January 8, 2008
soapbox
I wanted to grab my therapist last night and hug her. Not the polite kind of hug I give relatives and people who probably shouldn’t be touching me, but the kind of hug that says “You’re da bomb,” the kind that explodes into Howard Dean-like enthusiasm and may very well leave her feet inches from the floor. I wanted her to know just how much she had helped me, how much her guidance in the last two years had changed my world, how much I could not have done what I have done without her persistence and acceptance. And then I wanted to rant.

There are more than a handful of people in my life who buck the idea of therapy, each with their own unique explanation as to why. I can do it on my own. I had an awful experience. I don’t have time. Insurance doesn’t cover it. Each and every justification sounds more and more like a lacking excuse. Last I heard, save those grand accounts from the Enquirer, you can’t heal your own testicular cancer or that hair lip and these disorders are no different. I’ve had awful doctors, too, and guess what? You move on. Like a bad date, you pick yourself up, you chalk it up to his asshattery, and you put your stellar self back out on the market. And you do have time. You have time to read this blog, to knit ugly booties, to watch Designing Women on TV Land like it’s your religion. You have money to buy those awful ceramic dolls on QVC and their creepy faces aren’t nearly as rewarding as this might potentially be.

This isn’t your mama’s therapy, people. This isn’t about dream interpretation and hypnosis and talking endlessly about daddy leaving you in the manger when you were three. These are proven therapies (now with 33% more science!) Just as Advil magically cures your cramps, medication and/or therapy take the edge off, they even cure. They teach you new ways to approach your world, to impact relatives, to cope with illness and death, help to quash anxiety, to pull yourself up from the depths, to survive at a higher level than the rest of the world is surviving. Than where you may be surviving right now.

Before you leave me a “to each his own” and “shut your fat trap, kris!” comment, consider this. Unlike the boil that sprouts unattractively from your neck, these issues you choose to stifle or wait out don’t just affect you. They affect the people you love, the ones you could love, and that irritating guy you barked at in the conference room yesterday. It’s out of complete selfishness that I write this; I’m thinking of five or so of you, and I wish you’d do this, if not for you, for me. Maybe that’s something I need to talk out.


32 Comments:

Blogger Charlotte said...

damn it just deleted my comment when i tried to post it. oh well.

thanks for the post! yes yes yes is all i have to say (ha well not ALL). here's to putting it out there - i dont know where id be wihtout therapy this past year (well i have an idea where i'd be and i dont want to be there) and naysayers be damned.

Blogger jessabean said...

At first I thought going to the therapist was weird and I should be VERY discreet about it, like I do about the fact that I TiVo America's Next Top Model and I still watch all the reruns every time they come on MTV.

But. My therapist is pretty cool. And it helps so much to just talk about all.the.crap. I carry around with me every day.

So thanks for this.

Blogger Gwen said...

I agree. Pretty much everyone could use a little therapy now and then. Or all the time. But often it's the people who would most benefit from the experience who are so dead set against it. Which, hmm, now that I think about it implies that it probably wouldn't work for them anyway. Because bottom line? therapy is hard work. It's not a magic wand, a pretty pink pill that la di da makes you all better. You get better because you work at it, with someone's help. Maybe that's why people resist it so much, because instinctively, they know this, and mental laziness is easier (if less pleasant for everyone else).

Blogger Sizzle said...

therapy is SO helpful. i can't wait to get back into it frankly.

Blogger Mamma said...

Please people! Listen to the woman.

We would all be happier if you found a therapist.

Do it for your country!

Blogger Heather B. said...

I'm so much happier and uh...nicer...than I was before. Every time I see my therapist I get a little giddy because I know that eventually I'll feel so much better. And honestly I don't really get sick. My only perpetual illness is my bipolar disorder. If it were a sore throat, I'd get it fixed so of course I'm not going to walk around all crazy like and pissing people off (Ahem) just because I refuse to see a doctor. Been there, done that and I have the scars to prove it.

Reading things like this makes me miss you more!

Blogger brookem said...

I think everyone, even if they think their life is all butterflies and happiness can benefit from therapy at some point. Who doesn't appreciate having someone objective to talk to about The Crazy in our minds?

Blogger Alison said...

Therapy has been a godsend these past nine months. I can't wait until my session tomorrow.

Blogger Heather said...

I love, love, love my therapist. She doesn't coddle me and helps me explore things from all angles and makes brilliant observations about things I had never even considered.

I completely agree with you: therapy works wonders (and I believe in it so much that I go even though my insurance won't cover it, which, don't even get me started). Your issues will haunt you until you fix them.

-Nabbalicious

Blogger Flo said...

Anyone can benefit from therapy. Just the act of unburdening oneself can make the load lighter. And when unloading one's worst demons, it's probably best to do it with someone who is professionally bound to be discreet and non-judgmental. Though there still may be some stigma surrounding therapy it is now much less than say 40 years ago. Besides, it's no one else's damn business!

Blogger Tilly said...

I like your soapbox and completely agree like 100%.

My ex-bf told me (when I was researching getting my PhD in Clinical Psych) that he didn't "believe" in therapy and was "strong enough" to figure things out on his own. I won't bother to go into the details of his life now...but we're not together.

