Just because a therapist is there to expertly evaluate our emotional challenges throughout many of life's adversities and crises, it doesn't mean they always hold it together.
People tend to forget that therapists–the professional we seek for guidance when we're vulnerable–are also human and are just as prone to feeling the feels.
Curious to hear from therapists who've exposed their emotional vulnerabilities in front of their clients opened up when Redditor Unkw0n_pers0n asked:
"Therapist that have cried in a session, why?"
A patient who feels seen and understood reinforces why therapists endeavor to help people in the first place.
It Wasn't Her Fault
"I was working with a deeply depressed client who had a lot of negative self talk about how she was always a failure. We were exploring the origins of this and how young she was the first time she felt self-blame. She told me her earliest story of when she was in 2nd grade."
"Afterwards, as we were processing it, I expressed that 'it wasn't your fault' about the story. She just broke down sobbing and said 'nobody has ever said that to me before' in between sobs. It hit me and I cried a little."
"i cried after i worked with a kid who described an emotionally difficult situation with a sibling. the kid’s experience aligned very similarly to something i went through with my own sibling when i was the kid’s age and i hadn’t realized how much hurt i was carrying from the experience."
"being a therapist sometimes means being confronted with things you didn’t realize had such a strong impact on you. luckily, i have a stellar therapist of my own that i can work through these moments with."
The Patient With A Disorder
"I was doing a cognitive assessment for a girl. We were doing tests and at one point she started crying she was unable to tell me why, she was fine just one moment before. I let her collect her thoughts, then she said softly 'I don't want to be more stupid than my friends'. She wasn't actually, she was very bright, but she didn't know that she has dyslexia, dysorthograpy AND dyscalculia. I realized that she went through THIRTEEN years of school without help. Her parents didn't want to do an assessment as they thought she was just lazy. I told her that she was very brave to decide to get help and things would get better after our assessment and I felt tears in my eyes."
"Edit: first of all, I have great empathy for parents, for most of all is just a matter of ignorance, fear and parenting is hard. If you are a parent and you see your kid struggling, PLEASE listen to professionists, we are here to help, not judge, and we will find ways to help you and your kid. Disorders don't go away, don't underestimate it, the sooner you get help, the better the outcome can be. It's ok to be scared but we're here for you and we understand you."
"Second, I'm really sorry to read so many heartbreaking stories about people that weren't believed and struggled being undiagnosed. I wish you all the best, I hope you are in a better situation and you got or you'll get all the help you deserve, because you do deserve it."
"Third, if you think 'something's wrong with me', get help if you are in a position to do so. Worst case you understand yourself better and have a chance do make peace with parts of yourself."
A patient who has already accepted their heartbreaking fate recalls seeing their therapist getting emotionally involved during a session.
A Mother Who Didn't Want To Let Go
"My therapist cried while 'mediating' a discussion between my mom and I. I have a neurodegenerative disease and she is my full time caregiver. Because of my severe disability, she also has legal guardianship of me, even though I am in my 20’s (this is all fine with me, I need the help, and I agreed in court to all of it. This was the first true 'disagreement' that we ever had.)"
"I am ready to die. I am in pain, unable to do anything for myself, and it’s only getting worse. I asked my mom to sign a DNR, because I have been resuscitated before, it was a mess, and I don’t want it to happen again."
"She refused. She doesn’t want to lose her child and wanted to do everything medically possible to keep me alive."
"The session was essentially me begging her to let me go, while she sobbed and said she could never sign a paper that would lead to my death. It was a terrible situation. No one was 'the bad guy', no one was trying to hurt the other. It was someone wanting their suffering to end, verses a mother not wanting to lose her child."
"My therapist agreed that I should be allowed to make this choice, but certainly didn’t think my mom was manipulative or evil, just already grieving and trying to hold on to me as long as possible. I saw her wipe her eyes several times, and they were red by the time we were done. She actually hugged us both at the end."
"The situation wasn’t resolved during the session, but my mom came around shortly after. She wouldn’t sign the DNR, but gave me legal permission to do so (so, in her mind, it wasn’t her making the final decision.)"
"BTW, my mom and I have a GREAT relationship! This was just one issue that we couldn’t come to an agreement on ourselves. But it worked out, and I’m now in palliative care and have a great team looking after me, INCLUDING my mom!"
The following examples continue to demonstrate how therapists are more emotionally invested in their patients and clients than you think.
Responding To Tragic News
"I cried in a substance treatment group. A client’s mom had reached out via email to me to say that her daughter died from an OD. She called during my group so I chose to take the call and spoke with her briefly. I thought I could continue with the group. Ended up in tears instead."
