What if I don’t feel comfortable to answer a question?

Counselling often involves sensitive subjects and personal feelings

But what if you don't feel comfortable to answer a question your counsellor has asked?

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There may be times in your counselling process when your therapist asks a question that you don't feel comfortable to answer. Here are some things to consider.⠀

Firstly, is the question relevant? For example, if you are going to therapy for depression and your counsellor asks if you have suicidal thoughts, though this can be difficult to discuss, it will be very helpful to answer honestly. Similarly, a couples counsellor might ask you about infidelity or sexual intimacy- which can be awkward to answer, but useful understanding your relationship concern(s).⠀

If you're not sure why your therapist has asked you a question, simply ask how it is relevant. This a part of your client rights and the informed consent of therapy.⠀

Secondly, ask yourself ‘what is my hesitation telling me?’ Sometimes we hesitate to respond to a question because we’re trying to avoid the thoughts or feelings attached to the answer. We might wonder if saying it out loud makes it true. Therapy is a safe space to share your thoughts and emotions and to practice having interactions that you’ll have in the real world. Reflecting on your own process during interactions can provide valuable self-insight.⠀

Third, consider if you feel pressured to answer. As a client, you DO NOT have to answer a question if you don’t feel comfortable and you have the right to say this to your therapist.

Your therapist might respond by telling you why they asked, they may reframe the question in a way that makes more sense and feels more comfortable, or the conversation may switch topics. You also have the right to change the topic of conversation.

One of the main pillars of counselling is client consent. Practicing responding to uncomfortable situations will help you strengthen your own boundaries and learn how to navigate conversations when you feel uncertain. Every step of the counselling process presents an opportunity to learn more about yourself.

Are you curious about the counselling process?

Contact me to book a counselling session or consultation appointment.