7 Confrontational Questions that Your Therapist Might Ask in Your Next Therapy Session!

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Published Date|
June 15, 2024

7 Confrontational Questions that Your Therapist Might Ask in Your Next Therapy Session!

If you’ve ever been to therapy, you know that it can be a bit like peeling an onion—layer after layer of thoughts and feelings that you might not even realize you have. Sometimes, your therapist might throw a question at you that makes you stop in your tracks. These aren’t just any questions; they’re the ones that make you think deeply, question your assumptions, and sometimes even squirm a little. 

At KMA Therapy, we believe these confrontational questions are the secret sauce to breakthroughs and personal growth. The tough questions are the questions that make us think deeper, feel more, and ultimately come to new conclusions about our experiences and the world around us. 

In this article, we’re diving into seven of these hard-hitting questions your therapist might ask. We’ll break down why they’re important, give you some examples, and hopefully, make you feel a bit more prepared for your next session. And don’t worry, we’re keeping it light, relatable, and free of complicated jargon. Let’s get into it!

Confrontational Question #1

Let’s kick things off with a question that can hit you like a ton of bricks. When your therapist asks, “What are you avoiding?” it’s usually because they’ve noticed you’re dancing around a particular topic. Maybe it’s that project at work you keep pushing off or a conversation with a friend that you’re dreading. This question is like a magnifying glass that helps you focus on the very thing you’ve been trying to sidestep.

Avoidance can show up in many forms. You might be dodging tasks you know you need to get done, skipping out on social gatherings, or even avoiding your own feelings. Avoidance isn't just about laziness or procrastination; it's often about fear. Fear of failure, fear of confrontation, fear of change—these can all be powerful motivators for avoidance. When you avoid something, it's usually because dealing with it seems more uncomfortable than ignoring it. But the catch is, that the longer you avoid it, the more it tends to grow and loom over you, adding to your stress and anxiety.

Picture this: You’re constantly venting about how your workload is unmanageable. Your to-do list never seems to end, and you feel like you're drowning in tasks. Every day, you tell yourself that tomorrow you’ll finally talk to your boss about your workload, but somehow, tomorrow never comes. Instead, you find yourself spending extra hours at the office, bringing work home, and sacrificing your weekends.

Your therapist, noticing this pattern, asks, “What are you avoiding?” This question forces you to pause and think. You might realize that you’re avoiding that difficult conversation with your boss because you’re afraid of being seen as incompetent or weak. Or maybe you’re worried that addressing the conflict with a coworker might make the work environment even more uncomfortable.

Confrontational Question #2

Next up is a question that digs into your emotional responses. When something really gets under your skin, it’s often because it’s hitting a deeper, unresolved issue. This question helps you uncover the underlying reasons behind your strong reactions, leading to greater self-awareness and healing.

We all have pet peeves that irritate us more than they might bother others. It could be something seemingly minor, like a friend always being late or a colleague chewing loudly. When your therapist asks, “Why does that bother you so much?” it’s not about minimizing your feelings but rather understanding them. This question is like a key that unlocks the door to your deeper emotions and past experiences.

Imagine you’re at a coffee shop waiting for a friend who’s late—again. As you sit there, you feel a mix of frustration and anger bubbling up. You’ve been patient, but this is the third time this month. When you bring this up in your therapy session, your therapist asks, “Why does that bother you so much?”

At first, you might think it’s simply about the inconvenience. But as you dig deeper, you realize that your friend’s tardiness makes you feel unimportant and disrespected. It triggers memories of times in your past when you felt ignored or undervalued, perhaps by a parent who was often late picking you up from school or a partner who didn’t prioritize your time. These past experiences amplify your current feelings, making your friend's lateness more than just an annoyance—it's a reminder of those unresolved feelings.

Confrontational Question #3

This one can be a tough pill to swallow because it forces you to look at your own role in the problems you’re facing. It’s easy to blame others, but this question encourages personal responsibility and growth. By understanding how your actions, attitudes, or behaviors might be influencing the situation, you can begin to make positive changes.

When something goes wrong, our first instinct is often to point fingers. Whether it's a conflict at work, tension in a friendship, or issues in a relationship, blaming others can seem like the easiest way out. However, this often leaves us feeling powerless and stuck. By asking, “How are you contributing to this situation?” your therapist is inviting you to take a closer look at your own actions and attitudes. This isn’t about blaming yourself but about understanding your role and finding ways to improve the dynamic.

Imagine you’re constantly arguing with your partner. You come into your therapy session frustrated and ready to list all the things your partner is doing wrong. Your therapist listens patiently and then asks, “How are you contributing to this situation?”

At first, you might feel defensive. But as you start to reflect, you might realize that your communication style could be part of the problem. Perhaps you tend to use a harsh tone when you're upset, or maybe you shut down and refuse to discuss issues until they boil over. Recognizing these patterns can be eye-opening.

Confrontational Question #4

Letting go can be terrifying. Whether it’s letting go of a grudge, a relationship, or a belief, this question pushes you to consider the possibilities of release and the freedom that comes with it. This question isn’t just about the act of letting go but about envisioning the potential positive outcomes and the relief that can follow.

We often hold onto things—anger, resentment, fear—because they feel safe or familiar. These emotions can become part of our identity, and the idea of releasing them can feel like stepping into the unknown. Yet, holding onto these feelings can weigh us down, preventing us from moving forward and finding peace.

Imagine you’re holding onto resentment towards a family member who wronged you years ago. This resentment has become a part of you, and even though it feels justified, it also feels heavy. In a therapy session, your therapist asks, “What would happen if you let go?”

