the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Saturday Therapy #3

I always seem to get in trouble when I write about issues involving therapy. No one ever complains when I write about religion, but people always do about therapy topics (which tells me what America’s one true religion really is) . I once got angry emails when I wrote that “half of my readers seem to have bipolar disorder.” Today, after writing my second post, I received a not-very-happy email about my insincerity concerning my looking for a therapist.  I’m very glad I received this email.  I certainly don’t like to hurt anybody’s feelings, especially someone who seemed to care for my well-being.  I sometimes forget that you actually care about my life, which should be obvious to me, since I care about your lives all the time.  

The truth: the first post was 50% true. I did contact a therapist who already had her fill of patients with my insurance, and she wasn’t taking any new ones. The second tale was a complete fantasy.

It is also true that I have been “dragging my feet” about therapy. But I am taking it seriously. Maybe too seriously. That’s why I don’t want to do it, and I appreciate everyone’s advice.

I do find the idea of therapy funny. I’m not talking about mental health issues for drug addicts and abused wives. That is not funny. At least most of the time. I’m talking about typical existential issues. They can be funny. So, hopefully, I will continue to make fun of therapy and myself. However, I will be more aware of how important mental health issues are to many of you, particularly to all of my crazy readers that have bipolar disorder.


  1. Not Faint Hearted

    Maybe I’m weird, or bipolar, or something (well, I have it on good account that I’m “really something,” but I won’t go into that now) but I agree with you that looking at the whole therapy thing with a sense of humor is vital. Especially when it has to do with getting through a “separation” or divorce.

    Keep looking for the therapist who’ll “click” and keep making up the rest.

  2. Not Faint Hearted

    I’m first? Everybody else must be out having fun…or interviewing therapists, huh?

  3. claire

    Well, rest assured that I never take what you post too seriously, Neil. ;]

    Good luck with the therapist hunt!

  4. wendy

    As for your second post..very funny. The therapist who helped me once fell asleep during one of our guided relaxion sessions. It was very very funny…But hey, he was human, not the messiah after all.

    And as for your humor..classic defense mechanism..DUH!! You just keep on being yourself. I always enjoy a chuckle at some one elses expense. May as well be you.

  5. fringes

    Argh…we gotta laugh at/with something or we will all go crazy. Hell, I’m halfway to crazy and I still laugh about it. You can’t save the world with your blog, but you do save my morning most days. Keep writing what you feel, and keep the funny no matter the topic.

  6. Neil

    Now I’m thinking it was sort of pathetic that I wrote a post apologizing because of one reader. I really need that therapy ASAP.

  7. Mo

    Yes, dear, we do care about what happens to you. Even this mildly bipolar reader 😉

  8. JanePoe (aka Deborah)

    I’m thinking, Neil Kramer’s life as scripted and played by Woody Allen.

  9. The Cynical Girl

    I feel like looking for a new therapist is like looking for a used car. You get the car fax report, the exterior looks fine, but you don’t really know what to expect until you take it out for a spin. And it’s such a pain in the ass that it’s almost not worth it. I’d rather be crazy that get a new therapist.

  10. Finn

    Oh good Lord, people, get a sense of humor already. One hundred percent of people who commit suicide have forgotten how to find the funny. It’s true. 😉

  11. Non-Highlighted Heather

    Ah, the joys of Type B blogging.

    And this is why, my dear, I will never be highlighted.

  12. Miss Syl

    Um, excuse me for being thick here, but which part of email #1 was 50% false?

  13. Neil

    Miss Syl — Well, it was more about insurance, than me personally, and I never really got a chance to tell her about my fear of rejection, so I just threw that in there for your amusement. But, as you can tell by the way I rushed to write this retraction because ONE blogger wrote me an unhappy email, you can assume that this fear of rejection is very much NOT a made-up part of my personality.

    You don’t think I was wimpy for writing this “retraction,” do you, like Sophia does? Because if it means you won’t ever come back to this blog, I could write a retraction to the retraction for you!

