Young Adults on Therapy

Today’s post is inspired by an article I read about young adults’ experiences with therapy. It reminds me of the Humans of New York project, but more anonymous and therapy focused. I like this article because it highlights various experiences and the financial burden of therapy. To me, these stories are a great example of learning what is right for one may not be right for others. Link to article at bottom of page. Below are 7 different quotes from 7 different people who had experiences with therapy.

“When you are in the state of mind where you realize you might need help, you probably need it right now. And it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of time to get an appointment. It takes a lot of time to find the right person. Therapists have different styles and it’s OK not to like your therapist. … I have been to I-don’t-know-how-many therapists, and this last one was really the best.”

“I do find it helpful and I do find it important, but personally for me, there’s always this feeling – even when I have a great relationship with my therapist – I find it a bit strange that I have to pay someone to talk to me, it just feels very exploitative in a way, because it’s paying for attention. It feels that way to me.”

“My therapist helps me see patterns that my friends can’t. The older you get, the more work friendships take. Because we all have more responsibility, because our lives are so crazy, the people I used to talk to [every two weeks], I’ll see them every two months. It’s an understandable thing. There are things I tell my friends, but I don’t really have time to talk to them. I’ve got shit to do.”

“Basically, I needed someone to help me find courage to leave. I needed someone to assure me that I could find another job that didn’t hurt me and suck my soul out. I’ve got to have somebody grab my shoulders and shake me until I leave this damn job.’”

“I started because I was working through my feelings of abandonment and hopelessness, and then my father died two years later and that sort of became a whole other chaotic catastrophe. I was in a play once where somebody described therapy as paying someone to be your friend and I think that that’s true. I think it is to some extent paying someone to be your friend at its best. But it’s a friend that will never tell anyone anything and it’s a friend that gives better advice than your other 26- [or] 27-year-old friends do.”

“With a therapist, that conversation is all about you. You get in there and you are not responsible for hurting his feelings. … With your friends, you are censoring yourself to make sure that they like you. You are censoring yourself because you know your friends’ issues and you don’t want to exacerbate their own issues that they might have. Also, it’s super rude to monopolize the conversation.”

“Maybe just because I am cheap, I’d rather be sad and keep the money than engage in [therapy]. For me, it means more to have a therapeutic conversation with a friend, who I know isn’t being paid to listen.”

The mental health parity law of 2008 has helped, but access continues to be a struggle as coverage is dependent on each individual plan. I choose to accept insurance in my practice because I know that getting to see a therapist that one can afford continues to be a struggle. I’ll touch on this topic in a future blog post.

Toodles for now,


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