Looking for therapy in Chapel Hill
April 6, 2011 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Need a therapist recommendation in Chapel Hill.

My boyfriend is very smart, strong-willed, and averse to therapy in general; however, he thinks that his current depression might warrant therapy. He has been severely depressed for several months.

I think we only have one shot at finding someone good enough for him to work with. His criteria are:

- Someone who is very smart and capable (I'm sure everyone wants this in their therapist, but my boyfriend really is very, very smart and needs someone on his level)
- Someone who will discuss his suicidal ideation with him seriously, without threatening to involuntarily commit him or otherwise do him harm (he had this experience with the only other therapist he went to, which really turned him off of therapy altogether) - this is the most important thing.
- Someone who won't just try to put him on medication for his depression (he doesn't want to take antidepressants)
- Someone who understands absurdism, utilitarianism, and other philosophical schools of thought and will use them in their therapy (I don't know if this is possible, but I think this would be really helpful for him, given his personality and philosophical leanings)
- Someone who offers a sliding scale fee
- Someone who has a warm and pleasant demeanor (I'm thinking a woman would be better for him, but that's not necessary)
- Someone located in Chapel Hill or Carrboro. I don't think he'll be willing to drive out to Durham or Raleigh on a weekly basis.

Thanks very much for your help.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I do not have a therapist recommendation, so this may be worthless. But:

It sounds like your boyfriend is putting up an awful lot of barriers and conditions in the way of his recovery. He seems invested in protecting his specialness. He is setting up excuses (therapist wasn't smart enough/didn't have this specific background).

Perhaps his first step to getting better would be to think about and accept that he can learn from anyone, not just an extremely smart person who meets all of his criteria.

Sometimes smart people who are invested in their smartness don't like to learn that they are emotionally dumb. It makes them insecure, to think they may have screwed up in ways they can't understand and "marked the wrong answer on the test", so to speak. It is hard to humble oneself and be open to help from someone. It is hard to put oneself in a vulnerable position of having someone tell you your "mistakes". Especially for a smart person, who wants to think they can understand everything.

No therapist is going to list their IQ on the door. For the best results, your boyfriend may need to humble himself and learn that in emotional IQ terms, he may be the average one, and the therapist is the genius.
posted by griselda at 10:35 AM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Michael Ryan was great. I'd recommend him to anyone.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:42 AM on April 6, 2011

Martha Diehl.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:43 PM on April 6, 2011

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