  14. Stefanie

    I have had like 40 therapists. None good. One sort of good but way to earthy crunchy, one completely out of her mind ( I became her therapist) and one who wore Hawaain shirts. But I’m happy to give a recommend. Seriously, just ask.

  15. ms. sizzle

    look at woody allen. he’s made his neuroses work for him. so can you!

  16. Neil

    But where’s my Soon-Yi?

  17. lizardek

    I knew you were kidding around with the last one. You made me smile. 🙂 If we can’t make fun of ourselves (and honestly, OTHER PEOPLE), then what’s the meaning of life?!

  18. kristen

    Ok, now I too can laugh about the 2nd post, knowing that it was a joke. I always drag my heels when I know it’s time for therapy again. It’s a lot of work knowing all the work you’ll have to do while there, I get exhausted just thinking about it!

  19. tamarika

    “I do find the idea of therapy funny. I’m not talking about mental health issues for drug addicts and abused wives. That is not funny. At least most of the time. I’m talking about typical existential issues. They can be funny.”

    Neil, I am completely with you on this! If you do take on – under-take – therapy, find someone with a great sense of humor. I once had a therapist without a sense of humor and I thought I would kill myself during sessions. For me, therapy is a fantastic adventure, the best detective story in the world, life enhancing, soul enriching, painful and sometimes excruciatingly funny. What better person to get to know than myself?

  20. Rhea

    I just found these “Nine Tips for Choosing a Therapist” post on another blog:

  21. Spinning Girl

    When I was in therapy I started feeling guilty about talking about myself for an hour. So then I needed therapy for that.

  22. Pearl

    Therapy as laughter is competition to theories of pathology of mind. It’s why some therapists are humorless.

    I hear the bipolar thing. It seems there is either a health epidemic not obvious in face to to face meetings but as good copy for online, or else blogger population is skewed to bipolar, panic disorder, autism, obsessive compulsive, chronic depression, fibromyalgia, etc.

  23. Erin

    I must have gotten really lucky. I really like my therapist and she does a great job of giving me ideas about how to solve my problems. I’m not bipolar, but I do have tons of other issue, not least of which is fear of commitment (hey, we ARE alike) and having her to talk to about this stuff is a huge weight off my mind. I feel like it frees me to do other things. If I get upset, I can just tuck it away until my session. I hope you find someone who clicks with you…

  24. V-Grrrl

    Oh sure, the complaining reader probably went to Smith. Those Smith Grrrls (rolls eyes!)

    Now that we’ve got your truth telling down from 50 percent to 0 percent, you’re ready for the White House.

  25. chantel

    As a person who has completed her therapy and is friends with many therapists I’ve found the only people who take therapy seriously is therapists.
    After I completed my three years my therapist friends started calling me for advice.

  26. Heather B.

    Approach your quest for therapy however you please. It’s difficult and it can be absurd, realizing that things in life are so effed up that you require professional help. The most important thing is finding someone you’re comfortable with. It took me a year to get comfortable with my therapist and then six months later I had to stop going (I left the country). It will be one of your most important relationships so deal with it however you feel best.

  27. Miss Syl

    You don’t think I was wimpy for writing this “retraction,” do you, like Sophia does?

    Me, Sophia, the angry emailer…Why are you worried so much about what other people think about what you are? Just because we *think* you are or aren’t something-or-other doesn’t make it *true.*

    What do YOU think you are? That’s what’s true.

    (I learned that in therapy.)

    Write me no retractions, baby. Just get yo’self into therapy if you wanna be there.

  28. reese

    Man, tough crowd. If you can’t laugh about your issues you’re screwed.

  29. Jurgen Nation

    Therapy IS funny, and I can say that because I am a VIP member. I appreciate the fervent seriousness that some people have because, yes, it is a serious issue and yes, I feel like we need more people to take it seriously. Taking it seriously doesn’t mean you can’t laugh at it or yourself, though. I like what Reese wrote: If you can’t laugh about your issues, you’re screwed. Nicely stated.

    Go take a poop, people who complained to Dear Neil. It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself and be light hearted about life in general.

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