|How to Fire Your Therapist: A Treatise for Those Who Cannot|
It has come to my attention that there are some in this gallant, sexually repressed little world of ours who just cannot, for some reason or other, fire their therapist. The reasons for not wanting to do so vary, ranging from lust to lunacy, abstraction to genetic flaw. However, there comes a point in everyone's life where they must fire their therapist, and therein lies the difficulty. For to fire your therapist means, to some, to fire your id, that wonderful little part of our Freudian psyche which urges us to tell our therapist vivid stories of having orgies with kitchen appliances or that the fear to commit suicide stems from watching too much Sesame Street or Romper Room when you were a kid. (How this applies to the point at hand, ask me not). Of course, there is that one little thing, that one little excuse, which we use to maintain our doctor-client relationship... and you know what I mean... the story of how when you were three you stubbed your big left toe, THE BIG TRAUMA, which is the root cause for your adult tragedies. Do I digress? Nay, for now is the time to buy yourself a pair of steel-tipped boots and fire your therapist, god damn it! And if you can't do it yourself after reading this little pamphlet, then, as Freud and Jung as witnesses, I will do it for you.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is do you really need a therapist? I'm not talking about mentally (we'll get to your screwed up fucking mind later), I'm talking financially. For example, I pay upwards of $175 for a thirty-minute session discussing my obsession with bacon. Is that really practical, especially when I can call you up and tell you for hours on end about how I think the act of eating bacon is better than the act of making love? And all I have to pay is the cost of the call, mere pennies compared to what some therapists charge. Now, you may be lucky, and pay much less than I do. But the thirty or seventy-five bucks a session that you waste on your therapist could easily be spent on something more constructive, like buying bacon for me. So, before you down that bottle of sleeping pills, go through your phone book and see if you can find at least one person who can convincingly pretend that they care enough about you who can tell you that offing yourself is not a sound thing to do, especially since you're behind on your bacon quota.
So, we've just examined how financially therapy is not a sound investment, and that there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy, like bacon. Now it's time to turn inward, to that wonderfully dark place where all our fears live and breed. So, if you need your security blanket or teddy bear, get it now. I'll wait........................................................................................... Well, then, there, now... as I was saying. You think that you're pretty fucked up, with your depressions and panic attacks and fears that brew within your soul, blackening the world around you, and that the world exists only to make your pathetic life even more miserable. So, this, you say, is the reason why you need a therapist. Ah, what a pathetic loser you are, then! You don't need a therapist. You need a lobotomy, or electric shock treatment or a swift kick in the ass. That's what I think. The world is not out to get you, but your therapist is. Your therapist encourages you to indulge in all your fears, your anger, and your depressing thoughts. Now is this a healthy thing for your therapist to do? No, but you pay her to, and now you're in an even worse off mental position than you were when you started "treatment." I mean, look at you, all cuddled up with your security whatever reading this. You wouldn't be in the position you are in now if it weren't for your therapist. I'm here to tell you that you're miserable, and it ain't your fault; it's your shrink's.
It's true! Your mom and your dad, your stubbed toe, are not the reasons why you need a therapist. You need a therapist because your therapist needs a patient so that s/he can get a lot of fancy schmancy plaques to hang up on their walls. I think it's called reverse psychology, where one convinces the other about one thing when really it's the first who is concerned about the issue at hand. Well, whatever it is called, and whatever it is, I'm here to tell you that it's true, that it exists, and that that it's the reason why you can't, or won't, fire your therapist.
Which leads us to the point of this whole waste of time: firing your therapist. We've seen how both financially and mentally your therapist wreaks havoc in your life, especially with that "and how do you feel about that?" question. Well, now's the time where I show you how to be assertive (something your therapist obviously has not taught you, for if she did, you wouldn't be reading this). First things first: say to yourself, "I will fire my therapist." Go ahead-- do it. I can't hear you. That's better. Now, stand on one foot, put one hand on your head, the other on your tummy and make vulgar ape noises. God, you fool! That was a joke! Jeez! Anyway, you've just taken the first step towards firing your therapist (not the ape noises, the other thing).
Step two is the hard part. It involves a frying pan. No, you're not going to bash your therapist over the head with it (although I'm sure you've thought of that before). No, I'm just hungry. Go fry me up some bacon, please.
Step three: time to fire your therapist. That's the hard part. You've probably come up with too many excuses to not do it: you have a crush on your therapist; you're afraid to hurt your therapist's feelings; you enjoy tearing the hair out of your head after each session wondering why the hell you torture yourself recalling memories of the pet gerbil you're brother killed when he taped a firecracker to its butt (ahh, memories!). I guess that I could go on and on listing excuses, but that's your job. My job is to tell you that no matter what you come up with, they're all just shit. Get over your therapist. Is s/he really worth all the bullshit? Of course not. So here's how you fire her. Follow this carefully. Take notes if necessary.
Okay, we both know that this isn't going to lead you anywhere. If you really want to fire your therapist, I have the most simple solution for your problem: just say "you're fired." Don't make another appointment. Don't return or make phone calls to her. Don't even consider your therapist's feelings. I mean, does your therapist deserve it? You waste your time and your money to rehash some old pathetic memory, never getting anywhere, just getting mentally worse and worse. It doesn't sound sane to me. If you want to get better, try bacon. It works for me.
©1996-2002 M. Matonis. All rights reserved.