Deprifun

Is there a therapy to overcome fear of therapy?

Posted on: March 22, 2013

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I’ve initiated the steps to try therapy, and I’m rather nervous about it; for example, what’s the dress code? Or: is writing I LOVE FREUD  on my nails a tasteful nod to the father of psychoanalysis, or a bit over the top? I’m leaning more towards “tasteful nod”.

Will I need to lie on a couch? I hope that’s only stereotypical. I don’t know what Freud was thinking: put people at ease? Really?? Why not have them sit on a toilet? Stand on a bucket in a room infested by snakes? Balance on a rope spanning the Niagara Falls?

Oh by the way! I can’t remember anything about my potty training! The only related story told in the family is that once when I was a toddler I was pushing a toy wheelbarrow in the yard, and my father encouraged me: “Push!” and I stopped and looked at him so totally puzzled, ??????????, and he insisted: “Come on, push!”, so I squatted and started to strain and AGES afterwards they still make fun of me for being an obedient little girl and trusting my daddy.

Talking about my parents, is the doctor going to convince me that my parents are at fault or that I had this horrible childhood? My brother was in therapy for a while, and he came out of it positive that just about everybody else had mistreated him; that his problems started when my mother would buy a big ice cream cone for herself but two small ones for us children, and he clearly remembers us walking downtown with such unfairly sized ice creams, and that being oh-so-traumatic. I am older than him, so I know that mum used to give us the choice :for take-away lunch we could have either pizza , or ice cream. And we would always choose the pizza, and she for herself the ice cream. So we kids had pizza first, and then she would buy her  ice cream, but feeling sorry for us she always ended up buying us a small ice cream, too. Little knowing that this would come back to haunt her so many years afterwards.

After the therapy my brother has started to come to my parents with such accusations, and mum felt all guilty and confused, and started doing therapy, too – ah, now I see why therapists might want to do that!

So am I going in convinced I have great parents, and coming out with the idea that everybody is out to get me, so I need therapy not only for depression but for paranoia, too??

Anyway, I have little hope this will bring anything. The therapist cannot solve my problem, and can at most only convince me that I don’t care about anything, which is the attitude that seems to work with the people I know who are the happiest. I hope she can do that quickly, because I think only the test period is going to be affordable, and after that I will have to either give up or find another solution, or, if I’m hooked, to sell a kidney.

I am really only looking for someone to talk to without being a burden to the friends I have left, and driving them away. Isn’t it sad, that you have to pay for that?

So, I will make an appointment; there will be a waiting list, which means that I have the time to find a suitable way to break the ice. I was thinking I could use for inspiration this joke I have found in Internet:

First session: The patient settles on the couch, and the psychiatrist begins the session:

“I’m not aware of your problems, so perhaps you should start at the beginning”.

“Well… in the beginning, I created the Heavens and the Earth”.

This should grab her attention.

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8 Responses to "Is there a therapy to overcome fear of therapy?"

There are many stereotypical fears here of therapy. It really can be an enlightening, empowering experience if you find the right therapist and approach. It doesn’t have to be a “parent-bashing” experience, however, putting past issues into perspective is also important. Maybe CBT would be more appropriate? This looks to change long-held thought patterns and behavior into more realistic, functional ones. If you want more information on this, please feel free to mail me : nj@therapy-for-leaders.com.

Hi, thanks for your comment and your offer of information.

Well, yes, this is all intentionally exaggerated – I don’t really expect to discuss potty training, for example. But that with my brother is true! And now that I think of it, every person I know who has gone into therapy has ended up blaming their parents for everything – parents who 3 times out of 4 had paid for the therapy by the way – they must have regretted it! 😀

Actually at this point I am not really sure what I need – I’m very new at this. Really, in spite of the diagnosis, they still have to convince me I am really depressed and not simply crushed with good reason… but for now I will make this attempt, let’s see where it leads me.

There is a certain amount of work that always needs to be done in therapy concerning early relationships (usually parents). No-one is perfect and even the smallest mistakes made by parents can be absorbed by children. this is why therapists often center their attention on these issues.

I don’t know about your relationship to your parents, but if therapy damages your (amazing!) sense of humor, I for one will be seriously pissed. I’m still laughing at the ‘tasteful nod’.

In its best form, therapy is a wonderful process of self-discovery. At least it should be grist for the old writing mill.

Thanks for the compliment! I still cannot believe there’s actually people who read this!!

Yes, that’s what I thought, too! Even if therapy doesn’t work (I hope it won’t be detrimental), at least it will provide stuff for the blog!

Thanks for your “like” on my blog. I love your sense of humor! How’s finding a therapist going. As a therapist myself, I am always curious about how people contemplating therapy find someone compatable to work with. You really need to look for someone who will get your sense of humor! Maybe you could look at pictures of therapists on their website. Anyone wearing a clown nose or one of those big-nose-glasses-fake-mustache combinations would be someone to consider. . .

Thank you very much!

I have no idea how to look for a therapist, I am going on advice from other people for now. I have never tried it and truth to be told I am a bit skeptical and anyway I am very much against the very idea of being depressed! Umpf.

So you suggest going for clown noses? I will remember this advice! I might end up hooking up not with the therapists themselves but with one of their clients, but it might be fun and provide inspiration for the blog.

Indeed, at the psychiatrist’s who diagnosed me I cracked a little joke; I had told my story to a first doctor, and then came her big boss and she told him the story anew, and he was looking at me with such grave eyes, and then the story was over and there was an awkward silence, and I said, “It is a sad, sad story, you see”, and all three of them (doctors plus nurse) looked at me like my cat had died, not IN THE LEAST amused, and I though I had committed a major faux pas and that once you are diagnosed with depression you should keep up appearances and certainly NOT joke about it!

Therapists aren’t always tuned into client humor. They’re trying hard to be empathic and compassionate, so laughter doesn’t usually seem proper to them. If you get a therapist whose psychodynamically oriented, they’ll probably think your humor is a defense and ask what you’re hiding. The thing is, though, that humor can be a really good coping mechanism, especially if it involves seeing the absurdities of life. The clients that laugh in session often do best. Not if it’s self-depreciating humor, though. The idea is, don’t take your self too seriously, but don’t put yourself down either.
Actually, other people who have been to therapy are usually the best at helping you find a therapist. Don’t just ask if they like their therapist, though–of course they do, otherwise they would be seeing someone else. Ask WHY they like their therapist.

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