24 July 2010
I have never seen the show “In Treatment” on HBO, but I bet I would love it.
HBO does an amazing job with everything they touch.
Except for the show Hung.
But from what I know about In Treatment, it sounds like a very cool concept.
Basically you are a fly on the wall during a series of intense therapy sessions.
When my parents were growing up, the only people who went to therapy were the weirdos.
At least that’s what most people thought.
When I was growing up, the only people who went to therapy were the weirdos and the hyperactive kids.
The only thing I knew about that biz was what Dr. Sidney Freedman from M*A*S*H had taught me.
(I wonder if the writers knew that he has the same initials as Sigmund Freud. Wow, what a coincidence.)
These days if you want to be part of the in-crowd, you’d better make an appointment with a therapist.
But you better make sure you know what the doctor is ordering.
Do a quick search and you'll see about a million options -- Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Counselors, Group Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Psychoanalytic Therapy.
It’s like going to one of those all you can eat salad bars.
Wow those places stress me out. Too many decisions.
I started going to therapy in the fall of 2008 after 30+ of my colleagues were told thanks for all of your hard work.
I had been before, but never under such circumstances.
Life was quite overwhelming at that moment, but I was fortunate to find a fantastic person who helped guide me through that terrible time.
20 months later, I’m as grounded as I will ever be.
Unemployed, but grounded.
Yesterday I returned to see my therapist after taking two months off. That damn freelance job got in the way of all of my fun.
Despite the time away, I jumped right back onto the cozy couch, kicked off my shoes and started up a conversation.
60 minutes later we were done.
I have learned quite a bit by talking to the experts, but perhaps the number one thing I’ve learned is that the experts don’t like to give you the answers.
They prefer to sit there, do a whole lot of listening, sometimes write things down, ask you some questions and then lead you to the water.
Its up to you to do the drinking.
Fortunately for me, I’m always thirsty and I caught on quickly, taking a whole lot away with me.
When I started two years ago, the first goal that I.. we.. me.. we.. (I don’t know) set was for me to try being more present at home.
Working 60+ hours a week can make for a tired human, but deep down, the wife and kids really don’t care how tired I am.
They just want me to be there when I am there, since I really wasn’t there most of the time.
Once I became a stay-at-home dad, that being present thing became a lot easier.
I actually started listening to conversations and if I was feeling really crazy, I might even say something.
Now that’s progress.
Through therapy I have now obtained all the tools to be present when/if I start working full-time again.
I usually walk away from a session with a handful of homework and a bag full of goals.
The reality is that in life, you are not going to succeed most of the time, but if you can keep trying, that’s the victory.
Today we talked about the great unknown or as Billy Joel liked to refer to it -- My Life.
More specifically dealing with what you know instead of what you don’t.
If you try guessing about the future, you might as well start guessing about lottery numbers too.
And we know how that will turn out.
Deal in reality. Live in the now and take it from there.
When this phase of life is over, then and ONLY THEN, can you go to the next phase.
Don’t pass go until it is time. There is no $200.
Even though she won’t take any of the credit, I owe SO much to my therapist.
We watched my career crumble in front of my eyes (and hers) and somehow I’m still standing.
(And you thought I was going to make a corny Elton John reference, didn't you?)
I would imagine that therapy is not for everyone, but for me, it has made life more clear than a pair of bifocals.
I have no doubt that it would not have happened without some Cognit-Psychiolog-Social-Counselor person.
I’m just glad I found a friend.