Sometimes it's a tough call- Do I go to therapy because I'm not doing very well, or do I go to therapy when I feel really great to get that reaffirmed by someone else? Why is it that I feel better about my successes when my therapists celebrates them with me? Too often I find myself calling my mother or a close friend after a session and triumphantly regaling them with a sentence of praise or a word of advice offered to me by my therapist. Too often I am dimly aware as I'm gabbing on that I've heard this advice and/or praise somewhere else before (perhaps from my mother or a close friend?) but hearing it from someone who's credentials adorn the wall of a rented downtown room makes it better. Realer. More valid. Coveted.
I've been thinking a bit recently about this economy. About the concept of paying someone for a service that you may or may not need. I think that a vast number of people make their livings off of a knowledge that translates to a service that everyone else is willing to pay for. Maybe I don't know anything about psychology. Thing is, I know as little about psychology as my shrink knows about me, so neither one of us is truly fully qualified. Even if I was a shrink, I'd still be fucked due to personal bias so I suppose it's a moot point.
But it applies to everything!
Like, I need to take singing lessons. I need them for a lot of reasons; I don't breathe well, I don't sing from my diaphragm, I don't have a basic understanding of my jaw and mouth muscles and so much more. I could easily go to school, do the work, earn a degree and figure it out for myself, but that would cost way more time and money! So the easiest thing is to just pay someone else and try not to hate yourself for not knowing enough about anything to do it yourself for free.
I can't fix my own car, cobble my own shoes, cook a 5 course meal- but all these things are so tantalizingly within reach that it's almost frustrating.