IMPORTANT ADVICE ABOUT THERAPY.
I’m not a therapist and have no background or training as a mental health professional.
However, I’ve received my own therapy and have encountered literally hundreds of psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, and counselors in the decade of my practice as a lawyer. Hear me out.
1. It is okay to break up with your therapist. If you are seeing a professional for personal therapy, child therapy, or marriage counseling and you find them to be ineffective, stop wasting your time or money. Find someone else. It doesn’t mean the therapist isn’t good- it just means they aren’t good for you. This rings true if you’ve seen the therapist for two sessions or two years.
2. Do your research before seeing a therapist. Do not hire the first person you find in the yellow pages. They are not all created equally. If you are dealing with substance abuse issues, you need to see someone who specializes in substance abuse. If you are dealing with infidelity, you need to see someone who specializes in infidelity. If you are dealing with chronic depression, then you need to see someone who is able to prescribe medications. If you need marriage counseling, you might need to consider a man versus a woman and whether they have a passive style (e.g. sits back and asks how something made you feel) or an active style (e.g. isn’t afraid to voice his or her opinion and calls things as they see them.)
3. You get what you pay for. This is hard for me to write because I know it will frustrate those who lack financial resources. I also know that there are some excellent low-cost therapists- but the lines to see them can be frustratingly long. (I’m not implying that only good therapists cost a lot of money and if they charge little money, then they are automatically bad.) From a global perspective and what I’ve seen in 10 years, the better therapists are expensive. There is a reason they are able to charge high rates for their services. If you can afford to go to a therapist that you need to see and you are financially able, this is an area that I wouldn’t skimp- even if it means you’ll have to cut corners in other areas of your life.
4. Be careful who you share your secrets with. It’s great to be open to our friends and colleagues about our journeys, but use care in who you share things with. A person who gossips to you will gossip about you. There are a lot more wonderful people in the world than bad, but there are also people who will be careless with your secrets or could use them against you later. xo
Cheers to happiness!