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4 Ways to Make the Best Use of Therapy on Weeks When You Don’t Have Much to Talk About

What’s the best use of your therapy session on weeks when you’re not sure what to talk about?

Most clients enter therapy with clear goals in mind—whether it’s to feel better, stop unwanted behaviors, or worry less. Sometimes, once you start talking, you might find that it’s hard to stop as old hurts and memories flood in.

However, there will be weeks when it feels like you have very little to say. Is it still worth attending these sessions? Absolutely. Here’s how to ensure your time is well spent, even on quieter days.

Why You May Be Drawing a Blank in Therapy

It can be useful to identify why you might have less to discuss in some sessions. Here are some common reasons the clients I see at Embodied Counseling experience this:

  • Treatment Fatigue: Therapy is an emotionally demanding process. If you’ve been engaging deeply in therapy, you might experience exhaustion as a signal from your nervous system to slow down or take a break. Exploring this with your therapist can be a great way to build attunement to your needs and challenge an all-or-nothing approach to self-development.
  • Improvement or Goal Achievement: If you’ve been focused on a specific issue and have seen improvement, you might feel uncertain about what to discuss next. This is a great opportunity to celebrate your progress and consider new goals.
  • Feeling Okay: Maybe more days feel harder than not and lately it feels like you’re just trying to survive hour to hour. You finally feel “ok” and it so happens to be the day of your therapy session. Now your therapist wants you to dig up the very painful emotions you finally feel a reprieve from? No thanks! If this feels like the reason behind why you have less to talk about, discuss with your therapist if this can be a great session to reinforce positive feelings or get a better sense for your limits and boundaries.
  • Distractions or Difficulty Focusing: External factors such as upcoming meetings, household distractions, or other commitments might affect your focus. This can be a great chance to explore how you manage stress and stay present.
 

How to Best Use Your Time in Therapy

No matter the reason for your quieter day, here are some strategies to make the most of your session:

  • Communicate with Your Therapist: Let your therapist know how you feel about the session. Therapists are trained to help navigate the conversation and find value in every meeting, even when you feel like you have nothing to talk about.
  • Review Values, Goals, and Progress: When life moves quickly, it’s helpful to pause and reflect. Ask your therapist to help you review your progress and discuss possible future focus areas.
  • It’s Time to Finally Go on That Side Quest: Remember that time you went on a tangent about your family, making friends as an adult, existential dread, or how to use your phone less and your therapist directed you back to the more urgent topic at hand? A lighter content week is a great week to give your attention to topics that may have been deferred in the past. I keep a running list of things my clients mention as being of interest to them to discuss and use this as a resource on weeks where they don’t know what to talk about.
  • Learn Something New: If there’s a skill or technique you’ve been curious about, quieter sessions can be the perfect time to ask your therapist to introduce or practice it. Whether it’s a mindfulness exercise or a communication strategy, learning something new can be beneficial.
 

Conclusion

By checking in with yourself, exploring your goals, focusing on self-care, trying something new, asking for feedback, and being open and honest with your therapist, you can make the most of your sessions, even when you feel like you have less to say. Remember, every part of you is welcome in therapy, and your therapist is there to support you.

If this was helpful, or you’re looking for a compassionate therapist to support you in your relationship to food and body image, reach out to Tori Cherry, LCSW, CEDS-C (tori@embodiedcounselinggroup.com).

Originally guest published on the Nutrition Braved blog in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month

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