the decision to try psychotherapy after years of depression which started
in childhood. I have been to three sessions so far and have tried to be open
and honest. Although I liked the psychotherapist initially, the sessions
always contain long silences while he sits and stares at me. I find this
excruciating and desperately fish around for something to say until I go
blank and stare at the floor. In the last session I told him I didnt
like the staring and he apologized and said he was here to help. I am starting
to dread the next session and am thinking of quitting. I understand that
I am supposed to do most of the talking but as I am so unused to talking
about myself, isnt he supposed to help?
There are many different kinds of
each with its own particular theories and procedures. A person new to
psychotherapy cannot be expected to understand much about the treatment process,
so it can be especially helpful for the psychotherapist to
explain what the
treatment involves. Sadly, some psychotherapists fail miserably at thisand
thats why this question and answer section of my website got
It sounds as
if your psychotherapist is practicing a form of
psychotherapy in which the psychotherapist remains silent quite often.
As I explain in another question, the
psychoanalytic technique of silence can be an effective intervention used
in the treatment. Nevertheless, if therapeutic silence is to be a part of
treatment, you must be given the rationale for this treatment procedure that
initially may not make any sense to you, and you must be taught how to make
use of the psychotherapists silence by your
The fact is,
even if you dont like something initially, once you understand how
it works, it can be very helpful to you.
Still, some forms
of treatment are not for everyone, and there can be more efficient ways to
conduct psychotherapy than psychoanalysis. Even I, who have been trained
in the principles of psychoanalysis, use an interactive technique in practicing
should have explained all of this to you, rather than just let you flounder
to the point of getting frustrated enough to want to
So what can you
do? You can explain to him what you have read here and ask for some help.
If he just remains silent, then you have good justification to leave him
and find someone who really can help you.
advertisingno sponsorjust the simple truth . . .