Looking for both success stories and non-success stories from people who have been in therapy—especially if you were skeptical about therapy beforehand.
I'm kind of a mess. I've always been prone to a certain amount of depression, but three years ago, several things in my life turned south at once. I kind of got knocked down, and I've never really gotten back up. I'm doing a lot better in some areas lately, but in others I still have thriving ecosystems of neuroses.
I saw a therapist a while ago; something about her attitude unnerved me, so I didn't come back for a second session. A few months later, I saw a second therapist. I liked him better, and came back for a second session, but it felt like fluff—an hour a week was barely enough to sketch the broadest outlines of my problems, and it was obvious the guy didn't get where I was coming from on some fundamental levels. So I canceled with him, too.
So there are at least three reasons I'm skeptical of therapy:
- I've been trying to figure this shit out for years—in some cases, for decades. Now, I'm fully willing to believe I've missed something, but it's hard for me to imagine that someone I've just met is going to be able to comprehend the complexities of my (inner and outer) life, let alone solve them. Hell, my closest friends don't understand this shit.
- As much confusion and pain as I go through, I often feel like my situation doesn't warrant therapy. I know people who grew up in abusive families; people who have been raped; addicts. Me, on the other hand? I've never had any problems keeping a job or generally leading a functional life. I drink more than I should, perhaps, but I'm not an alcoholic or a drug addict. I almost feel like I'd be wasting a therapist's time.
Having typed this out, I see some probable flaws in this thinking, but...well, maybe I need someone else to point them out.
- My aforementioned (and admittedly limited) experience with therapy. Granted, it was only three sessions, but we didn't cover anything I hadn't figured out years ago. I don't need to pay someone a hundred bucks an hour to point out the obvious.
So please tell me about your own experiences with therapy, positive or negative. I'm hoping it will help me figure out where to go from here.
(I actually typed up an AskMeFi post all about my crazy bits, but it was really long, and there was still so much to say. Like I said, I'm a mess.)
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