And thanks!

Blogger Frankly, Scarlett said...

OH my therapist got a hug like that from me last week! The way I figure it, if I bitched and obsessed that much to my friends, i wouldnt have any friends! So she's really saving my social life and that i'm willing to pay for!

Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

I heart therapy. I'm currently on parole but have been thinking about getting just a little more fucked up so I had a good reason to re-enroll in weekly visits.

Blogger Kelly said...

Kris! You feel bettah! Good.

Now, the only reason I say this is because I mean the opposite: Shut Your Fat Trap, Kris! hehehe, like I'd ever even dream of thinking that about you! (Everyone always agrees with you in your comments, so I thought I'd throw in a little naysaying.

The idea of talking and talking and talking out issues that are weighs us all down sounds so ... ideal. Even though there are people in our lives that we can talk to and with, it wouldn't be the same, right? Professionals have no history with you... they're objective and help clear out the fuzz.

You rock, eh.

Blogger WildbillthePirate said...

I'd love to say that I too am in Therapy, but I would be lying. To start off, Once a therapist learns about you randomly killing complete strangers, they will report it to the Authorities.(I think it's a law or something)...

Above comment is a joke-Really! I just haven't felt the Need to go but I know I have access to one if I decide I do need them. More power to you for dealing with your problems straight up!

Blogger Chantel said...

The guy I'm dating is a psychologist but not in regular phychology in sexual psychology. This helps me very little because every time I've mentioned how much my therapist helped me he squishes up his face and says -- "Therapy is a modern luxury of an indulgent society."

Sometimes I think he's right and the rest of the time I just want to punch him in da'nose.

Blogger MereCat said...

Well, like you said, you can't cure your own physical glitches without medicine, and you can't cure your mental ones either. And eeeeverybody's got'em.

Blogger WanderingGirl said...

Dar Williams (she's fab) sings a song about going to see a therapist. It's wonderful. The take home message is that people don't understand how much you learn to love everyone else when you finally get to talk so much about yourself. She's 'da bomb, too.

Man, I want a therapist.

Blogger Beth said...

I completely agree - therapy rocks! I had a super wicked awesome counsellor last year and it was a truly life changing experience... I got to see her for FREE because I was a university student and my university has free a counselling service for students... I can't see her anymore because I graduated, and man do I ever miss her! I recently found a new counsellor and she's pretty good too, but I still miss Susan!

AMEN SISTAH!!!! I just found you recently and you're fantastic but this is my favorite post by far.

I love when people whisper the word therapist like the way they whisper cancer in Brighton Beach Memoirs.

I actually have hugged my therapist. On more than one occassion. Therapy is genius. And the world would be a better place if everyone would deal with themselves a little bit more.

Blogger Kristabella said...

I am right there with you!

I think every single person should go to therapy. We all have issues that we need to work through. No one is perfect. And the best way to do it is with someone who isn't a relative or a friend and that will help you and not just tell you what you want to hear.

Going to therapy is one of the best things I have ever done and has made me a much happier and saner person.

Thanks for sharing!

Blogger Jorge said...

Good stuff!

Therapy works wonders for many many.

I saw one to help me deal with my accident. And I'm a psych guy. It was nice to deal with someone who spoke the same language and still made me feel better.

Blogger MoDigli said...

I love therapy! It feels like a purely selfish thing to do: pay someone to just listen to you and/or talk about you for an entire hour. And you never have to listen to whatever BS is happening in THEIR life! :)

I also like the idea that therapy just doesn't benefit YOU, but all the people in your life that have to deal with you! SO true. So true!

Blogger JordanBaker said...

While I still actively resent the fact that it sometimes seems like I'm paying a person to make me cry, I completely agree.

Over Xmas, my sister told me that with her current insurance, she "couldn't afford to fix her problems." I told her that I'd felt the same way until it became absolutely clear that I couldn't afford not to anymore.

Blogger smileymamaT said...

That was so interesting. I went back and read it again, and then back a ways - your blog is intruiging.
(and according to my spellcheck, I don't know how to spell intruiuging).

They make Diet Coke with Vitamins? Had no idea.

Blogger *kb* said...

I'm a therapy whore! LOVE IT and most definitely could use more. :-)

Blogger Anonymous Assclown said...

I always thought that therapists were egocentric pederasts, but maybe that's just me.

Blogger gorillabuns said...

are you saying i need help with my, "daddy didn't love me enough!" issues?

yeah, you're probably right.

Blogger Juliness said...

A-freaking-men. Just recently went back to the buffet for a second (ok, third) helping of therapy. I don't know if there's a better way to sum up the experience other than saying, "It just helps."

Blogger kitkat said...

I agree that therapy shouldn't have the stigma that it still does, but I do also think that there are other ways to heal yourself. There are other means of therapy besides the sitting-on-a-couch-talking-about-stuff therapy. Sure, that's extremely helpful, but for those who poo-poo that kind of thing, I think the important thing is to find an outlet that gives you peace.

I saw hypno-therapist today for the first time. Was that ever interesting. I'm glad you're feeling good about your therapy, Kris. Do what makes you happy.

Blogger t2ed said...

When you type therapist, I just automatically read bartender.

TVLand rocks btw.

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