Find a Buddy or Two, or Three
My BFF says that if everyone had two or three BFFs, there would be no need for therapists. I agree to a certain extent, but there are things that a therapist does that a buddy cannot, should not, will not do. You might want to find a therapist for that stuff. My BFF agrees with me. Completely. We’ve both had therapists.
Your Therapist is Not Your Buddy
As your therapist, you can talk to me about yourself exclusively. When you cry, I won’t. When you laugh, I will. I’m not going to try to cheer you up. I’m going to be very nosy about your past, and detailed about how you are thinking and what you are feeling. I’m going to tell you my thoughts about how your past, your thoughts, and your feelings are connected. I’m going to analyze you but not judge you. You can tell me to back off.
I might yawn because I’m tired, but if I’m bored, that’s my fault. I don’t expect you to pick up a coffee for me if you ran to Starbucks before stopping by. I’ll be honest with you, but I’m not going to tell you everything about me. If I’m having a bad day, you won’t know about it. Usually.
Your Buddy is Not Your Therapist
My buddies know that I take up my share of time when we talk. If you cry, I might cry too. When you laugh, I’ll laugh if you’re being funny. I won’t be annoying about it, but I’ll try to cheer you up when I can. I’m still going to be nosy, cause that’s how I am. You can tell me to back off.
I’m not going to analyze you. Ever. I won’t judge you. Probably. I’ll tell you if I think you’re being an idiot. I’ll also tell you if I think you’re being smart. I’ll expect the same from you. If I’m bored, maybe we can do something different. I’ll be honest with you. Eventually, you’ll know everything I know about myself. You better know that I want a four shot Venti skinny vanilla latte before 11 am, and that coffee after 11 am is not a good idea for me. If I’m having a bad day, you’ll be on my list to call. I’ll be there when you call, too.
Therapists vs. Buddies: The Economics
As your therapist, I’ve been trained to do the things that I hope your buddies are doing for you, so that’s beaut. I won’t tell you how to run your life. I’ll help you figure out how to do that for yourself. I’ll work myself out of a job as fast as possible, without rushing. That takes practice. I’ll charge you a reasonable fee for putting myself on hold while I focus exclusively on you. I take Venmo.
For my buddies, we’ll split the tab, except when I’m spoiling you or you’re spoiling me. I take Venmo.