I've never really understood the concept of therapy. Probably because I'm a repressive, secretive freak of nature. There have definitely been a handful of times in my life when I really should've sought help, but for some reason or another didn't. I've always had this impression that therapy was only for rich eccentrics, so I recently asked a friend of mine who is a big proponent of therapy some questions. I hope you find this as interesting as I did.
What are your general thoughts/experiences regarding therapy?
W&M: How old were you when you saw your first therapist?
I saw my first therapist in my junior year of high school. I had been battling depression since 7th grade and things came to a head when I broke up with my first serious boyfriend. He was even more mentally unstable than I was and the breakup was not amicable. Even though we attended separate high schools, he began dating a girl at my school, which in turn led to an entire year of harassment by this girl and her craaaaaazy friend. Physical threats, verbal abuse, being ostracized by those you thought were your friends, etc. It made my life a living hell, my grades dropped, I skipped a lot of school and the school refused to do anything about it. I begged, demanded actually, that my mother take me to a shrink. She agreed but I saw him only a handful of times and he told me I was fine.
My second try was a woman whom I only saw one time because she spent most of that time asking me repeatedly if I heard voices coming from the TV and if they told me what to do.
My third therapist was nice and let me talk to my heart's content. This was fine for a while, but eventually I realized "Fuck, I am so boring. I have nothing left to say. Why doesn't she say something?" But she wouldn't say anything. I saw her for over a year because I didn't know any better. I thought maybe this is how it's supposed to work. Except it wasn't working. I needed some coping skills besides sarcasm, I needed something in my life to change, I needed someone to give it to me straight.
I'd found this therapist through the Psychology Today website. I wanted a woman because I didn't want to be attracted to my therapist or have him be attracted to me. And if a female therapist was attracted to me, I figured they would be better at hiding it and I'd probably never even know. I also wanted to talk about my period all the time (har har). I also sometimes hate men (lol, no but really I do). Then I narrowed it down further by their self-proclaimed specialties.
I was unhappy with the way my therapy was progressing (it wasn't) and a friend recommended my current therapist and I LOVE her. At the end of the very first session, she'd already come up with a plan of attack. She talked about skills!! She talked about getting my hormone levels tested! She gave me what I'd been craving from my other therapists all this time - she made me feel better after talking with her.