I am someone that believes in talking therapies. I think sitting in front of someone that is professionally trained to tease out and notice the nuance of what you might be bumbling through, is a healing process.
This being said, I also acknowledge that Cluster B personality disorders do not benefit in a healthy way from talking therapies. What happens when they participate is they are able to hone their already screwed up ways of dealing with life. For instance; someone I used to know used what she learned from her therapist to manipulate and exploit her 80 year old grandmother into doing exactly what she wanted her to do. When she proudly told me how she did it and how successful the experiment ended up being, I wanted to vomit.
Cluster B personality disorders and talking therapies are a recipe for disaster, however a good therapist knows rather quickly who they’re working with and they do try to keep the sessions tame.
There used to be this stigma attached to seeing a therapist. People wondered what was wrong with you and if you were actually a bit loopy. Fear of the unknown and asking someone to poke around into your emotions is sometimes scary, but once you get started the relief you feel and the catharsis of unloading and getting rid of those ideas that have you paralyzed with terror is beyond amazing. Those days of fanciful speculation and magical thinking are hopefully in the past as a multitude of folks are benefiting from “laying on that couch”.
If you ever feel compelled to judge someone because they are seeing a therapist, perhaps instead of judging them you should ask yourself why that scares you so much. I’m going to have say right here; don’t knock it, if you haven’t tried it.
How do talking therapies help?
- You get an unbiased and caring listener focused solely on you to hear you tell your story, without interruptions and without judgement.
- There is no oneupmanship. Oneupmanship is when the person you’re pouring your heart out to takes your story and turns it into a story about themselves so they can talk about themselves too. Usually they start out with “That ain’t nothing! Listen to this!”
- Therapists provide a soothing and safe place to bare your soul and to be honest with what you’re saying with no fear of repercussions or retaliations.
- Therapists are trained to get to the root of the problem and they recognize a patient in denial. They shine a light into those dark corners you might be too afraid to look at alone.
- You don’t have to worry that your therapist is going to go back and tell the rest of your friends what you said.
- Therapists can give you life tools and coping methods tailor-made for your situation that will help you through the tough times.
I look forward to seeing my therapist every week. In fact, I have sought out counseling on a semi-regular basis since I was fifteen years old. Growing pains are always with us and when I get overwhelmed with life, I see someone trained to help me understand what’s happening around me. A good therapist can help me process what I am experiencing in a healthy way, as opposed to tamping it down or sweeping it under the rug. They can also call me out on my bullshit if the need arises.
I will probably cry at every single appointment. I don’t even try to avoid the tears now, I just allow them to come and I deal with it. I am not a crier. I dislike crying. To me, crying is very painful. My throat swells, my eyelids swell, my face turns beet red…what’s that called? Oh yeah, the Ugly Cry. Along with making me look horrendously hideous, it also gives me a headache, bloody bloodshot eyes and a swollen face that lasts the rest of the day. Some days it will upset my stomach and I have no appetite, other days I make a beeline to the nearest hamburger.
No pain, no gain.
The best part is walking to my car afterwards. Daubing my eyes because the tears are still falling, I feel like I just had an incredible day at the spa. I feel exhilarated and exfoliated and clean. I went in there loaded with fears and complaints and I unloaded all of it. I let it all out and I cleared a space in my attic that was full of cobwebs and darkness. Now there is light and knowledge in it’s place.
There is a new strength in one’s self each time you leave a therapy session. They truly do leave you better than when they found you!
How do you find a therapist that fits your needs?
- Google can locate licensed therapists and psychologists in your local area.
- Check with your insurance provider for recommendations of therapists that accept your insurance.
- You can ask for referrals from friends or relatives that you trust.
- You can also speak with a therapist online if you’re home-bound.
I hope you decide to pursue a new relationship with a therapist if you are feeling any overwhelming anxiety or depression. Even if you just have questions about how to deal with certain things life throws at you, a therapist is one phone call away and a good lifeline to develop. Good luck out there!
Til next time, this is Madeline Laughs and I’ll see you on the sofa!
That’ll be 5 cents please.