I don’t understand why so many people are so freaked out by the word “therapist.” Therapy ain’t such a bad thing, you know.
Now, I understand that therapists are like mechanics. There are good ones and bad ones. Those who know what they’re doing, and those who don’t. Those that are happy to rip you off by putting a Band-Aid over the problem, and those that are generally concerned about getting you fixed up. Those that find problems that don’t actually exist, and those that only fix the problems that do.
But that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes you need your car fixed, and sometimes you need to be fixed, and that most of us lack the skills to fix the harder things on our own.
After thirty years of life, I’m far from knowing everything, but I’ve been around the block enough times to know that just about everybody is screwed up in one way or another. I am. You are. Even Jim Bob over there is.
We all have unhealthy ways of thinking. We all do reactionary things that are self-sabotaging and that create more problems. We all have things we’ve been trying to overcome for years, and for some reason we just can’t.
As for me, I’ve been to therapy probably more than fifty times. I love it. In fact, it’s been far too long since I’ve seen my therapist, and even though I’m feeling healthy and with it, I’m aching to setup another appointment to work on some things.
But why does the word therapist freak people out? Why, if I tell you I’m going to see my therapist, do you think I’m nutso or crazy? Why does that put a stigma on me?
Personally, if I’m dating a girl, and she tells me she goes to see a therapist, I think to myself hell yeah. That’s a girl worth a second date! To me, it simply means that she’s one of the few screwed-up people in this world being proactive about getting herself un-screwed-up.
Perhaps one of the reasons people don’t like therapy is that they’re afraid to work on what they know deep down they’re afraid to work on. Perhaps they’re afraid of facing truths that are buried somewhere within. Perhaps they know that overcoming crap in one’s life takes serious effort and serious strength, and it’s easier to just call therapists “quacks” and write off the program altogether.
We all got screwed-up by our parents in one way or another (and subsequently, we’ll all screw-up our kids in one way or another). We all got screwed-up by our friends and our peers. We all got screwed-up on camp-outs, slumber parties, sleep-overs, or while hanging out with our pals. We all got screwed up by lovers and those who should have loved us. We all got screwed-up by teachers and youth leaders. We all got screwed-up by the television, radio, books, magazines, and other media. We all got screwed-up all along the way. There are unlimited opportunities for human beings to get screwed-up.
So why is it so bad to undo some of the worst of it?
Sure, everything that my therapist teaches me I could read in a book. Everything she uncovers within me is something I could probably figure out how to uncover myself. But I didn’t, and I don’t, and that’s why I use a therapist. And I have a damn good one too.
At the very least, when you hear that somebody’s going to therapy, think good for you instead of trying to figure out what might be “wrong with them.” Because no matter how personally good or healthy I mentally get, I’ll always go see my therapist once in a while, and I’d hate to have everybody think I was unstable or whacked because of it.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. What are your thoughts? Do you think therapy is a good thing or a bad thing, and why? Going back to the car mechanic analogy, do you think it’s true? Have you had bad experiences with therapists, and if so, do you feel that those experiences are indicative of the whole program?