Therapy without doctors
July 11, 2009 9:28 AM Subscribe
I can't do therapy. There must be other people who can't do therapy. What do these people do, when they get together, to fix their problems? What DIY, collaborative options are on the table, and how do I find them?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (32 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've had a really bad month to year -- graduate school has gone from bad to worse, and I can't get out of it. Suffice it to say, I am very, very sad. I've spent a lot of the last year alone, and am now am estranged from a lot of my friends. I've tried relocating temporarily to a new city, but I find myself getting increasingly desperate and related ramifications of total isolation. I have one friend who I talk to, and I feel like there's a limited tolerance for this kind of thing (there would be if I were the friend -- and he's been incredibly patient -- but it's got to be exhausting to listen to).
When I'm really sad, I get really paranoid, and I just fail totally to be able to communicate. This is obviously a problem. I do have this friend -- but again, I feel like I lean on him a lot -- and it's all I can do, when I'm really upset, to even make that contact.
Obvious solution -- therapy! Right? Therapy fixes everything! Except that I really, really object to this, and can't imagine attempting to fix what's wrong with my life -- itself the product of a highly professionalized, goal-and-career-oriented trajectory -- by going in for an hour a day of treatment I can't afford, talking to a "qualified medical professional" for forty five minute, once a week. I don't think that these are a substitute for basic, warm, HUMAN contact (not professionalized contact), which is what I feel like I need right now --- leaving aside the entirely disingenuous "fee-for-service" structure of mental health care (and especially private psychiatric care) that is a given in engaging with the medical establishment in any capacity.
I know there are groups that do low-cost community therapy. The ones I've seen in New York (where I am) are all part of the state hospital system -- which again, I don't want to go anywhere near or touch. I've seen a few that look like they make sense to me, but they're mostly in San Francisco. The one thing that has worked for me is low-cost yoga and meditation type stuff -- I've been doing a little bit of this in Philadelphia (where I am right now) and it's been a tremendous (if transient) relief. If anyone has suggestions for places they know and trust, in this line (or in the group therapy line) in New York, I would really appreciate any guidance.
Thanks in advance for all your help...and I'm sorry, in advance, for so aggressively bashing CBT, which I know a lot of people use, and which probably works. All I mean to say is, it doesn't work for me, and I'd REALLY like advice on where else to go...