the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Baby Steps


A few of you emailed me recently asking me how my therapy was going.  I was embarrassed to reveal that I was still dragging my feet about the whole thing.  I’m not sure what was holding me back.   Fear?  Anxiety?  Talking about my marriage?  SPENDING MONEY to talk with someone, when I can just talk to you FOR FREE?

Today, I decided it was time to act.  It was time to contact a therapist.   A blogger/friend recommended someone in West LA.  I emailed this therapist.  I told her a bit about my issues, such as my fear of rejection.

Tonight, I received an email back from her, saying she was too busy to see me and was rejecting me as a client.

Now with added clarification:  50% true!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Be of Good Cheer


  1. Non-Highlighted Heather


  2. LisaBinDaCity

    So call her and beg. Sometimes the power of persuasion works miracles. As does honesty. Did she offer you a referral?

    Good for you for reaching out though.

  3. reese

    I don’t believe you.

  4. Dawn

    Irony kids. Tough to define, but I know it when I see it.

  5. Joyce

    You are too funny. Are we to believe all that you say to be true? Good one about the therapist being too busy to see you. You have heard the one about the patient who went to see a therapist for an opinion and the therapist said his case was hopeless. The patient asked for a “second opinion,” and the therapist replied, “okay, you’re ugly too.” 🙂

  6. Neil

    It is true… sort of. I think the real reason is that she didn’t have any more room for patients with my insurance, who weren’t paying the full amount.

  7. Finn


  8. V-Grrrl

    True story: My friend Mike, suffering from severe depression, called a suicide hotline. The person asks him, among other questions, how often he thinks about killing himself. He replies something along the lines of, “At least once an hour.” Having ascertained he is indeed suicidal, the hotline worker sets him up for an appointment with a psychiatrist–but can’t get him in for something like four to six WEEKS!

    When the person tells him this with a flat voice, Mike laughs. It is the first time he has laughed in months.

    The good news is he persisted in getting help, found someone who could see him right away and got treatment…

    He’s a journalist and wrote an award-winning article about his experience and his openness helped me seek treatment for depression when I needed it.

  9. better safe than sorry

    doesn’t everyone have a fear of rejection, sorry, but i don’t think you’re alone on this one.

  10. Alissa

    Maybe it was just a test? She could be one of those therapists that zones in on your fears right away. No messing around!

  11. Caron

    Baby steps are by nature small and awkward. It’s called toddling because you fall down alot.(But, as adults we have farther to fall, and without diapers, its not quite as padded and comfortable.)

    Don’t give up. Call the 800# on the back of your insurance card, and have them give you a list of therapists that are “in network.”

  12. plain jane

    Good for you for taking the first step. Try, try again.

  13. Noel

    I’m not reading today’s post

  14. Jenn

    Ah, well, you tried. Stick with the free advice. Who knows you better than us anyway?

  15. jo(e)

    Difficult life experiences often make for funny blog posts, don’t they?

  16. Miss Syl

    Well, finding the right therapist is kind of like dating at the beginning (how’s that for Freudian). It may take a few tries to find one you like and feel you can work with even after you start actually getting into the office. So technically, you might have gone to see this person and she might have just not worked for you, anyway. Maybe it’ll help to think of it that way.

    If you know it is time to do it, and it sounds like you do know, try again–and again if that doesn’t work out. There are a lot of other therapists in the sea. It takes a little while to find the right one.

    But in my experience, once you HAVE found the right one, its just about the best thing that can possibly happen. My life (and outlook on it and interaction with it) has improved vastly after having begun therapy.

  17. Neil

    Miss Syl — Thanks for the insight! Although I usually feel more comfortable with women, I also think it may be a good idea to go against the grain and look for a male therapist. Maybe he might have something special to add, being the same gender and having a penis of his own.

  18. Killer

    I think you should start stalking the therapist until she realizes how much you really need her help.
    That approach has never worked for me, but I am not sure if I am stalking wrong.
    Let me know what you do.

  19. wendy

    The cherry on the top, would be if she rejected you, but then told you to keep trying..each week, to see if maybe things had changed. Rejection plus manipulation, a deadly combo.

    I’ve had two therapists, of the head nature. One looked like Glinda the good witch, told me I was pretty..blah blah blah. The other a huge, as in tall and big older black gentleman..who frankly scared me a bit…but guess what? Some of his words still rattle in my brain. He helped more, much more.

    But I must say, years afterwards, I realzed that while I touched on some of my issues, I managed to avoid the really big ones, both times.

    You have to be there. All of you. Not just the acceptable parts. The really sucky parts too. I don’t think that is an easy thing to do.

    good luck, and PS I don’t think people actually lay down in therapy.

  20. ms. sizzle

    maybe you should add to the list “personalizes things”- it’s definitely on my therapy list!

    i kinda hope you’re kidding but i fear you aren’t.

  21. question girl


    and i though i had issues w/ my therapist being a bit of a pansy ass

  22. margaret

    a couple of years ago, I knew I needed to go back to a doctor, so I called around and around until I found someone who could see me, way aross town at like 2:30 in the afternoon so that my employer would count me gone for 1/2 a day. After waiting 30 minutes they decided they wouldn’t take my insurance or let me self pay. I cried and pleaded but they wouldn’t help. I told them I was off my meds and didn’t want to see my old therapist because I felt he was disrespectful. No help

  23. Sophia

    One word for you all – gullable. 🙂

  24. tamarika

    Now, see, the last time I looked for a therapist I “interviewed” three until I found one who had a sense of humor and was intelligent. *I* rejected the other two. And then I left them all when I met Tom’s therapist, Bob! What a guy. The perfect therapist. An artist. How he balanced the both of us AND made us feel safe at the same time? I’ll never know. Did I already say he was an artist?

  25. Neil

    Tamarika — When you interview a therapist, what do you ask him/her?

  26. Churlita

    This post was so Woody Allen of you – without the whole sleeping with your step-daughter thing.

  27. tamarika

    Well, Neil, when I say “interview” it means I answer their questions about why I’m there and who I am etc. and what I expect. But all the while *I* am sizing *them* up: for body language signs, the way they react to what I say, if they laugh at my jokes and, most especially, if they have what Reich called “the third ear.” That is, if they pick up on stuff I am not saying but that I really feel deep, deep down. Ooh, I love that!

  28. Pearl

    If anyone should know their limits, and time/energy boundaries, it should be a good therapist. You should stalk that one until you’re taken on a client. 😛 😉

  29. kapgar

    Yeah, I always wondered, if the need arose, if I could bring myself to spend the money required to secure the services of a professional therapist. I’m somehow doubting it.

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