How to Be Your Authentic Self in Therapy

Being real matters in therapy

When you go to therapy, you’re there to get help for your problems. Whether you’re dealing with a mental health condition or life challenges, a therapist is there to support you through those concerns. Some people struggle with being authentic in therapy for a variety of reasons. They may feel like their therapist will judge them. The person might be used to lying so that they don’t have to deal with the truth and might be hanging onto that as a coping mechanism – even if it’s not working for them. If you want things to improve and to start living a life where you’re functioning, happy and healthy, being authentic in therapy is essential.

It’s scary to be real, but it’s more frightening to hide

By being real in therapy, you’re taking a risk. You might not be familiar with confronting scary emotions, and it’s tempting to back away from them, but there are many risks in life that we have to take, and one of them is confronting the unknown. Remember that change takes time. By admitting that you’re having a problem, that’s the first step to getter better. You don’t have to change overnight. Your therapist is there to support you through the process. Therapy is a safe space to talk about what’s bothering you. You can also process the fear of confronting things like your feelings or trauma in therapy; your therapist understands that it can be challenging to come face to face with hard truths.

Therapy is a safe space

If you trust your therapist, you can be sure that they’re not there to judge you. They’re there to understand. One of the essential foundations of a good therapeutic relationship is a sense of safety and trust. If you have that foundation, you’ll feel safe enough to be real with them. Maybe you’re struggling with a substance use problem, or you’re in a marriage that’s not working, but you’re afraid to admit the truth; therapists have dealt with these issues and many others before, so it’s unlikely that you’ll tell them something that’ll surprise them. They’ve seen a lot of different things, and their job is to help people with the hard stuff, so there’s no need to hide it from them. The great thing about therapy is that you’re in a non-judgmental space where nothing bad will happen when you open up; you don’t have to risk anyone getting angry, making fun of you, or shunning you. One thing to assess if you don’t feel safe opening up to your therapist is if this is the right therapist for you. Consider consulting a different therapist if that’s the case. It would help if you felt safe to do the work needed to get to a better place and resolve the things that you came in to face.

Finding the right fit for a therapist

It’s okay to take your time searching for the right therapist for your needs. You don’t have to choose the first one you meet, and it’s okay to shop around. Whether you work with a therapist online or in your local area, you have the right to be selective about who provides you therapy. Your psychologist, therapist, or counselor should be someone who you can be your authentic self with so that you can get the best care possible. If you struggle with being your true self in your daily life, you can also discuss this with a mental health professional and work through any obstacles that you have related to this issue.

About the Author: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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