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I've been going to therapy for over a month and I still don't feel comfortable talking to my therapist. I don't feel any better than I did before going to therapy. I really don't know what to do.
- Abel*

The first couple of visits to a therapist are usually spent getting comfortable. Some people open up right away or after a few visits. Others need more time. It can be hard for some people to talk about feelings and problems they're facing, especially if they aren't used to confiding about personal things.

When it comes to feeling comfortable with a therapist, a lot depends on the person and the situation he or she is dealing with. It also can depend on the match between the therapist and the person. Sometimes a therapist is exactly the right fit; other times that's not the case.

The best thing to do is tell your therapist that you don't feel comfortable talking yet and you're not feeling any better. If that's hard to do, try printing this out and giving it to your therapist. That can get the conversation started. Maybe your therapist can approach things differently. Maybe you need more time to open up. Maybe the two of you need to talk about the goals of your therapy, such as the ways you want to feel better, and what you expect the therapy to help you with. Or maybe you need to give a different therapist a try.

Your therapist can help you consider all of these ideas and decide what to do. You can also ask your therapist how long it might take before you start feeling better. Feeling better can only happen when you're able to talk about what's been bothering you. By sharing that you're not yet comfortable talking, you'll get the process going.

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: November 2011

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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