I’ve Had it With Therapy. Here’s What I Really Need.
Therapy is not an antidote to the toxic forces in our society that are threatening our mental health
Therapy can be a great tool for any challenging time in your life, or even as a way to grow during your best times. Stay tuned for some signs that it might be time to seek therapy.
It was hard for me not to smirk at the BetterHelp ad I heard on a recent episode of This American Life. Suffice to say, I’m less than enamored with therapy at the moment, and that’s not for lack of giving it a chance.
My family has spent hundreds of hours in therapy over the past year. I’ve spent nearly as much time trying to find therapists, filling out intake forms, scheduling appointments for various family members, and haggling with insurance companies.
It all started last fall, when adolescence hit my daughter like a ton of bricks. Not long afterward, an immediate family member was diagnosed with a serious psychiatric disorder following a frightening mental health episode, and yet another began to struggle with deepening clinical depression.
While couples counseling and family counseling have been consuming several of my precious hours each week, people keep asking me if I’m taking care of myself, too. I hate it when people ask me that. Society loves to tell caretakers to take care of ourselves without acknowledging that we are rarely granted the time or support to do so.
But the truth is, I’ve been fraying at the edges, starting to unravel. So I defaulted to beginning yet another exhausting search for a therapist who actually had an opening, lived a reasonable distance from my home, and accepted my insurance. Whether or not I would like or connect with this magical unicorn of a therapist was beside the point. If anyone met the elusive trifecta of availability, accessibility and affordability, I’d consider myself lucky.
I never paused to consider whether talking about my problems in a vacuum to yet another stranger was really what I needed. But ultimately, it didn’t matter because I couldn’t find anyone anyway. I half-heartedly added myself to a few waitlists and abandoned my search.