What Your Therapist Really Thinks About You

What Your Therapist Really Thinks About You

Have you ever wondered what your therapist is thinking while you’re sitting there spilling out all of your anxieties and the thoughts that zip around your head that you’d never tell anyone else? Have you ever paused and worried, what did she just write down? Or think, “she probably thinks I’m nuts.” Or “I can’t believe I’m ugly crying, she must think…” Or any of the other things that we think about before, during and after therapy.

Well I’m here to spill the beans on what your therapist may be thinking. I am a therapist, I have a therapist and I’m friends with a lot of therapists. I asked a bunch of therapists what they think their patients should and maybe don’t know. Here is what they had to say.

What You Should Know

Nothing you say will shock her – believe me, most therapists have heard it all in some form or another.

She trained for this! Really, a licensed therapist goes through a lot of education and training. Some get additional certifications and specialize in different types of treatment. All licensed therapists (Social Workers, Counselors, Marriage and Family, Psychologists) are also required to complete additional education to maintain their license.

What Your Therapist Really Thinks About You

She doesn’t care if you cry.

We really don’t. Seriously. So many times clients will apologize for crying, or say they don’t want to cry, or say they don’t normally cry. It’s really okay if you do. And it’s also okay if you don’t. We have tissue.

She doesn’t write down everything you say.

Some therapists take notes during sessions, others jot down a brief note once you’re gone. That’s why it is often considered a “50 minute hour.” If you’re using insurance to cover your therapy, they often require a “diagnosis and notes” but don’t worry. We keep our notes brief and general.

I know exactly what you need and it’s not me.

Sometimes you’ve done the work and it is time to move on. Other times you need a more intensive therapy or a group or a specific treatment modality. Your therapist will discuss this with you and get you the right referrals. It may mean your current therapeutic relationship ends. It may mean you pause with your current therapist while you work with a specialist, or maybe you work in conjunction with the other treatment (for example being in a group).

She is proud of you/the work you’ve done.

She is worried about you.

You are not a burden.

What We Can’t / Don’t Say Out Loud

What Your Therapist Really Thinks About You

Therapists are people too and sometimes, despite our best efforts, other thoughts can creep in during therapy, or sometimes we get annoyed.

She wishes she could tell you what she really thinks

There are boundaries in place for a reason, but sometimes we wish we could just say it like it is.

Get to the Point

Rambling and tangents can be challenging (especially at the end of the day).


I often remind others that therapy isn’t supposed to be fun … it’s work. It’s working on you and for you and that can be really hard. When things get hard, we can sometimes shut down. The therapeutic relationship can suffer if you don’t actually do the work in AND out of therapy.

Other Things to Know

What Your Therapist Really Thinks About YouA few quotes from a few therapists:

“Yeah that money exchange can be awkward for us too.”

“Sometimes I’m making my to-do list” I feel bad, but I’m human.

“I wish I could tell my client exactly what to do, but that is not why I’m here.”

“We don’t talk about you with our friends; we take confidentiality very seriously.”

“I love what I do and I’m honored that people trust me with the hard things in their lives.”

Therapy is an amazing tool and can be life changing. It is not the same a chatting with a friend and that is a good thing. Therapists are passionate about their work and want the best for they people they see, and they’re also people too. In the end, work on not worrying so much about what your therapist is thinking and focus on working on you!

Need help figuring out what you’re looking for in a therapist? Check out this post.

If you are having a crisis or mental health emergency go to the nearest emergency room or call/text 9-8-8.

A native of the New Orleans 'burbs, Melanie has lived in Baton Rouge since starting her bachelors degree at LSU. She earned her BA in Mass Communication and a master’s degree in Social Work both from LSU. In her professional life Melanie focuses on women’s mental health. Melanie and her husband Adam have been together for almost two decades. They have 2 bright and curious kids who keep them on their toes. When not working or moming Melanie can be found exploring yet another new hobby, trying to “get organized” and avoiding the laundry. She loves sitcoms, traveling, iced coffee and carbs.


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