About Therapy

I’ve been doing the therapy thing since I was 17. OK, so now I’m 45, so that’s: 28 years. Many 17, 18 year-olds have a hard time. I had a horrible time. Maybe someday I’ll feel gutsy enough to blog about that. For now, let’s just say I spent my twenties on a roller coaster ride of moods, trying to figure out who I am and what might make me feel good. Because in my teens, I mostly felt lousy.

When I lived in Cambridge, MA, someone (who was from England) told me about how she was at a Friday night dinner with about eight other people. “What’s with Americans and therapy?” she said. It turns out everyone at the table was in therapy, except for the postdoc from Belgium.

A friend once told me that with all the money I spent on therapy I could have bought a car (this was ten years into therapy). And another friend, a psychologist, responded: “And you could have taken that car and driven it off a cliff.” Sometimes you just gotta do certain things in life to keep yourself going. For me, therapy has certainly kept me going. It became extremely important again when I had two little boys and a dying mother. How does one cope with all those emotions?

Therapy is a bit like learning to type. In the beginning, assuming you open up to the therapist, you can make lots of strides forward. Lots of someone getting your stuff, stuff that may have been lingering, festering for years. Then you reach a plateau. You show up, your life is going OK, no longer in a crisis, and you are not sure if you need the therapy anymore. Actually, that’s usually a good time to dig deeper, when you are not in a crisis.

Sometimes I mimic how a therapist talks when I am listening to someone’s emotional issues. The thing is, I can mimic, but I have no idea how to be therapeutic. So don’t let all my good acting skills fool you. See a real therapist.

Have a great day, boys and girls. Enjoy the fresh spring air.

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