bring up the topic of compulsive masturbation with her but Im really embarrassed. I have adhd and I self harm as a means of coping. I know that the compulsive masturbation is also a means of coping for me and I would like to discuss it in therapy. She knows that I self harm and we’ve been working on that but I have no idea how to bring up the topic of masturbating. Im ashamed to talk about it although I don’t think she’ll be surprised. Any advice on how to bring up the topic?
    Btw I love your website! Its been helping me a lot so thank you!

  38. How do people use words for sexual stuff when rhey are dealing with sexual trauma?

    I`m quite sure I CANNOT say “those words” to my therapist, even thought I hve talked abt the incident(s) in euphemistic terms. help! any advice?

  39. I got the guts to ask my therapist he he sees me….(I have an Ed….very conscious bat my weight).
    he responded with a lame answer, I.e. The more he gets to know people, the more beautiful they become.

    I am so angry, and I want to tell him to …well, you know! I have been seeing him for over ahead, he is a gestalt therapist. Help! I have no idea what to do. I feel like he has wounded me and I am considering getting back into my Ed more use I think gaining e 15 lbs I have gained has made me ugly.

    Any advice dr. Burgo.

      1. But in reality, should he respond truthfully? As a gestalt therapist, he values honesty and directness.
        I will be ending therapy in less than 9 months, and I don’t think I feel any better. Just able to express my overwhelming anger, which I don’t see as helpful. Any thoughts?

        1. I think being better able to express your anger is a good thing. I also think you’re asking too much of him. It seems like he means well and doesn’t want to say anything that might be hurtful to you.

  40. My wife fears seeing a therapist because, well, I work in Afghanistan and she is home alone with the two girls and trying to finish her Masters, we have bills and I can’t stop working, and so our family is always apart and she feels like the entire weight of the household in on her shoulders. Frustration naturally builds and she gets angry at the girls, yells at them, and just wants a break from them. My wife is afraid telling this to a therapist might get her in trouble. Is that so?

    1. A therapist is required to report child abuse, even suspected cases of child abuse, but telling your therapist that you’d like to have a break from your kids and that you yell at them sometimes does not indicate abuse.

  41. I’m awfully confused about what I should be telling my therapist. I started to share an incident of sexual assault that happened in college and made progress, but obviously it was too much (timewise) for one session. He said, “we will continue to work on this”, and I felt ok with that. Then, other issues came up (suicide attempt) and that became the focus of the next two session.

    The next time we met, I was ready to return to face whatever I needed to, and I took us back to something regarding abuse in my childhood instead. And that was good, too. Yet now he seems to think that I don’t need anymore therapy, or need it less often. But we have never returned to discuss anything and it seems he allows me to lead so much that I feel out of control. There is a whole lot more that I was just finally prepared to discuss.

    I have emailed him asking for a return to weekly appointments and he agreed and then … he never set an appointment. After a while, I sent him my schedule and asked him to tell me which one of those days he was available. (Email is the preferred form of contact for him). He still hadn’t responded within a few days and I felt so angry, betrayed, etc. I sent him an email that I was done with therapy, and he finally responded that he was ok with that. So, why did he even start talking about my issues and now tells me that I had made a lot of progress if he doesn’t ever go back and work on them? I have more things I feel like I have got to discuss – to talk about from a sober place – in order to radically accept them. But, I feel more ashamed than ever – as if my problems weren’t bad enough to keep him interested or… I don’t know.

    1. Sounds to me like your therapist got in over his head and didn’t know how to help you deal with those issues. I hate hearing stories like this, where the therapist unilaterally decides that a client “doesn’t need” to come as often. I understand it’s difficult, but rather than blaming yourself for doing something wrong, view him as unqualified to help you and look for someone better.

  42. Given what your therapist says about you having to rely upon yourself, and your feeling that she doesn’t want you to depend upon her, I understand why you feel you can’t tell her. It would probably frighten her because she doesn’t understand how to deal with infantile dependency in the transference.

  43. Ok, this is embarrassing but since I started again with a male therapist for the first time in 4 years, The first therapist found out about my past and I didn’t talk to him, like at all. I’ve been seeing my new therapist for about a month now and we’ve already talked about the “s” word once. (yes, I am aware I don’t like to say the word.) I’ve never talked about my abuse even with the female therapists I’ve had. I’ve kept it inside for a very longtime, and it’s eating me alive because I’ve never verbalized any of it. I’m so embarrassed by it and humiliated by it and I still even blame this today. Don’t get me wrong my current male therapist is great, but how can I talk about the “gory things” anything. I really need to talk about it, but I’m afraid he’ll reject me and then I’ll feel like a complete idiot. I feel so ashamed, I don’t know what to do. I want to trust him but at the same time I’m scared. I’ve never opened up to any of my old therapists, and he knows that.

    1. This is rough. You’re bound up with a lot of shame about the abuse; until you can face that shame and talk about it to another person you trust, you’re going to remain stuck. Trust is the hard part, I understand. Be brave!

  44. I read your article and i’m agree with you Dr. But I think that not everyone has secrets that he/she has to share. I have been in therapy since a year and 4 months now but I still can’t talk that freely and honestly I don’t think that there are secrets to share them with him or at least there aren’t some that I know about them.

