This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Leanne 1 month ago.

How do I not hold back from crying in session with my therapist

  • Hey Katie,

    I’ve been dealing with PTSD since 2010. So with that being said I’ve been seeing my therapist for a few months now and been doing EMDR with the same therapist. I want to cry in sessions but I hold back for some reason…. is it normal. The fact that my therapist can tell that I want to cry but I hold back any advice would be great. I love all your videos and love you!

    Hey Ted,

    It took me years before I could cry in session, but then one day it just happened and now I cry whenever I feel like it. I think part of it was the build up, you know? Like I wanted to cry but was so focused on getting to that point that I couldn’t relax enough to just let it happen. Don’t try and force yourself… you’ll get there.


    thank you libby

    Hey Ted!

    I was just about to post something asking something similar to your question.

    I also hold back crying in my therapy sessions. I never bring up crying because I don’t wanna start crying in front of her because I will embarrass myself. I’m afraid how my therapist will react. I have shared stressful situations but not really anything sad.

    Libby, how did your therapist react the first time when you started to cry? I’ve been seeing my current therapist since October and I trust her but haven’t shared with her about times I wanted to cry.

    I wanna bring Crying up as one of my topics next week in my therapy session but IDK if I can…

    Ted, I am glad to hear you have the same question I do!


    well. she knows when I want to cry but I cant bring myself to do so

    Hey Leanne,

    My therapist was totally comfortable with it so I didn’t feel embarrassed at all. She knew how to handle it and didn’t make a big deal out of me crying for the first time (she treated it like a natural, normal thing which was just what I needed). It wasn’t even a pretty cry. It was an ugly, completely lost composure cry. Since then I’ve cried in front of a few therapists whenever I need to. I’ve never had any weird or awkward reactions and I always feel better after getting it out and letting someone else see me as I am, which is total mess haha.

    You should definitely bring it up at your next appt! Doesn’t hurt to get a feel for how she handles things or what she thinks about it:)

    Hi Libby,

    I don’t want to get embarrassed. Most likely would happen we would just talk about crying because in the moment I meet with her I don’t need to cry during that time. I am so glad your therapist could handle it. I’m sure mine will too. But if I get sad in session all I’ll do is hold in my emotions and get quieter than normal.


    Hi Ted,

    I know how you feel!! Does your therapist mention something to you when she knows you want cry but can’t.

    she does

    Hi Ted,

    I think this is completely normal. I have C-PTDS and cry in session a lot. In fact, in my first session ever the first question my therapist asked was “how does it feel to be here?” and I immediately started sobbing. That being said, I go through periods of being shut down and emotionally withdrawn in session. I will similarly feel like crying but not be able to, and the more I try to help myself cry the more withdrawn I begin to feel. My therapist can always tell as well when that is happening. I’ve noticed that the shutting down stuff seems to get worse after something happens that makes me feel closer to my therapist–its like a siren goes off in my head telling me that I am in danger, which is my natural response to getting close to people. Anyway, I’m not sure what to tell you that might help you be able to cry, but do want you to know that you’re not alone and not abnormal, and your “problem” makes sense based on what you’ve survived. You make sense.


    I see her on Tuesday!

    Good luck on Tuesday!! That’s the same day I meet with my therapist as well.

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