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Rigidity Versus Opening Up in Therapy

Rigidity Versus Opening Up in Therapy

You’ve met your therapist, and perhaps been to a few sessions. The subject keeps coming back to your past, and you tell the therapist, I don’t want to talk about my past, I want to deal with the present situation I’m in. Perhaps your therapist specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She or he has met with you for quite a while, and the subject of trying EMDR comes up in a session. You say, I’ve heard great things about EMDR, but it’s for people with greater problems than I have, and besides, I like talk therapy.  

Let’s say you go to therapy because you are in recovery from an addiction, and are extremely depressed. To get you a bit normalized and unstuck, your therapist suggests you ask your PCP for an antidepressant prescription. You remind the therapist that you are already struggling with addiction, and don’t want to add another drug to your system, and besides, it probably won’t do any good.  

There are many circumstances in therapy in which you may bawk, dig your heels in, and be inflexible with a suggestion, discussion or question. Why do you think that is? Could it be an underlying fear? Could your fear be from the unknown, a loss of control, the expectation of too much emotional pain, or that you’re going to lose it forever if you take a certain step?

Ask yourself if the reason you don’t want to follow a suggestion is from fear. Ask yourself, what are you gaining or getting from being miserable? What your therapist asks is assuredly not like jumping into the wild surf during a hurricane, or having a shrimp cocktail when you are allergic to shellfish. Therapists don’t ask random questions or make random suggestions. They have an ethical responsibility for your safety, and have your best interests and ultimate healing in mind. They have worked hard to earn your trust.

Certainly, trying something new can be fear inducing. Think what it took for you to admit to your family that you have an addiction, or the courage it took to go to a rehab. When you come up against inflexibility, try mustering some of your great courage by challenging yourself. Dab your big toe in the water—open up a bit, give yourself a chance to heal. You can do it!

Serenity Oaks provides an intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. We provide medical support, detox, and other help such as building life skills. Through individualized programs we help you move forward in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-396-8526.  

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center