She Patient Who Felt Unloved
"My patient cried and said 'there's nobody on this planet who loves me anymore.' I cried when I left because I knew she was right. For context: she was 95, her husband and son had died, she had a personality disorder that made her behaviour unbearable for her environment after her husband died and every person still in her life were paid for to be around her. She died a few months after this conversation."
It is unsurprising that therapists are compassionate people.
Otherwise, they wouldn't be in the room to help someone who is struggling internally.
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"Don't touch me or my skin!" is a legendary battle cry in my family, courtesy of a frustrated and dramatic then-three-year-old.
She wanted to be picked up and cuddled, but also not touched in any way shape or form.
Honestly - same, fam.
Like... it's impossible but also I totally get it.
Reddit user NoLifeNoSoulNoMatter asked:
"Parents of toddlers, what was today’s meltdown-worthy tragedy?"
Buckle up, friends.
Toddlers are a wild and confusing ride.
"He asked me to open the banana but he didn't get to open it himself"
"This is why I just slightly open it and then give it to them to finish the job. Took me many MANY breakdowns to figure it out."
"This one is the worst. 'I can’t open it. Dad you do it'. I open it. 'Why did you doooo that?! I waaaanted to oooooopen it!!!!'."
"Lmao I feel so seen right now"
"This. Mine says 'No, my turn!!' God forbid you don’t let her do the thing. Which is normally just closing a drawer or something mundane."
"He wants to put a box on my head but it's broken and keeps falling off. So apparently it's ruining his play time."
"How dare you"
"I mean my playtime would definitely be ruined if my mommy's head kept falling off."
Ah Yes The Terrible 22's
"Took the car down to the body shop to get the side panel that he crunched buffed out. The car won't be ready until Wednesday but he wanted to go back downtown to party with his roommates tonight. He's 22."
"Ah the terrible twenty-twos! Hopefully he grows out of it soon!"
"So, you’re telling the rest of us that the whining never stops. Thanks. Haha"
"He's a great kid and we're very lucky. But yeah, the whining never really stops."
There Was A List
"First: his dad left for work. Second: he dumped out the box of goldfish crackers. Third: I picked up the goldfish crackers. Fourth: it wasn’t the right episode of Paw Patrol. Fifth: I won’t let him eat shoes."
"Wow that last one is just plain rude of you."
"Oh, don’t you love it when they want the second part of the show and you have no idea which one it is because they only list the first part?"
Tell Me More To Do List GIF by Disney ChannelGiphy
"My husband kissed me and apparently he is only allowed to show her affection. There was a lot of screaming and forcibly pulling us apart."
"My toddle is like this but the reverse. He fully believes I am his woman."
"(Nods in Sigmund Freud)"
"Yep. From what I remember It takes a while to understand the concept that affection is not a finite thing"
We Get This One
"She wasn't on the couch with her bottle and teddy bear."
"But actually, she was, but things weren't right"
"I mean to be fair how many of us are guilty of this? Or like when I get my food and blankies and become ensconced and then Netflix won’t play what I want or the remote is out of reach?"
"The worst is settling in with blankets and snacks only to realize the remote is out of reach. Ugh! I have to get up now?!"
"Aw bless. She just doesn't know how to explain how she feels."
"So far she's communicating 'eat', 'more', and 'banana'. We're slowly working our way up to the fung shui of the couch haha"
Those Two Are Tough Ones
"The cat was touching his toy. The toy HE threw onto the cat..."
"He also had a meltdown because his leg was attached to him..."
"Ok I need more information on the leg"
"We were driving along, all of a sudden from the back seat he starts crying and what not."
"I can't get it off!"
" 'My leg!' queue him pulling at his leg through fits of tears..."
"I flushed his poop and can’t get it back and now he can’t poop again."
"This one. I still love to embarrass my 15 year old by bringing it up. His dad flushed the toilet after he peed when he was maybe 3 or 4 years old. It was just before bedtime. Oh the heartbroken tears coz 'daddy flushed my wee'. Told him to go again. 'I don't have soooooome', was the wailed answer"
"I love this, but want to add to it- my kid is convinced the toilet can’t handle his poop. I’ve shown him how the toilet works, I’ve explained the entire sewage processing system to him several times, but he’s not going for it."
