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Hi, this is Chad Peevy. Thank you for listening and subscribing to my podcast. You’re listening today to an off-script episode and unlike some of the more audio documentary style episodes or interviews that you may be used to from me, off-script episodes are adjust me unfiltered and unedited, which may be a little scary. The topics for these episodes come from your questions, your comments, your worries and concerns. So if you would like to send in a question or topic for me to discuss on the podcast, you can send an email directly to me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We’re going to talk about a topic that I think a lot of folks are very uncomfortable talking about. And that is we’re going to talk about therapy. I have been seeing someone since I was in fourth grade, so it was way back in fourth grade that I started seeing like the school counselor.
And then periodically throughout childhood if I saw someone I would go that route. And then when I got to graduate school, I started seeing someone on a regular basis and I’ve been seeing that same person now for about 13 years. And today we’re going to talk about, if you’re in therapy or if you’re just curious about therapy. I’m hoping to give you a little bit of insight today, about that process and what it means to me and what it has done for me, not as a therapist, but as someone who’s been in therapy for a very, very long time. You know, one of the things that I was concerned about when I started very regularly in therapy and taking it seriously was why does it take me so long to get to the point? So I would go in for a therapy session and be sitting there for my 50 minute session and it would take me about 45 minutes to actually start talking about what it is that I felt like I needed to be talking about that day.
And then that quick five minutes would pass and my therapist would be like, okay, well we’ll pick up next week. And it was over. And I would get really, really frustrated that it took me so long to get to the point. I would spend the first five minutes just sort of him-hawing around the point and never really getting to it. I would talk about random shit that came in my head about what had happened during the week or who would upset me or what little events had taken place. But at that, about that 45 minute mark, I would really start digging in and things would come to my mind and start coming out of my mouth that I thought were gonna, that meant more. That was more substantive to what I was talking about. And so I want to share with you just a little bit about how I addressed that issue for myself and may give you some ideas for how you can start to look at it.
So therapy is not cheap. it’s a commitment. You go, I at least I go once a week. It is not cheap and I want to make sure that every time I go I get my money’s worth and that’s just my personality type, right. No matter what I’m doing, if I’m spending money on something, whether it’s a meal or a movie or therapy, I want to get my money’s worth like I want the maximum amount that I can get out of what I have paid for it. That’s really important to me and so I didn’t look at therapy any differently and I think that that was part of the frustration with me. I was like, okay, Chad, you’re spending this time, you’re spending this money and you’re not getting out of it what you’re putting in, so you need to work harder at this. I was beating myself up, which is probably another therapy session, but what I wound up doing was I started basically gamifying it and I don’t think I realized that I was doing it at the time, but I would start thinking, okay, it’s taking me 45 minutes to get to the point this week.
I’m going to go in and I want to try to be getting to the point within 40 minutes and then the next week or in the next month. All right, I’m getting to the point about 40 minutes and let’s see if I can back that up to 30 minutes in, I’m getting to the point and it’s gotten to the point now where I go in and as soon as I walk in, open the door, closed the door behind me, sit down, I’m going like I show up, they’re ready to work and I get going from minute one now. But it has taken me years to develop that skill to get to that place where I can just walk in and sit down and go. And there are a couple of things, more that I do to help with that. And listen, your therapy journey, like what you do at that time, that is completely your business and however you want to do it is completely up to you.
But I’m just sharing with you what my frustrations with were and what my experience has been. So take it or leave it. The other thing that I would notice this is when I would get in there, I wanted to get to the point quickly and now I’m doing that. And to do that I had to start thinking about all right, as I was going throughout my week or driving to my therapy session, I’m thinking the back of my head. Like, what are the real issues that I confronted over the course of this week that I need to talk about, that I need to get some perspective on. And so I don’t know if this is good therapeutic advice or not, but it has been my experience that I would go in and I would have like two or three things on my mind that I wanted to start with.
