Is it normal to cry at therapy?

Is it normal for people to cry during therapy, or is it just me?

Keyonne Spencer, MS, LPC
Keyonne Spencer, MS, LPC
Enriching the lives of couples, individuals and families.

Yes, it is very normal. Some people cry frequently, but not fully. They’re good at crying but never seem to heal from what’s hurting them.

Crying is supposed to be good for you. Tears contain toxins, after all. And feel-good chemicals are released in the body whenever we cry tears of sadness.

Never judge your feelings while you’re having them; there’s always a reason something’s a big deal to you.

Cry for your own pain, not just for others’. Crying in movies and when listening to sad songs is a good way to let off some built-up emotion. But you may not be dealing directly with your own hurts when that happens. Remember it’s okay to cry for yourself.

 Let yourself cry over spilt milk. You don’t have to wait till somebody dies. You can cry about anything that triggers you, no matter how seemingly trivial.

Don’t set a time limit on tears. Your heart will decide when enough is enough. If you connect with the true source of your pain, you’ll find it’s finite. But you don’t get to dictate a time limit for your sorrow. Be patient.

 Pick up where you left off. If you have to keep a stiff upper lip, perhaps because you’re at work, check in with yourself later and see how you feel. Reflect on the incident in private if you feel it’s unresolved. Don’t stress out if you can’t recapture the pain. Tears are like cats: You can’t lead them on a leash.

 Speak only kind words to yourself. When you cry, watch for self-critical and invalidating self-talk like this:

It’s not that big a deal

I’m too sensitive

Big boys/girls don’t cry

Instead, say, “I’m sorry” and “I’m with you” and “I love you.” Don’t say these things in order to make yourself stop crying. Say them in order to be compassionate to yourself.

 Cry in public. If you’ve never cried in public before, you may be surprised to find that many people will be drawn to you. Your tears make you vulnerable, and therefore no threat to others. Kindness is a frequent response to public tears.

If you remember just one thing from this post, let it be self-compassion.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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