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Guidebook to your Therapist: Have we hit Climax yet?

Is the topic haram*?

Let’s get this straight. This is not the toes-curling, ecstasy-causing state that leads to a loss of speech, “out of body” experience, and sense of freedom; making you feel like screaming, or yowling like a wild animal.

Or is it?

Read the sentence again. For when you hit the climax in your therapy sessions, let me assure you that the sensations and feelings experienced are just as raw and loaded…in an intellectual, emotional, cognitive sense of course (if this article gets taken down you’ll know why).

Hitting the climax in therapy sessions refers to the stage where serious work is being done — you are identifying and challenging your previous way of being or current problem-solving method (depending on which school of thought your therapist is referring to), your awareness of how certain patterns cause or maintain problems has increased, and unbelievably…things are changing for the better! It is nerve-wrecking, eye-opening, and a whole lot of FUN as you re-discover yourself.

How do I know I’m there?

As with all bed etiquette, the sad fact is that if you need to ask, you’re not there yet.

At this stage, even attending sessions will feel both like a heavy burden and a highly anticipated event at the same time. You will be worried about the heaviness and headache from “over-working” yourself during the session, at the same time nervous and happy about what you will be achieving this time. The line “it’s so good it hurts” probably came from a poor soul working his/her hat (any more sexual references and this article will never see the light of day) off in therapy.

Pro tip: Ask your therapist if you’re kind of sure but not quite sure. Please, please, please rephrase it as “Do you think I am at the brink of achieving my goals?” Save them the heart attack.

Isn’t climax in therapy a unicorn?

As in, everyone knows what it is but no one has ever seen it. An unheard-of experience. A rarity in itself.

N-O. Don’t let yourself believe otherwise.

So, why aren’t enough people achieving it yet? I present to you a few reasons why that happens.


Despite the increasing numbers, not everyone who attends therapy is ready for it. Some attend therapy out of blackmail (good job, family!), curiosity (killed the cat? Not in therapy…unless the cat is your figurative problem), or desperation.

This same sense of self-preservation may turn out to be an obstacle in therapy…because your natural instinct would be to protect yourself in whatever manner possible. Years of handling problems using a specific method does not thaw instantly. Sometimes you even think that the therapist is the one having a problem, by insisting that there is a problem about how you tackle problems which becomes another problem by itself (also, reflects the manner in which you think of people too).

Pro tip: If you seem to find something annoying in every therapist you meet, just pick anyone to deal with your problem because they are going to be the same, no? Bagi lah chance sikit*.


Therapy sessions can take place either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the therapeutic model your therapist is using. Thank your lucky stars that psychoanalysis (nehh*, the one that makes you lie on a sofa and say anything you want) went out of fashion or else it’ll be on a daily basis.

Truth is, we are accustomed to having instant solutions. Hence, you will be predisposed to thinking that “a few sessions and my problem gaodim*”. Any more than that and the suspicion that your therapist is out for your money appears (again, reflects the manner you approach people). When you are told that the number of sessions will range from 10 to 12, and in between sessions there will be assignments or work to be done (“whaaaat?! Homework, at my age?”), the steam will sort of dissipate like smoke.

Pro tip: Set expectations clear with your therapist — the frequency, time, and days that you are able to commit to sessions. After which, attend sessions faithfully come rain, wind, or COVID (I mean, attend it online)!


Mental health is scary. Listening about it makes you break out in cold sweat. Talking about it causes a physical reaction equivalent to mashing goat discharge for breakfast (sorry, I’m currently living in a village filled with goats…”in touch with nature”). What more of delving into your bottomless brain to dig deep and let loose all the monsters hiding within.

Meeting a hidden side of yourself is uncomfortable. Vulnerable. Unpredictable. There is a chance that you may not like that part of yourself, what more about living with it.

These hair-raising fears make us less likely to want to achieve goals set in the first place. It’s the equivalent of knowing that Everest is amazing and out-of-this-world but quite another thing when physically scaling it to hit the summit. How do you make progress when you’re tensed and frozen? So you do what you always do. Keep it to yourself, and hope that no one knows you’re scared.

Pro tip: Don’t just squirm in your fear, let your therapist know! At the very least, now that fear will be held between the both of you, rather than just one of you. Trust that your therapist can guide you through it.


Let yourself shine. I’ve emphasized in other articles and I’ll do so again. You are equal partners in this relationship called therapy. Assert your questions, talk about how ready you are for change, set boundaries to your ability to commit, admit your fears, and who knows?

You might be the next to summit.

*haram: literally translated as “forbidden”, in the context of Asian cultures where bed etiquette is known of but never mentioned

*bagi la chance sikit: Malay slang for “give it a try”

*nehh: Malaysian slang for “that one” or “here” (multiple usages depending on intonation and emotion, occasionally customized with an eyebrow twitch, eye bulge or chin jerk)

*gaodim: Cantonese for “settled”