Suicide is preventable: The inadvertent implications of what we say.
Updated: Jan 2
Sometimes hurting people have a shame filter.
I saw my first big example of this about a year ago. Back then I used to end my first session saying, “Typically clients have some sort of improvement in about five-ish sessions. After that some clients continue meeting with me once a week, other clients decide they’ve had enough, and some clients decide to continue therapy every other week.”
I told clients this because I wanted them to know what to expect.
One very brave client, months into our therapy, told me that my opening line almost caused him to drop out, and by implication, was probably scaring off many other clients.
Improve after five sessions? He thought at the time, What if I don’t improve in five sessions? I’m not sure this can be fixed by then? What does it say about me if I’m not done in five sessions?
He spiraled under the pressure.
I told my wife this story and she said “Of course. I can totally see that .”