I have been in therapy multiple times. Sometimes the experience was, let’s say, enjoyable, sometimes it taught me something, sometimes it confirmed stuff that I wanted to see confirmed and sometimes the experience was simply horrible and I quit in disgust. That was when I saw a psychiatrist when I was 18 who was colder than a dead ice bear on Antarctica who’s crawled into the only deep freezer on the whole icy continent and has put cold compresses on his forehead and is sucking on ice cubes.
I know what’s wrong with me. I know why I hurt. I know why I walk around like my body is not covered in flesh but in heavy rusty metal. Look up armoring, a concept invented by Wilhelm Reich. I know why I have no patience with people who are not paying customers. I know where my sexual perversions come from. I know why I write every day. I know why I am deeply uncomfortable receiving massages.
I take full responsibility for how my life has turned out. Sure, there was a bit of bad luck that I can’t be held accountable for, but since there has also been some good luck these two factors balance each other out and for the rest I am responsible.
I can think of many ways I can spend the 50 euro that a therapy session costs. And that 50 euro can go to things that have lasting value.
If I spend it on therapy the chance that I give to a businessman who got some degree to prove to himself or her that he is now a doctor of the soul but has more blind spots than I do is extremely likely. It’s almost certain.
A very effective way of ignoring your own problems is to focus on someone else’s problems. Call it the savior syndrome. It also almost certainly a result of a narcissistic wound in childhood. How can you feel more powerful than when you think you are fixing someone else?
But the saying ‘the worst vice is advise’ exists for a reason.
Most psychotherapists go around projecting their own problem on to the client.
When all you have is a hammer then every problem starts to look like you could solve it with a hammer.
That’s why at present I seem to have become the pet study object of maybe five or six people who – with the best intentions – try to give me advise that they themselves need to hear. People who focus on my marriage or my relationship with my son so they don’t need to focus on their marriage and their relationship with their children. Understandible. People who long to express themselves and so focus on my self-expression. Sweet people who cling to the false and self-limiting security of privacy and watch in disbelief as I eagerly throw away my own privacy in unabashed exhibitionist verbal fashion and label it ‘prostituting myself’. That’s ok, really. You can’t expect differently in our culture where the prime motivator of all people is to avoid feeling any kind of shame (think about that!). That ball and chain. One of the reasons I keep this website going is so that my own -hopefully- frank openness and self-analysis encourages others to do the same.
Stating the obvious here: This site is called Project frigging Authenticity.
By now I know my problems. I also know that no therapist can tell me something about it that I haven’t hear or read before. Therapists are not God, though they like to wish they were at least the representatives of God on earth. The profession of the therapist is like the cooler alternative to the priesthood.
I know that running does me more good than an expensive therapy session. I know that writing helps me more than therapy. I also know that no therapist in Slovakia can handle the anger plus the hunger I have inside. I also know am not the first nor the last person to have these emotions raging inside him/her and that there are plenty of people who have done something constructive with those emotions WITHOUT even a second of psychotherapy.
I will not say that psychotherapy is useless. Absolutely not. There is value in psychotherapy. I would recommend anyone to give it a try, even if you are not depressed. The trouble is that you need a psychotherapist who will not try to impress you, who will listen more than talk, who is not a perfectionist, who accepts that he/she can make a mistake, but needs to try anyway, a therapist who does not enjoy the fact that you need him/her, a therapist who can see beyond your words and sees how everything you have experienced is locked in every cell of your body and knows how to FREE you. A therapist who accepts that psychotherapy much like warfare for example is an art and not an exact science. AND a psychotherapist who can work against his own best financial interests. As a paying client a therapist will – and they will deny this, of course – try to avoid saying or doing this that might drive you away and make them lose money…
In short, a therapist that only exists in the literature on psychotherapy, but probably not in reality.
But there are ok therapists out there. People who know the basics and have the intuition to read people’s real pain and are not afraid to go and poke around in it.
I feel like I have had enough therapy for now. If working with clients would one day become my main source of income I would most definitely regularly see a supervisor, but that’s something different. That would be in the best interest of my clients.
By the way, a pet peeve of mine is that psychotherapists have constructed a shield of infallibility around themselves. It can be easily summed up: if the client doesn’t get better then it’s the client’s fault. The client is resistant and doesn’t want to get better. End of story. How convenient.
So… psychotherapy is fine. Just like taking a painkiller to find relief from a headache is fine. But be careful about the dosage, which painkiller, the frequency and if there is anything else you can do about that headache than taking that painkiller. And do read the leaflet with all the potential side-effects very carefully.
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