Like, so that I was getting to the point of something more quickly. That’s another one of the ways that I did that. So I would think consciously about getting in there, getting to work, getting my money’s worth, and having those two or three ideas in my head that I wanted to talk about. And sometimes, you know what, I would start with the first one, get going on that, and then my mind would, or my therapist would take me completely to another direction, which is fine because I’m into the zone quicker. I feel like I’m getting more benefit out of that time when that happens. So, I hope that helps. That’s the first thing. Why does it take so long to get to the point in therapy? What can I do about it? And also want to point out before we move on to the next idea here is that I’ve been seeing my person for a very long time.
So I stuck with somebody who I developed a relationship with, who I’ve developed trust with and that has allowed me to become more vulnerable. I think what I hear my friends talk about their therapy, sometimes I hear them talk about, well, this person may not work out. I’m gonna try to find somebody new. I actually think that’s a bad idea. Unless that therapist is giving you, really bad advice. I would be very hesitant to be therapist jumping because you need to develop that relationship and there’s probably something that you can learn from that person even if you’re not totally enjoying the hair action, there’s something to be learned about why you’re not enjoying that interaction. Why is it that what they’re saying to you is bothering you so badly? And you’re not gonna know that unless you stick it out.
So I think it’s really important that you stick with it, that you don’t therapist jump as soon as they tell you something that you don’t want to hear or ask you a question that you’re uncomfortable with answering. you owe it to yourself to explore all of those feelings about why that was uncomfortable, why you didn’t like that and really stick with it. You’re not doing yourself any favors in my opinion, by jumping around therapists. All right?
Point number two. When do I get to stop going to therapy. I have never seen on anybody’s wall a certificate of completion for therapy. And for me, I will be in therapy for the rest of my life. That is not because by the way, that I am mentally ill, that is not the case. I don’t consider myself someone who suffers from mental illness. Do I deal with depression and anxiety? Yes, I do. But am I suffering from chronic mental illness? No. What I am suffering from is the human condition. And by when I say suffering, I mean that like Victor Frankl talks about in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. That’s the suffering that I’m talking about. And so as long as I’m alive, as long as I’m growing, as long as I am trying to become a better person, I need some help doing that. And you know, I have a personal trainer for my body. I have a business coach that helps me with business strategy and implementation. And I have a therapist that helps with my personal development. I have mentors for my personal development. I think that is just as important. But I think that oftentimes we think of going to a therapist that means that we’re somehow broken or that somehow that means that we need to be fixed.
I don’t think that way. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me or anything that needs to be fixed. When I’m going to therapy, I’m getting another perspective. I’m asking someone else to give me another perspective on how I’m looking at my life or my situation. And that is extremely valuable to me. You know, we would never hesitate calling an electrician to fix an electrical problem in our house. We would never hesitate to call a plumber to fix the plumbing in our house. Why do we hesitate so much? Or why do we feel this shame or embarrassment for asking for help around something that is us? You know what I mean? Like this is us and for some reason we feel so much shame and embarrassment for addressing issues that we’re dealing with when that’s so important and so critical to, to your happiness and well-being and living a life of joy and being at peace and having relationships.
And why would you not get that help and why would you ever stop asking for that help? I have friends that will go to therapy periodically, right? I wonder how beneficial that is. It’s almost like, I don’t know what it’s like, but I’m not really sure that’s helping. And I think that’s part of the reason that people do that, and you’re welcome to email me and telling me how wrong I am, but I think part of the reason that people go periodically is because they don’t enjoy the process. I guess as if you don’t enjoy that process, you’re probably not enjoying the process of other parts of your life. We are a culture in a society that is addicted to destination. We want to hack our way there. We want to shortcut our way to the final place.
We want to go from A to Z and screw B and C and D and every other letter in-between. And I’m listening, this is this, I’m the master of wanting to hack my way to point Z or a move to point Z. But the point I want to make to you is that, therapy, your personal development, it is a process and by going periodically and periodically checking in, I don’t know that you’re reaping all the benefits that you could be reaping if you just stuck with the process and kept going and kept talking. Because you never really know when those, that out of alignment feeling is gonna hit you or are there things going on in your life that you need specific help with? Maybe if we stuck to the process, we wouldn’t have such extreme highs or extreme lows. And so I’m suggesting to you that I don’t think you’re ever going to stop therapy if you’re in it, at least I don’t think it’s a good idea.
