Is it normal to cry at therapy?

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

Ian Palombo
Ian Palombo
#ThoughtMediator and #LifeUntangler
It's more than just normal, it's expected! Quite honestly, there are a very few days where at least one client hasn't cried during therapy throughout the day. 
-IJP
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.
Pamela Suraci
Pamela Suraci
Build on your strengths, grow in your challenge areas and improve your life!

Yes it is absolutely normal!  A good therapist can help your feel safe enough to really identify painful wounds.  There are some things that need to be cried about before they can heal.  Therapists are fine with tears and buy tissues by the case.  

That said, if you don't cry during therapy it doesn't mean you are doing it "wrong".  As long as you feel safe and have a sense that your therapist "gets you", and you feel progress during your course of treatment, you are doing therapy "right"!

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.
Christina McGrath Fair
Christina McGrath Fair
"Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it is the ocean." -Thich Nhat Hanh

Of course! There are some people who will never cry during sessions and some that always cry. In counseling you may be talking about very vulnerable topics and experiences and it may even be the first time you are talking to someone about your concerns, thoughts, or feelings. It is perfectly natural to cry if you are so moved.

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.
Delia Berinde
Delia Berinde
Looking Forward Counseling, Denver, Co

Yes, it's totally normal! Crying is a part of processing the tough stuff, no matter your age, gender or background and the therapeutic session is a safe space to do this. Sometimes crying can offer relief or provide room for deeper authenticity in session as you let both your strength and vulnerability shine in alignment. 

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.
RINDA SMITH
RINDA SMITH
Director, Rinspire Life Coaching
Crying during a therapy session is not unusual. When we are in a safe environment, such as a therapists office, it allows us to disarm our defenses. By disarming our defenses we are able to feel and express our emotions. Oftentimes, these emotions result in tears.  I personally feel that crying in a therapy session is the one of the most beautiful parts of the healing process.
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.
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.
Olivia  Clear
Olivia Clear
Honor your spirit, clarify your vision, align with your purpose.
Yes, many people cry during therapy!  Crying can offer a type of release as your body reacts to the input of your autonomic nervous system. Some people release endorphins when they cry, which can make you feel better than before.  If you're concerned about how much you cry during therapy, it might be good to discuss with your therapist.  They may be able to make some suggestions of how to honor your feelings in a way that works for you. 
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.
Denisha Forch
Denisha Forch
Marriage and Family Therapist in CA

Yes, it is normal to experience many different emotions in therapy because you are dealing with issues and situations that matter to you. Sometimes you may cry, sometimes you may feel joy, and sometimes you may feel relief. Sometimes you might even feel anger. Everything you feel in therapy can be used to help you learn more about yourself and help you grow. 

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.
Wendy Galyen
Wendy Galyen
Online Counselor in Indiana

Yes, it is very normal to cry during a therapy appointment.  When you meet with a counselor, you are opening yourself up and sharing very vulnerable sides of yourself.  Through this deep introspection, emotions (sometimes unexpected) can come out and this is completely okay and very healthy.  Research has shown that crying reduces pain by releasing oxytocin and endorphins and reduces stress through the release of stress reduction hormones.  

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.

Definitely. Therapy helps us work through the tough stuff. It’s a safe place where we can let our guards down. When you are getting things out verbally, a physical and emotional response is completely natural. Crying is a healthy release. Many people cry during therapy - some perhaps once in a while, and others may every session. Wherever you are on that spectrum, it is absolutely normal and you are not at all alone. 

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.
Francesca Steele MS, LMHC, CHT
Francesca Steele MS, LMHC, CHT
soulspeak wellness florida, inc.

Yes, absolutely. In therapy you will be delving into topics and feelings that are often suppressed throughout daily life. As you explore many emotions may come up, anger, disappointment, grief, frustration, sadness, to name a few. These and many other emotions often lead to crying and your therapist will be there to hold space and support you through it. Crying is a very healthy release of energy so feeling comfortable enough with your therapist that it happens during session is a great thing! 

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.
Cheryl Tarnofsky
Cheryl Tarnofsky
LMFT & Art Therapist

It's absolutely normal to cry in therapy. I imagine that you are being vulnerable and open to exploring some deep seeded issues. Also, it may be a good sign that you feel safe and held with your therapist that you are able to freely express those strong emotions. 