Initially, you might resist the idea. Letting go might feel like letting the person off the hook or invalidating your feelings. But as you explore this question, you start to see that holding onto resentment primarily hurts you. It keeps you stuck in the past and affects your current relationships and emotional well-being.

Confrontational Question #5

Sometimes, we’re so focused on our past or future that we forget to check in with our present selves. This question is all about grounding and self-care. It’s a gentle reminder to pause, breathe, and assess your immediate needs, which can often be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

In the chaos of life, we often prioritize long-term goals and responsibilities over our immediate well-being. We get caught up in planning for the future or ruminating on the past, neglecting the present moment. Your therapist asking, “What do you need right now?” is an invitation to tune into your body and mind, identifying what will help you feel more balanced and at peace in the present moment.

Imagine you’re sitting in your therapist’s office, feeling overwhelmed by a mountain of stress from work, family responsibilities, and personal issues. Your mind is racing with all the tasks you need to complete and the worries that keep piling up. Your therapist asks, “What do you need right now?”

Initially, you might think of all the big solutions—finishing all your work, resolving family conflicts, or achieving your personal goals. But as you sit with the question, you start to realize that what you need in this very moment is something simpler and more immediate. Maybe you need a break from the constant demands, a nutritious meal to fuel your body, or a quiet space to clear your mind.

Confrontational Question #6

We all carry beliefs about ourselves and the world that shape our actions and reactions. This question challenges you to examine the origins and validity of these beliefs. It’s about digging into your mental programming and understanding how these beliefs were formed, and whether they still serve you.

Beliefs can be powerful. They can guide us, motivate us, and provide a sense of certainty. But they can also limit us, keeping us stuck in unhelpful patterns. Often, these beliefs are formed early in life through our experiences, the messages we receive from others, and the conclusions we draw from various situations. Your therapist asking, “Why do you believe that?” is an invitation to scrutinize these deeply held notions and determine their truth and relevance.

Imagine you’re in a therapy session, and you casually mention, “I’m just not good at relationships.” Your therapist then asks, “Why do you believe that?” This question might catch you off guard. You’ve held this belief for so long that you’ve never really questioned it.

As you start to think about it, you realize that this belief might stem from past relationships that didn’t work out, or maybe from critical comments you received growing up. Perhaps your parents had a rocky relationship, and you’ve internalized the idea that relationships are inherently difficult and doomed to fail. By exploring the origins of this belief, you start to see that it’s not an absolute truth but a story you’ve been telling yourself based on past experiences.

Confrontational Question #7

Anxiety often stems from fear of the unknown. By confronting the worst-case scenario, you can often reduce its power over you. This question encourages you to face your fears head-on, demystifying them and making them more manageable.

When we’re anxious, our minds tend to spiral into catastrophic thinking. We imagine the worst possible outcomes, which can paralyze us with fear. However, when you articulate and examine these worst-case scenarios, they often turn out to be less terrifying than they initially seemed. Your therapist asking, “What’s the worst that could happen?” is a way to bring these fears into the light and analyze them rationally.

Imagine you’re preparing for a big presentation at work. You’re filled with anxiety, imagining all sorts of disastrous outcomes—forgetting your lines, the technology failing, or your boss being unimpressed. Your therapist asks, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

At first, you might list all your fears: “I could freeze up, everyone might laugh at me, I might lose my job.” But as you continue to explore these scenarios, you start to see that even the worst outcomes aren’t insurmountable. If you freeze, you can take a deep breath and continue. If there’s a technical issue, you can have a backup plan. And if your boss is unimpressed, it’s an opportunity to learn and improve for next time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my therapist ask such difficult questions?

Therapists ask challenging questions to help you explore deeper issues and promote personal growth. These questions can uncover underlying beliefs and patterns that might be holding you back. By pushing you to think more deeply, they aim to facilitate meaningful change and self-awareness.

How should I respond to a confrontational question in therapy?

There’s no right or wrong way to respond. The key is to be honest and open. If you’re unsure, it’s okay to say so. Your therapist is there to guide you through the process. Remember, therapy is a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings without judgment.

What if I get upset or emotional during a session?

It’s completely normal to feel emotional during therapy. It’s a safe space to express your feelings, and your therapist is trained to help you navigate these emotions. Emotions can be a sign that you’re touching on important areas for growth and healing.

How do these questions help in therapy?

These questions encourage self-reflection and help you gain insights into your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. They can lead to breakthroughs and a better understanding of yourself. Confronting difficult questions can reveal new perspectives and paths for personal development.

Can I ask my therapist to avoid certain topics or questions?

Yes, you can set boundaries in therapy. If there are topics you’re not ready to discuss, let your therapist know. Therapy is a collaborative process, and your comfort is important. Open communication about your limits ensures that the therapeutic process respects your pace and needs.


There you have it—seven confrontational questions that your therapist might throw your way. While they might seem intimidating at first, these questions are designed to help you grow, heal, and better understand yourself. At KMA Therapy, we believe in the power of these tough conversations. They might be uncomfortable, but they’re also incredibly valuable.

Remember, therapy is a journey, and these questions are just stepping stones along the way. They’re there to help you peel back the layers and get to the heart of what’s really going on. So, the next time your therapist asks one of these questions, take a deep breath and dive in. You might be surprised at what you discover.

Ready to dive deeper into your personal journey? Register online with KMA Therapy and take our Therapy 101 quiz to find out which therapy style suits you best. We’re here to support you every step of the way!

Author |
Haseena Baig
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