The therapy generation

therapy

I’VE DONE THERAPY, and I’m not a fan.

The people who get into that line of work, in my opinion, are troubled people, which is why they get into it in the first place. Their true motivation is understanding themselves, not others, but you can make a living at it, so many do. Kill two birds.

Win, win. Endless fixation on one’s self while having others pay you to fix them too. If only you could. Most men are not inclined to therapy. It’s primarily a female thing which folds nicely into their endless talking and reading self-help books.

Men who submit to therapy, I believe, are usually coerced into it by a woman, or they are questionable fellows like Woody Allen. I was in the first category. Maybe the second too.

The therapists to whom I refer are not psychiatrists. I’m talking about psychologists and other lesser lights with therapy “training.” There are lots of options available. Psychiatrists are just physicians who want those big doctor bucks but who faint at the sight of blood.

My sister is a therapist. My first wife is a therapist. My daughter was a therapist until she married very well and became a woman of leisure. The man who picked up my pieces and put me back together in the late 1990s, when I was a basket case, was a therapist, a psychologist.

But his tools were entheogens, not the endless chatter of usual therapy.

I was first hauled into traditional therapy in 1994. My second wife was the hauler. The therapist was a woman, a scandalously expensive marriage counselor in the Galleria area of Houston. Her suite had multiple rooms. At first we sat on a white leather sofa, my seething wife and I.

Basically, it was a gang-bang, and I got hosed, strapped naked atop a grimy mattress on the floor of a dank, stinky basement. The gang-bangers were, of course, the therapist and my wife.

They had their way with me, over and over, and they didn’t even use protection.

My last clear memory of the final session was this: We went into another room of the suite where there were various instruments of torture, or perhaps they were just therapy aids. The shrink had me lie on my back atop a huge inflated ball, basically bending me backwards, which was uncomfortable.

She leaned over me, looked right into my face and asked (I am not making this up): How old are you now?  I’m 50, I accurately responded, but I don’t think that’s what she wanted to hear.

In the parking lot, I vowed not to return, so my wife tossed me out in the cold shortly thereafter.

I do think that in some cases, what I call chatter therapy can do some good, mostly in relationships. Sometimes, but even then I have my doubts. When deeper issues are involved, things buried far below the surface of the psyche, the troubled soul, you can talk till your jaw falls off, and it will have done nothing of use. Our deepest conflicts care naught for conversation.

artAt best, those devilish conflicts might be excavated with some sticks of dynamite. Entheogens can be sticks of dynamite when administered with care.

Therapy as we know it started in the 20th century. There were therapists long before, of course, and they were called priests, ministers, pastors and shamans.

I prefer the old ways of therapy.

A shaman would never have bent me over a big, inflated ball and asked how old I was.

He would already have known. The jungle would  have told him.