When The Client Is Ready, The Therapist Will Appear

Dear Dr. Darcy:

My question is, what type of therapist/ therapy do I need?  Let me start by saying I've been in therapy before.  A few times.  It always seems to go the same.  I cry about all of my problems that I'm very aware I have, they listen.  They tell me I'm depressed and should probably be on antidepressants… I'm tired of therapists only being there to listen to me.  I have friends for that, very emotionally supportive friends.

But I find myself graduated from college recently and totally stuck in a rut.  I apply to jobs but I honestly feel so worthless I automatically assume everything will reject me.  I'm this way with meeting new people too.  I'm also not out as a lesbian and terrified of dating.  I've always fallen in love with women who don't love me back. My friends know that I'm gay, but I can't imagine ever telling anyone else.  It's silly, but I really think I can hide that for the rest of my life, since I'll probably be single anyway.!

I want a therapist that will help to motivate me too.  I find myself sitting around my house doing nothing every day.  I've lost interest in even hanging out with my friends.  I feel like I have nothing to talk to them about and no reason for being because I have no job.  I don't want them to see what a loser I am… I'm a mess and I definitely need therapy, but I don't want to end up with another therapist who just sits and listens to me and then prescribes pills.  I really want someone to kick my ass and help me find my strengths and figure out what it is I can do with my life...  Also my parents aren't really thrilled with the idea of paying for therapy...  I'm not sure I'll even go. But my main question is how do I avoid another therapist who won't really help?  Is there a type of therapy I should look for?

ANSWER

You are a bucket of negative beliefs which are promoting a ton of self-fulfilling prophecies.  You apply to jobs and because you feel worthless and assume you’ll be rejected, you are.  And as you pointed out, you are this way with people too - repeatedly falling in love with women who don’t love you back because you don’t believe you are lovable.  You haven’t even committed to speaking your most basic truth of all - that you’re gay.  And you postpone coming out because you believe you’ll be single forever.

You say you want a tough therapist who will kick your ass, but the truth is what you really want is to find another therapist who will confirm your negative beliefs about therapy so that you can walk away from the experience blaming the shrink instead of taking responsibility for your life.  If you were lucky enough to find the right therapist and she demonstrated the skills to kick your ass as you claim to want, you’d find a reason to get the hell out of her office.  She won’t be affordable.  Or you’ll get in a fight with your parents and they’ll pull the plug on funding therapy.  She’d be too old, too young, someone who you can't relate with or too attractive.

That’s not to say that your therapy complaints aren’t valid.  I can (and have) lament(ed) endlessly on my frustration with other shrinks who behave passively under the guise of fostering client independence.  A client can only become independent if he/she is ever helped, and I for one have never been helped by a passive shrink in my life.   But your issue goes far beyond what I’m referencing.

You are so deeply wedded to your views and beliefs that you will look for evidence at every turn to confirm that you are right – even if being right means continuing to live an unhappy life.  Until you are willing and able to take responsibility for your life, until you are willing to purge yourself of your disabling philosophy on life and embrace a new one, you will continue to get more of the same.  And when you are truly ready to change, you’ll find the right therapist.  Who knows?  You may already have found her.

Writer's Stats: Female, Gay.