  45. I have had psychotherapists in my life for the past 35 years. Enough to know the old saying very well: “There are two people (professionals) you don’t ever want to lie to: your lawyer or your psychotherapist.” Unfortunately, I have lied to both! The last psychotherapist I had was a seasoned professional. She did not have a PhD., as some of my therapists have had, but she had plenty of life experience and was very practical minded. But for reasons I still can not fathom, I lied to her about the degree of my sexual promiscuity. I lied to a HUGE degree about my sexual promiscuity! I think I did it because she treated me with such respect and kindness and I was always afraid that if she knew what horrible sexual things I had done, she would not think so highly of me. I know this was my SHAME, but it completely de-railed our 7-8 years of therapy! And once I had deceived her, I couldn’t summon the courage to tell her the truth. That kept me from really ever revealing to her what some of my basic problems were and for needing psychotherapy! I always felt somewhat better about myself after our sessions, but struggled very much to get “real” with her. The advice and suggestions she gave me did not feel “real” because I was not giving her the whole picture. Talk about self-sabotage!

  46. Hi – I recently started seeing a therapist, my second one. She is fantastic. I want to tell her everything having to do with my sexual fantasies and my sexual past etc… the tricky thing is, I would feel so much more comfortable if it were a two way conversation, and not just me talking. As in, I would like to, treading lightly and respectfully, like to say something like “ I would feel a lot less ashamed about this and I wouldn’t walk out of here feeling low and embarrassed if you felt comfortable enough to share some of your thoughts or experiences as well.” This sounds impossible – but I really think it would help me open up. But of course I don’t want to cross the line, I just want trust to be a two way street. If it’s truly a judgement free zone, than she can trust me as I am placing my trust in her also. But it just seems impossible to even bring up, and I know everyone will say it’s a bad idea. But the alternative is that I don’t open up about it at all, and keep it from her, which is also no good. What do I do? Thanks.

  47. Hi!
    First, I want to apologize for my grammar mistakes since English is not my native language.

    I found this site amazing, thank you Dr. Burgo. I found it searching for some advice about narcissistic defenses, given that I have been diagnosed (as a narcissist three times (and dropped for that) I want to share something that maybe could be useful for somebody…

    I don’t know why I still believe in psychotherapy, but I do. Maybe in US the story is different, I write about psychotherapy in my country, a little Latin American one.

    1st He was supportive, but like “New age” and I didn’t trust him. I was depressed and he just tell me histories about being happy.

    2nd In Spain, I still was depressed and went to a Psychologist (acquaintance from my Spanish fiance), and she made me felt worst about myself and convinced me to back to my country until I feel better. When I came back, my fiance broke with me because she told him I will never be well, and finally they married.

    3rd Back in my country, my depression get worst (O was SO angry!), and after almost one year, the psychologist told me I am a narcissist and is nothing bhe could do to help me.

    4th I felt shame because after 5 years, I begin a relationship with a man that, months after we begin to date, I realise is married. After almost one year, he also told me we can talk as friends, but was a waste of time and money to continue the therapy because I’m a narcissist.

    5th I begin some “new age” therapies. You know? As some people with advanced Cancer stage that to hold some hope begin with alternative medicine, I did the same with the psychotherapy. It was helpful because with the time, I discovered that the basis of all those therapies is the Junguian psychoanalysis (even if they don’t see it or don’t want to recognize it), but it was very expensive and after five years, I felt stuck.

    6th This year I felt very depressed because I had a big dissapontment in my work and in my life. I decided to search for help, and I went with a Psychologist that helped a friend. He asked me if I went just to prove that no one can help me, and I told him that at least consciously O don’t attempt to do it. But after some sessions in two months, we had a discussion about Celiac Disease (he advise me in the first session I must put away my career out of the room, that I can’t and must not discuss any issue from my medical point of view, given that I’m a MD), and when he told me that Celiac Disease is on my head, that the mind controls all, and if I believe and want it, I could be free from Celiac Disease…. I argued with him. He never gave me another appointment.

    So I was wandering here and there, asking me why I am the way I am, asking me if there is some help to us the narcissists, and feeling shame for being what I am. Then I found this blog. And make a lot of sense that the root of narcissism is shame and lack of love.

    Now I see back and I realized all those therapists helped me a lot. Most of the things they told me begin to get together as puzzles pieces.
    At the end, I think, a therapist is just another human being as us, with his or her troubles and needs, wise words and fears, experience and boundaries… They just hel us to see us like we don’t in a mirror. And sometimes, we feel judged by them because we judge ourselves very strong in the first time. At the end, is the shame what time is to be free and live in peace with what we are.

    The therapists don’t have a magical medication to free us from our pain, our angry or our shame… They just listen is and help us to see
    places we don’t want to see. If we are lucky, the therapist could help us to vvalidate us and say: “”Yes, you deserve love. Yes, I listen you. Yes, you are important. Yes, I don’t judge you. Yes I accept you with your darkest shadows; and
    you deserve love”. All we can do is to know that all the experiences we have live, even the worst, the most painful (as rape), the root of our “sins” are experiences that many human beings have lived since the world is world, and maybe we can learn from them and realize that we are more stronger and brave than those experiences, and that we deserve to be loved by ourselves in the point that we are now, even if we feel shame, or we’re diagnosed with any personality disorder, or we have any addiction… And maybe the therapist can take us to that place where we light up and love our shadows…
    Maybe write those feelings we can’t discuss with our therapist can help us. Sometimes bus easier bro write them…

    I know it sounds well-known, but that’s what I conclude after reading your post Dr. Burgo, and the comments from all that brave people who wrote here. Thank you guys. Thanks and I feel everything will improve to us. 🙂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *