Practicing Vulnerability in Therapy and in Life

There is power in being open, vulnerable and honest in our life (with ourselves and others). I believe most people would see honesty as an important quality; however, there are many situations we interact in daily that it’s still pretty difficult to be fully honest.  Sometimes our hesitation to be truthful is out of the best intentions; we are worried about hurting someone's feelings or don't want to start conflict.

Several months ago I had an experience where I had difficulty telling the truth to a medical provider, well in fact I kind of lied. There were many factors that were ‘road-blocks’ for me to telling the truth, mostly it was because I wasn't able to deal with the truth myself.

Has something like this ever happened to you? A time where you wanted to be open and honest, but something kept you back. Maybe it was your partner, a loved one, or a friend that you wanted to be more vulnerable with but weren't.

If you look deeper, what kept you from being raw and open and honest?

One of the coolest things about therapy is that you can use the therapeutic space to practice being vulnerable and honest and talking about things that don't feel quite right.

You can talk about the experiences you’ve had and share your deepest feelings and practice honesty and vulnerability in a safe, non-judgmental, nurturing space.

As a therapist, I have had the privilege of witnessing some amazing people share about the profound experiences they’ve had in their lives.  Sometimes these are experiences they’ve never talked about before, usually painful, or filled with feelings of shame, guilt, sadness and anger.

Together, we talk about what they have kept private and hidden, help them understand and release the feelings twisted and tangled up with their experience. 

Often there is profound relief that comes through the process of telling one’s story. 

A lightness or weight being lifted when they say words they’ve never said before.  They realize that it’s not so scary and find the courage to start openly sharing who they are with others in their life.

Another way you can use the therapy sessions is by talking with your therapist about your interactions with them.  Maybe you felt hurt or misunderstood by something they said. By speaking up, either in the moment, at the next session, or whenever you feel ready to bring it up,  you are using the safe space that is your therapy session to be assertive and ask for your needs to be met.

In what ways could you be more vulnerable in your life with those closest to you?

I want to challenge you to be brave, to find something (start small) to share about yourself with a safe person in your life. Be vulnerable in sharing your fears, shame, hurt, loss, and notice how a small truth-telling can lead to a deeper connection and meaning in your relationships. 

Be bold,