[Mental Wealth] Tale of 2 Therapists: Why Getting Help is Not Enough
This is a story about my two wildly different experiences with therapists and what it taught me about mental health, in general. If you just want the step-by-step guide on getting the “right” help, skip down to the Process section. (:
— Andrew, F the Lines
July 2016—My phone goes off and I bolt outside to answer it. One ring, two, three, four. I’m half-hoping I’ll miss the call. “Hello?”
“Hi, Andrew, this is Dr. Lambert.” I’m returning your call about accepting new therapy patients. Did I catch you at a good time?”
What I want to say is…
No, you did not catch me at a good time! I can’t produce any creative work, I have no emotions, and I’m pretty sure life is just a bitter distraction from the void of nothingness we are all being sucked into.
What I actually say is: “Sure, now is fine.”
As it turns out, Dr. Lambert (NHRN) doesn’t have any openings. But she knows someone who does. And a few weeks later, I find myself reluctantly stepping into the office of my first therapist.
I am now someone who “goes to therapy.” Whatever that means.
Problem: Cushioned Consciousness
My first few sessions were cathartic. It was like…holy shit, this person will sit here for an hour and listen to me talk about my problems? Amazing!
I explained how I was depressed and how I had lost my creativity and how I felt like a “cylinder of pointlessness” because happiness was passing straight through me instead of filling me up…ya know, the usual.
This went on for a few weeks, but pretty soon, I got antsy.
Wait…when, exactly, does therapy start to work?
Trap: Give it Time
Dr. Gould (NHRN) seemed to think that I needed more time. When I brought up the fact that I was feeling more depressed than ever, her stock response was something like, “Well, therapy is difficult work and you can’t…