I like to think one of my superpowers as a therapist is creating an environment that makes it safe to share anything. I recently read an article that said that 83 to 93% of clients lie to their therapist, with 61% citing a reason of embarrassment or shame. Even if I do a fairly good job of creating a safe, therapeutic space, I am reminded of the blinding power of shame.
Once again, I am humbled by the superpowers of my clients, who show up and share anyway. Shame is a sneaky and manipulative supervillain. As a therapist, I am simply a sidekick (if that) in the quest to destroy shame. The client is the superhero of the story.
If you lie to your therapist, you are not alone. Check out this article and see for yourself where you might fit. And if it is that devious and underhanded villain shame, remember you are the hero of this story. Brené Brown says shame needs three things to survive: silence, secrecy, and judgment. She also says it cannot survive empathy. Sometimes the villain knocks the hero down for a count. But they get back up and keep fighting. Find your sidekick, be it a therapist or a trusted friend. Use the formula for destroying shame, douse that shame with empathy. First, you have to break the silence.