I’m a shrink, so it’s going to seem a-bit-to-very strange to read this coming from me, but I must tell you. You really don’t need to see a therapist. Even in New York. Even in New York now.
Don’t waste the money. Given no one’s too sure exactly what their money’s worth these days, and given how a glance at your account makes you realize how little of it you actually have anymore, don’t just hand it over. If your therapy dollars are simply paying for a 45 minute-hour, it’s one awfully expensive hour.
Don’t waste the time. Sitting in your therapist’s office, getting ‘support’ and complaining endlessly is not a good use of your other limited resource. Talking’s nice, but you have other, cheaper options. You can talk to your spouse, you can talk to yourself, you can talk to the person next to you on the subway. You can certainly talk to your mother or your maker, if you’re so inclined. You don’t need to see a therapist to have someone to talk to.
Don’t use therapy as an excuse not to talk with your partner. Don’t complain to your therapist instead of having that tough conversation with your business partner. Or the friend you’ve been ticked off at. Or your spouse, who you so can’t bear dealing with the very idea makes you run to schedule an appointment with your therapist.
Don’t use therapy as a way to burrow into the early years. Yes, it’s important to understand the family and social forces that made you the way you are. It’s important to notice how you unwittingly view the world from a vantage point that may once have worked well enough but no longer does. But the point is to get past it. To get over it. To get on with it.
Don’t use therapy to put off the moment of truth. Insight is great, but don’t forget the action part. Don’t use therapy in lieu of making decisions or enacting the ones you have already made. Go put what you learned in therapy to work for you. Try out a new way of looking at things, a new behavior, a different set of assumptions. In the real world.
Don’t use therapy to hide out from the cold, hard world. It’s still there – and it needs you now more than ever.
(but there are some very good reasons for therapy…coming up…)
Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.