For me, I should say I should qualify that. For me, I don’t think it’s a good idea to stop. I don’t think it’s a good idea that I stopped working out. I don’t think it’s a good idea that I stopped going to the gym or riding my bike or seeing my personal trainer. I don’t think it’s a good idea that I stopped eating right. I don’t think it’s a good idea that I stopped taking my vitamin D every Wednesday. Like there are things that we do that benefit us based on the process and the ritual and the habits that we form around doing that thing. I don’t think therapy’s any different. There you go. There you have it.
Point number three, this was kind of a game changer for me and I think it helps with 0.1 and 0.2. So when it comes to you going to therapy and when I say therapy, you know, you could also get this personal development type of help from a life coach. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But what I like is a regular practice where you’re buying or committing and investing in your own personal development. If that comes in the form of a life coach, because that’s what you need. Fantastic. If that comes in the form of a therapist, perfect, whatever, go do that. But something that’s helping you develop personally and giving you that one on one attention and that extra perspective. Now, back to my point, are you a therapy or life coach client or are you a patient? And this was a really big revelation for me and a really big development in my own personal development. I think for a long time I was showing up to therapy with the idea that I was a patient and being a patient changes the power dynamics of a therapeutic relationship.
What do I mean by that? So one of the things that I learned about myself and therapy and one of the things that I work on a lot in therapy is my interpersonal relationship skills. And one of the things that I learned is that power dynamics play a big role in how I relate to other people. I’m very service based. I mean, I may not come off that way to those of you that know me, but I have a servant’s heart. And so I want to help. And so it’s easy for me to put people in control. Defer my power to them so that I can serve or if that’s not possible, that’s why you might see me do things like, and I was drum major of the razorback band. I was a drum major and school growing up, I will lead the group, right?
I emerge as the pack leader and I do that because it establishes a firm power dynamic. Uh, I understand what the power dynamics are when I’m in charge. I understand what the power dynamics are when you’re in charge, I understand how to behave in that situation. All right. Take that into a therapeutic relationship. In therapy I am in charge because I’m paying him to be there. I’m paying him. He’s the health for a lack of better expression. But Bri, he’s a close staffer at quasi employ, right. I’m paying for that service or is he in charge because he sits in the fancy chair. It’s his office. It’s his business. He’s the expert in the situation. For way too long. I did not understand how messy the power dynamics were. Confusing my relationship and how I related to my therapist and how I related to other people.
I think for a long time I really came in and thought of myself as a patient. Now if you’re a patient, I don’t know if you do this, I wouldn’t do this, but I wouldn’t go in and yell at my doctor. I wouldn’t say, Oh my God, you’re such an idiot. Why would you say that to me? Why did you do that? That’s probably not how we would behave as a patient. I mean, maybe we would, but typically probably not. Well, in a therapy, such situation where you’re supposed to expand and explore the range of your emotions, if you’re cutting yourself off from exploring that full range because you’ve created this power dynamic where you’re a patient, that you’re somehow sick or lesser than, then you’re not going to explore that full range. And so what clicked for me was I’m not his patient.
I am his client. And in a client situation, I think the power dynamics are much more even because yes, I am paying him to be there, but he’s also choosing to accept the money and to be in that situation. So I think that changed the dynamics for me and it allowed me to explore different parts of my relationship with my therapist because I didn’t view myself as someone who is sick or who was a patient. And I looked at it as I’m the client, right? He’s providing a professional service to me, no different than what my business coach provides. No different than what any professional service provider offers me. It also helped me understand that my therapist isn’t perfect, right? My therapist makes mistakes. They’re not perfect, but they can offer you perspective. And I think that when we consider ourselves their client and not their patient, it helps them understand, it more closely resembles the connections that we make outside of the therapy room when we’re able to do that. So changing the perspective from a client or am I a patient really opened my mind and allowed me to explore different emotions, different feelings around how I experienced my therapy sessions. All right, guys, this is my first off the script podcast where I didn’t have a script in front of me. I hope that you got something out of this. If you have a topic that you’d like for me to talk about, please send me an email email@example.com. I really hope this helps and I’m wishing you all the best.
I hope this episode was helpful to you. To learn more about me and my work, please visit me online. My website is ChadPeevy.com and until next time, be well.
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