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.
Gabriel Thibaut
Gabriel Thibaut
Transform your conflicts to strengthen your relationship

Change is about giving a new meaning to past experience, to allow for the emotions we stored in our body to be freed. Crying is normal and one way to process emotions to help let go and integrate our experiences.

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.
Joshua Weinreb
Joshua Weinreb
Cognitive Behavioral & Mindfulness Based Counselor

Yep. Counseling can be very emotional at times. I've recommended to clients, on occation, that they allow themselves the rest of the day off after doing trauma work.

Zofia Czajkowska, PhD OPQ
Zofia Czajkowska, PhD OPQ
Psychologist in Montreal

Crying in therapy is definitely normal. A lot of people, if not most, cry in therapy. Why does it happen? During therapy you'll explore your thoughts and emotions. Some of them will be pleasant: joy, hope, excitement, etc., so you will smile and laugh. Others may be more unpleasant, such as grief, sadness or anger, so you may feel like shouting or crying. It's healthy to accept and feel all your emotions and to express them in appropriate ways. Crying is a good way of expressing sadness, disappointment and helplessness. If you try to cut off some of the "negative" feelings, you are likely to also cut off your positive ones and feel numb as a result. Crying in therapy speaks to your ability to relax and let go in the presence of another human being (essential for healthy relationships!) and it also speaks to your therapist's skills at making you feel safe and comfortable. Good for you! It's your therapy and you can cry if you want to!  

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.
Susan Resnik, M.Ed, LMHC
Susan Resnik, M.Ed, LMHC
Oxford Counseling Services

Yes, it is very normal to cry in therapy. Expressing your feelings is very cathartic and allows you to

gain a deeper understanding into yourself and how the issue is affecting you. 

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.
Ingrid d
Ingrid d'Aquin
I am offering new possibilities in life. I help people find RELIEF and HOPE..

I would say that's the whole point of therapy!  Cry your heart out.  Therapy should be a place where you feel ok to be vulnerable when you are working through your stuff.  It's when your mind and your heart finally meet and you make the connections you need to make.

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.
Linda Abdelsayed
Linda Abdelsayed
Change is the only constant in life

It is normal to feel an array of emotions in therapy. Most people use therapy as a way to process their life's struggles and often times this results in them crying during session. Crying is a way to release those negative emotions and to cope with what is happening in life. We have come to believe that crying is something bad at times and so have conditioned ourselves to avoid crying out in public places. In therapy though, where there are no such expectations and where you can be open and honest about how you are feeling it is normal to cry. 

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.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Yes, definitely crying is normal during therapy.   Anyone in the midst of new awareness of how they've been hurt, or feel despair or great sadness from burdensome life situations, naturally will feel tears come up.

Therapists are familiar with people crying during a session and will know how to be present for you while you sort through your painful emotions.

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.
Dawn M. Reilly, Psy.D.
Dawn M. Reilly, Psy.D.
It's never too late

Therapy is by nature a safe place to discuss difficult, or painful memories or experiences and thereby it is normal that feelings of all kinds, including sadness, loss, frustration, disappointment, etc may arise.  This is part of processing and bringing closure to things that may have been pushed aside for a lifetime and can now be faced and dealt with.  Change too is often not easy, and can lead to crying, whether from frustration and set back...or also from joy and accomplishment!

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.
Lisa Jones
Lisa Jones
Licensed Professional Counselor
This is a great question! I often wonder about what normal really means. Counseling is a personal process where many emotions can be experienced by people. I I do not believe it is just you who cries in therapy. Therapy can bring out many emotions such as laughter, anger, frustration, relief, grief, sadness, and many more emotions. Talking to your counselor about your experience might provide insight and healing for you. If crying surprised you and you feel comfortable that might be something you could bring up with your counselor. 
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.
Cory Ian Shafer LPC
Cory Ian Shafer LPC
Psychotherapist, Jungian, Hypnotherapy

Yes, it is normal to cry during therapy, it is a time of catharsis, letting things out, shedding our skin, dropping our weights and just to let you know, even therapists sometimes feel like crying in sessions. Although people often cry or become upset, it is in no way a measure of "good therapy".

C

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.
Gary  Mayne, MA LMHCA
Gary Mayne, MA LMHCA
Caring and Confidential Counseling

It is very routine to feel all of the different emotions in therapy.   I have had clients cry in therapy out of happiness, sadness, love, joy, and from laughing so hard!  Yes, crying is a normal part of therapy for many people.

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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