"I thought the answer would be to show him 'dad’s poop going down', so I asked his dad to 'save' a poop to flush with him watching.Dad sent a text, I sent my kid up, and seconds later I hear traumatic crying. Kid came running downstairs crying about daddy’s 'massive' poop, (my kid loves the word massive, but is good at using it in proper context), and I think we’re a good 3 months before he’ll even try pooping in the potty again."
I Have Rights
"Watched my 3 year old niece. Apparently not letting her eat cat treats is a violation of her civil rights"
"I've sharpened my pitchfork & lit my torch. You are obviously a monster."
"Talked to my pediatrician because my child kept eating the cat's food. (Elderly cat, tall toddler, really couldn't put the food up higher.) He suggested we switch to a moister food so my kid wouldn't choke."
"Let her eat them. They won't harm her."
Let's be honest—they're a lot more relatable than we'd like to admit.
Years ago, I knew a girl who came from a very strict family of Christian evangelicals. We never hung out, but she was forbidden from wearing anything "secular" and always looked very uncomfortable. It was apparent she suffered from anxiety.
She eventually found a few friends but I recall one friend who hung out at her place later told classmates that they had to answer questions about their religious affiliation before they would be allowed to enter the house.
I don't know if there's any truth to that story at this point but that would have been a giant red flag for me, just saying.
People shared their stories with us after Redditor daryandy asked the online community,
"What was the strangest rule you had to respect at a friend's house?"
"Friend wasn't allowed..."
"Friend wasn't allowed in her room unless she was sleeping or changing her clothes. She wasn't allowed to shower for more than 10 minutes. Her brother was also locked out of his room and was forced to take cold showers. All so they wouldn't pleasure themselves."
This is over the top and sounds like a surefire way to make overly sexual kids.
"A good friend of mine..."
"A good friend of mine went through a season where he didn’t have running water at his house so the rule in the house was that no one could come over unless they brought a couple gallons of water with them to pour into the toilet in the event that they had to poop."
Poor kid, growing up with that kind of stuff really sucks, even when it's only temporary. Especially if other kids find out.
"It wasn't really..."
"It wasn't really rule of the house but my friend's parents were huge helicopter parents. Went to a concert with a friend and we had to call (not text) her parents every hour to let them know we were okay."
Oh no, helicopter parents are the worst. That's no way for a kid to live.
"Her mom made us..."
"No "boy talk."
"Her mom made us keep the intercom on when we were in her bedroom and would listen to us talk, if we started talking about Boys, she would chime in and tell us to change the subject. We were 15/16 and not having the privacy to talk about crushes and stuff felt weird."
This is so wrong I don't even know where to begin with it.
"We had to keep our hands..."
"We had to keep our hands above the covers when we went to sleep so they could make sure we weren’t “doing anything”. I was 9. Literally was the last time I spent the night there. Weirdos."
Yeah... I can't say I blame you. Run for the hills. Not people you want to remain around.
"Stayed at a friend's house one night and the family communicated exclusively through whispering... not just hushed voices but full on hand to ear. Serious mind f*ck."
Something about this just gives me a creepy feeling.
"No one was allowed to laugh at the dinner table or talk other than to ask, "Please pass the. . ." No one was allowed to leave the table (even for a potty emergency) until the dad was done eating."
I don't understand this. This seems to defeat the purpose of eating as a family.
"It was impossible..."
"My friend's mom's boyfriend had one of those rooms we weren't allowed in for any reason. Problem was, it was the living room."
"It was impossible to get to the kitchen without going through that living room. Also couldn't reach the door to the backyard. So I never once entered the kitchen in that house, and any trips to the backyard meant walking out the front door and going through the gate on the side of the house."
Another one I just don't understand. Why are people like this? And the living room of all places? The living room?!
"I remember watching a movie at a friend’s house with another person, so there were three of us sharing a bowl of popcorn."
"Before any of us went to eat the popcorn, my friend said it was a rule in their house that each person can only pick up one small single piece of popcorn at a time.. we’d have to finish chewing it and wait to swallow it until picking up the next one individual piece of popcorn."
That's frustrating, would be better just to give everyone a bowl to split it. Especially since I bet the rule was made for potentially dirty hands.
"We had to finish..."
"We had to finish all the milk in the cereal bowl. Like every drop. But we weren't allowed to pick up the bowl or be noisy. Imagine three little kids carefully trying to drink milk from a spoon without slurping or scraping the bowl while one scary AF mom watched us in silence."
Something about this just grosses me out. Probably because I just don't like milk in cereal most of the time.
Your childhood feels pretty normal in comparison, doesn't it? You bet it does. I feel for some of the people here. Their parents are truly something else.
