Last year, I found out something that I was not expecting.
Under my medical insurance plan, visits to the therapist would be covered (depending on who took what insurance). And all I would have to pay would be a deductible.
I was never open to the idea of therapy. I figured that I should be the one to solve my own problems, that these guys were nothing more than overpaid “buddies” that will ask you questions about your mom or steer you in whichever direction they wanted to steer you. I though that therapy was only for people with serious issues – soldiers, abuse victims, Tony Soprano, and since I was none of them, I would be taking away the time from someone that really needed help. I needed to “man up”, internalize everything, and just figure shit out in hardship like my parents and grandparents did. That was the noble way.
Yet the fact that my insurance drastically reduced the cost made me consider the option, and after realizing that I was in a sore spot in my life (my girlfriend and I were close to breaking up, I had a lot of unresolved issues, etc), I decided to take the plunge.
I had two criteria – it had to be a man (surprisingly hard to find), he needed to be good. A few google searches and a phone call later, I made my appointment.
When it finally came time to have our session, I was extremely surprised with just about everything in the encounter. First off – there was no giant couch for me to lie down on, we just sat there in some comfy chairs, talking.
Or rather, I was doing most of the talking. On occasion he would steer me to a few topics here and there, but most importantly, he was asking me how I felt about all of them. For the first time in my life I was clearly defining and expressing my worries, struggles and hardships, and this guy was not judging me whatsoever. It felt good.
I went back a few more times. It felt good, it helped change my life, but what’s most important – it felt like all the change was originated inside me. Yes, it felt like talking to a friend, but a friend that was objective and would not steer you in any direction.
This was the most beneficial factor – the therapist was invested in your future without any potential payoff for him in any of the outcomes. Sure, your parents and friends will love you, but they almost always want to see you “end up in a particular situation or scenario”, and might actively steer you towards it, which at times makes their advice seem a bit less genuine (and at other times, is just flat out wrong). My friends, for example, would unknowingly attempt to keep me inside a destructive relationship, when “freedom” was the much healthier option.
So if you have some worries, some nagging thoughts in your head and some feelings that reading forums just wont seem to get rid of – consider seeing a professional. If you’re worried about an attached stigma – keep it a secret. No one needs to know.
There is no shame in asking for help from someone that is extremely qualified. Plus, if you’re insured, it wont cost much, but the payoff is incredible. Had I known that the results were this great, I would have seen a therapist ages ago (and now recommend it to everyone). Now if only insurance could cover a badass personal trainer…