The first time I went to therapy, my parents chose a psychotherapist quickly (an easier decision than which mechanic they took their car to). The way they found this nutter-butter-can-of-cashews was that my first pediatrician didn't know what to do for my nightly all-night/every night nightmares and so he sent me to a therapist. He thought she was good because of her seemingly impressive pedigree, and let me let them tell you as they told everyone who asked, "She did therapy on the Prime Minister from Israel." Even at ten I found this bit of information troubling and logistically dubious, as we lived in a beachside suburb in Los Angeles and the Prime Minister from Israel lived in Israel. Here are a few examples of her wacky behavior:
1. She ate cottage cheese with her mouth open during our sessions. I feel sure that her mouth full of curds gave me more nightmares rather than less.
2. She read her mail during our sessions. While I get that my 10-year-old chatter was not very stimulating, she was getting paid to listen to me and not to read what the latest edition of Readers Digest said about how to declutter your desk. Good God, do I wish I was making this stuff up.
3. I have since learned that she asked patients for rides to the airport. She never asked me for a ride, but I was only ten and I didn't even have a bike.
I thought, as a public service of sorts, and since I am a therapist and since I write about being in therapy, it might be a good thing if I shared some thoughts about picking a therapist---should you ever find yourself in need of one---as they can be harder to find than a good mechanic. For the rest of this post please click here.