Have some stories of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
Many people lie or exaggerate about seemingly little things. For example, I've wondered if many are lying or at the very least stretching the truth about the number of partners they've had.
One of those strange things where half of the people are lying and making the number higher, and the other half are lying and making it lower.
It's funny, isn't it? But you do you! What do we know?
People shared some of their thoughts with us after Redditor SleepingOmibozu asked the online community,
"What's something you're 100% sure most people are lying about?"
"How much their side hustle nets them."
When it comes to side hustles, everyone is much more successful than they actually are.
"Steroid abuse in the fitness industry."
This is a big one. So many people who say they're natural are juicing.
"I have read..."
"I have read and understood the terms and conditions..."
Stop attacking me! I did not ask for this!
"That they don't..."
"That they don’t pick their nose."
Yeah, right. The number of people I've seen digging for gold in public is so high.
"Fully understanding the plot of the Metal Gear Solid series."
I stopped trying to. Do I get a cookie? I'd love one.
"How often they clean..."
"How often they clean their bed sheets."
I'm not even going to ask. I think I will be seriously horrified by the answer.
"If you're not busy..."
"About their productivity levels. If you’re not busy, you’re not a good person."
Yeah, whatever. This is as bad as bragging about not taking breaks at work. It's not a good look.
"So many lies."
"Their income. So many lies."
Many people feel very self conscious about their salaries. It's sad.
"Why they're late."
"Why they’re late."
I'm not late often but when I am it's usually because of something ridiculous where if I said the truth it would sound like a lie.
"Hating the word..."
"Hating the word 'moist.'"
I love the word moist and I won't apologise.
You mean there are still people going on about this? It's just a word, people. Calm down.
Life's a competition, apparently. Take what a lot of people tell you with a grain of salt. That's the best advice.
Have some observations of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
I once met a guy who, by all accounts, appeared to have given up. And by that, I mean that they had pretty much decided that life basically ended in the 1970s and early 1980s. He had no interest in modern technology, was remarkably out of the loop when it came to technology or even current events.
This was all very frustrating to witness, but he was actually proud of himself! Proud to not know much–if anything–about the modern world. (And then he complained about how he kept having trouble finding a job.)
It was quite the flex–an unimpressive one at that.
People shared some of their thoughts with us after Redditor metallicmuffin asked the online community,'
"What unimpressive things are people idiotically proud of?"
"Missing breaks at work for a company that wouldn’t care if they died the next day."
This is a big one. It's not cute. Take your break! There's more to life than work!
"Not eating any vegetables. Known a few people state it as if it's some kind of achievement giving themselves constipation."
Knew somebody like this. They wanted to go out on a date.
We did not go out on a date.
"Going into work while sick. Had a coworker who bragged on social media about having strep throat, but was still working because she 'values hard work.'"
Some people appear to have missed the memo that risking other people's health is not a bragging right.
"I know people..."
"Drinking a lot. I know people, grown @ss people in their late 20s, who will brag about passing out on their lawns because they couldn’t make it from the car to the front door."
To be fair, they're in their 20s and most people are idiots then. They might grow out of it!
"I once had..."
"I once had a coworker brag about how dark his pee is."
Are you seriously telling us that they bragged about their kidneys not working correctly?
"I've heard that..."
"Driving better when drunk. I’ve heard that ridiculous statement more times than I should."
If some people seriously believe that, then they should not be allowed to drive.
"I overheard a co-worker recently brag to a girl that he'd already had COVID three times and during his most recent bout, he went to the gym every day that he had it."
There are so, so many things wrong with that person's statement. Can you imagine? "Sure, I got COVID, but at least I didn't miss leg day!"
"I keep hearing people..."
"Not being able to cook. I keep hearing people bragging about how the only thing they can do is boil water."
If you've made it to adulthood and you don't know how to cook for yourself, there's something gravely wrong with this picture.
"Nothing surprises me..."
"Nothing surprises me more than when people are proud of their ignorance."
Knowledge is no guarantee of wisdom but prideful ignorance is proof of its absence.
"I worked with a guy..."
"I worked with a guy who, otherwise very smart, was extremely proud of the fact that he could remove the foil from the neck of a wine bottle without cutting it. He brought it up so many times I lost count. I just let him have it, though, because he seemed to need it."
Of all the things in this thread this is the most reasonable thing to be proud of.
Let's face it, it seems like a lot of people have made over-compensating a part of their personalities.
Sadly, they don't even seem to be doing that all too well, which means we'll continue to be largely unimpressed.
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!