Putting a Surgeon General’s Warning Label on Therapy

Surgeon General’s Warning: Engaging in therapy can substantially alter your perspective on yourself and the world and irreversibly change your relationships with significant others.

Are you in therapy right now, or considering it? Well, if so, get ready for a potentially life-changing experience. Be warned that, once you get into it, you may never look at yourself, the world, and other people in the same way again. Please be sure that this is what you want. Fairly quickly, you may pass a point of no return.

After this point, you may no longer be able to play some of the roles that have allowed you to merely survive up until now in your life. These might include: doormat, whipping boy/girl, scapegoat, addict, loser, loner, victim, freak of nature, oddball, black sheep, crazy person, and so on. You may lose the ability to feel emotions that have been lifelong companions, such as depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, fear, apathy, strong desire or craving, disappointment, grief, or anger.

Get ready to say good-bye to people who: abuse or use or manipulate you, don’t respect your boundaries, only care about themselves, or accuse you of doing what in fact they do themselves. Prepare to bid a fond farewell to bad habits, having too weak or too strong boundaries, feeling hopeless, lonely, lost, confused, etc.

You must also be aware that, when taken to an extreme, therapy can result in uncontrollable happiness, complete cessation of problems, seeing everything and everyone as beautiful, and feelings of love and compassion for everyone. You may find yourself adopting “No bad days” as your life theme. Yikes!

When these things happen, be warned that others around you will wonder who you are and what happened to the other you? They may turn up the heat on their own unhealthy behaviors or resent who and how you’ve become. You may find that you can no longer stand to be around your old friends or some of your relatives. You may suddenly realize that your spouse of 25 years has emotionally abused you for 24.5 of those. You may feel bombarded by others’ negativity and seeming need to judge you and others unfairly. You may find yourself looking into your life from the outside and seeing almost nothing but madness.

Is this what you want? Is it really? Think about it long and hard, then talk it over with, well, somebody … maybe your therapist? In the meantime, good luck with that!

 

Copyright 2015 Daniel J. Metevier