A Rant About Therapy
It’s not bullshit in the sense that it doesn’t work—if it wasn’t for therapy back in middle school and high school I probably wouldn’t be here—but it is bullshit in the sense that the process of going through it feels completely counterproductive at times.
Take this: today I go into my therapist’s office for my second appointment. I know exactly what I want to talk about. I get in there, and what happens first? She asks me how I felt about last time. “Okay, I guess.” She stares at me, so I look at my shoes. “Okay….well, was there anything that we talked about that stuck with you? Did you think about it in the days following it?” “Uh…I guess…I thought…uh, that maybe I was kind of stand-offish.” “In the days after the appointment?” “No, um, during the appointment.” “Oh,” she said, and waited for me to say something else. But really, there was nothing to say. “I don’t really think that’s significant though…like, you asked what if I thought anything about it in the days afterword, and that was what I thought. That’s it.” “Well, I’m not a mind reader. I just wanted to know how you felt, and if there was anything that stuck out to you…” and then she just prattled on and repeated herself. Dude, I know you’re not a mind reader. But I swear, I don’t really have any opinion about our last appointment. Now can we talk about the things I came here to talk about?
Finally I get to start my spiel about my feelings. And what does she say? Nothing. She just asked questions that prompted more information, and then said something obvious, like “It sounds like you’re doing a lot of comparing in two different [situations]”. There was no helpful insight, no hints at what would be good for me. Just her, repeating basically everything I said.
And then we talked about friendship. Well, she talked. I got this lecture about how I’m never going to make friends or have friends if I don’t take initiative. I tried explaining to her that I was having a hard time reaching out to people because it stresses me out, and all she said was, “Sometimes you have to be a bit uncomfortable in order to get to that place of comfortableness.” See what I’m talking about? Utter bullshit. It was like I was listening to my mom’s tough love advice when really what I needed (and came there for) was pointed guidance and techniques. “Sometimes it’s easier to just rip off the band-aid,” was not the wisdom I was looking for.
I sat there feeling like I was going to cry if I tried to explain myself any further, and I really didn’t want to cry in front of her. By the time I left, I felt even more shitty and isolated from the “normal” population of people around me. I wished I could talk to my old therapist from the outpatient program I went to when I was 17. But I was stuck here in college town, and if I switched therapists now, it’d be another 2 month process of even getting an appointment.
I just wish I could talk about my feelings without a) feeling like I’m being judged, b) feeling guilty for talking about myself, or c) getting a lecture. I wish I lived closer to my friends from high school so I could feel free to share without all of those things. Everyone here in college town either feels too distant to talk to, or probably secretly hates me. The one person I talk to here is moving away on Friday.
Guess I’m stuck in this therapy bullshit for now.