Kinda going along with what I've written earlier, sometimes it can be hard to understand what actually goes on in a therapy session... And, to be honest... It's hard for me to describe because what goes on in a session varies so much depending on the client, the subject, and really, what my client needs from me! So, my question to you is what do you need from your therapist? But here are a few basics to get you started:
1) We don't have all the answers; and our lives are not perfect. If you need further verification on that, I'd be happy to send you the contact information of my children's teachers who could GLADLY verify the above statement. We don't ever sit in the room and judge you for anything. While we certainly get trained in a multitude of areas - especially MFT's- we don't come with the be-all-end-all solution to what may be going on. We are all on a continuous quest for knowledge; I can't speak for every therapist, but most of the ones I know are reading something new, looking at something new, seeking guidance from more experienced therapists, and looking for ways to hone what we do. 'Cause we really like to do it...
2) We don't have a one-size-fits-all approach. Even specialties like trauma, eating disorders, sexual abuse, infidelity, premarital counseling, etc don't all have a single approach. While I personally have a love for EFT, Gottman, and trauma-informed sessions, that looks completely different based on what my client needs. The beauty about the whole thing is that when you are able to foster a really awesome relationship, the therapeutic alliance takes on a life of its own.
3) Therapy is not always hearing, "And how does that make you feel?" or talking about your mother - although sometimes that's absolutely the case! We talk about our feelings; we name it and we sit with it. Sometimes that's really uncomfortable. Sometimes it's scary. But it's also freeing when you no longer have to out-run your shame. Sometimes we point out some inconsistencies that we're seeing that may help what you're going through - or putting yourself through. Sometimes we ask questions; sometimes we can give some education on a topic that may be foreign otherwise and can help normalize what may seem like an impossible task.
4) There are no taboo topics in therapy. Ever. If it's important to you, then it's important to me. There's also carte blanche to basically say whatever you want and use whatever language you want.
5) Not every therapist is going to feel like a good fit. It usually takes anywhere from 2-3 sessions before you really know what's up with this particular therapist, but if it's not a good match, then really, let us know! We want what's best for you, and for you to truly find healing - even if it's not with us.