My intentions were very good when I started college. I imagined saving lives, marriages, and corks for many years to come. I was going to be a therapist, and going to make this chair someday (still plan on the chair part).
So when I was starting grad school, and because I’d already gotten my sunny-self certified in hypnosis, I had the opportunity to share an office with an amazing local therapist who I planned on interning with. Meeting one on one with clients, and she and I doing group couples counseling was pretty eye-opening. Here are some of my favorite examples:
First couple came to me with relationship issues. I told them, “get a pool cleaner.” They told me they didn’t have a pool. “Duh,” I said. “That is your whole problem!” They questioned my reasoning, but me, being the wise almost-therapist I planned on becoming, only looked smugly in the opposite direction, shoving my sunscreen deeper into my beach bag.
Next came the transvestite. A very nice man who couldn’t understand why his wife wouldn’t let him wear her underwear. Now, let me just say as an aspiring therapist, I knew I couldn’t pick sides, but the idea of my husband wearing my underwear…well, ew. Being the problem-solver I have always been, I took him through a deep, guided meditation and then threw down a gift certificate for Victoria’s Secret. Now he and his wife have shopping sprees and play dress up and are very happily married. Can’t say that about the pool people.
Then I had a young man who was on probation and was required to to get some form of therapy. After speaking with him for a few minutes, I explained that I believed his issues revolved around not loving himself enough. He assured me that was probably not true and in fact, he went so far as to say loving himself in public was precisely why he had gotten in trouble in the first place. I reminded him I was the therapist and the he would need to pull his pants up.
There were more. Plenty of them, but ultimately I decided becoming a licensed therapist wasn’t quite my bag. I changed my graduate degree to communications with an emphasis in writing and decided to sell houses. Because that makes sense, right? I think it’s safe to say that I’ve used my almost-therapist skills in real estate more than I do when I try to hypnotize my husband to let me wear his underwear. He’s still not budging.
Seriously though, hats off to licensed therapists who make a difference. Sadly, they are regulated up the wazoo and often underpaid. I like doing workshops because I can charge way too much and drink wine with clients. Oh, and I don’t have to keep that whole therapist/client confidentially thing. I can post their problems all over FaceBook and we can laugh at them together. It’s part of my new experiential therapy program I’m calling, “making fun of you.” Just kidding. Unless that is, I tell them to get a pool and they refuse. I gotta have some place to swim.
Here’s a peek at some workshops I am designing for 2014. See if you think they’re sexy.
PS…..Here’s my new logo….do you think it’s sexy? And PPSS….NOT KIDDING about the chair.