I am therapy’s biggest champion. I’ve been seeing my therapist for … oh, nine years now? Dr. A is my longest term relationship, outside of my family. I credit her for helping me overcome so many of my issues, learning to forgive, and getting me through some truly heartbreaking times. And therapy isn’t just for when life feels really, really hard — when I’m feeling good, I still get just as much out of my weekly therapy sessions, as self-awareness is a never-ending journey.
Therapy, though, is still something many people raise an eyebrow at. They think it means you’re crazy, or fucked up, or suicidal. I would love to see therapy become even more normalized, rather than an extreme measure for the deeply wounded. One thing that is maybe helping (and also maybe hurting) that cause is the rise of televised therapy sessions on reality TV shows. I’m not talking about Dr. Phil — fuck him. I’m talking about both reality TV stars allowing the cameras in on their existing therapy sessions, or signing up for therapy-themed TV shows like “Celeb Rehab.” Just how legit are these therapists? What’s their approach to therapy? Would I ever hire them to shrink my head? Let’s review…
Every day, we’re bombarded with so many ideas about who we should be and how to look and act that we often lose sight of who we truly are. We all struggle with self-acceptance every once in a while, and need to remind ourselves to love who we’ve become. New York-based Creative Arts Therapist Mallory Denison says art can be therapeutic in helping people to become more compassionate with themselves, and ultimately with others. “People who work on tapping into their true, authentic selves may find themselves happier,” she explains. “Connecting inward is an absolutely core exercise for people who want to work on their self-esteem, self-worth, confidence and happiness.” Try one (or all!) of these simple art exercises to tap into the inner “you” and freely express who you are without fear of judgment. Have fun! Keep reading »
On Saturday night, I learned that someone very important to me died last week. Deb Powell Simons was my therapist throughout my teen years and early 20s. I had known she had been sick many years ago; learning of her death came as a complete shock. She leaves behind a husband and four young children. She was only 44. Keep reading »
Patrick, a 430-pound gorilla, is being shipped off from the Dallas Zoo because he is in dire need of therapy. Because of his inability to get along with the other gorillas (especially the ladies), Patrick will be moving to the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina, a zoo specializing in working with animals with behavior problems. He will live alone, as he seems to prefer.
“It’s not like we haven’t tried, he’s been here for 18 years,” said Dallas Zoo spokeswoman Laurie Holloway of their attempts to get Patrick to breed.That didn’t go over so well. He bit one female and “sneered and nipped” at the others. The odd thing is that Patrick gets along exceptionally well with humans. So what’s his issue? It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. A brief peek into Patrick’s history points to the root of the problem. Keep reading »
Soldiers returning from combat get diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. So do people who live in violent war zones. And, apparently, models. At least according to former model Jennifer Sky, who says her years as teen model led to panic attacks and an anxiety disorder.
Sky started her modeling career young — at 15 — and was thrust into a strange and unfamiliar place when her modeling agency sent her to Japan unchaperoned and unaided. She lived a similar life in New York, where she was sent next, sharing a loft apartment with five other teenage girls, who were all expected to book jobs, feed and care for themselves without any adult supervision. After two years of this, Sky booked the cover of Sassy magazine’s 1994 prom issue. It would be her last modeling gig. She quit because, she told New York mag’s The Cut, she no longer recognized herself: Keep reading »
Therapy has done me good. Off and on ever since I was 14, I’ve seen a couple therapists for a couple of years at a time each. They’ve helped me through family craziness, adjusting to college, adjusting to life after college, a boss possessed by Satan, and bouts of depression and anxiety.
Therapy isn’t about “solving” problems; it’s about learning ways to cope with them. It’s a credit to my most recent therapist that the few problems in my life feel manageable. In extraordinary circumstances I’ll feel anxious or depressed, but I’m proud to say that I’ve been living my life better than ever. So much so, in fact, that I’m not sure that I’m getting much out of therapy anymore. It feels less like an essential part of mental healthcare and more like a relationship I’ve been maintaining (and let’s be honest, paying for) out of guilt and habit.
So I decided to cut the cord. And my therapist … well, she didn’t take it so well. It felt like a breakup. Here are the five stages you can expect your therapist to go through when you’ve quit their services: Keep reading »