I’m sure you either know someone who’s been in therapy, is in therapy, or therapy is something you’ve experienced yourself. And while I don’t personally see many benefits of therapy, I don’t necessarily think it’s all bad. But there is one glaring issue that I have with therapy that seems to stand out in most cases.
Let me start with a story. I have a close friend who is going to therapy. I’m going to call this person Pat to protect his identity. Since I’ve known Pat, he’s always had a bit of a short fuse. Pat is very argumentative and he feels the need to always be right. Pat rarely takes accountability for anything he’s done in his life and the results he has experienced in his life he considers a result of his upbringing.
When I chat with Pat, he tells me about his therapy sessions and how they’ve helped him identify his mother and how she raised him to be one of the reasons that Pat is the way he is. The therapist focuses on the family dynamics of how Pat was raised and what he had to go through during his childhood to somehow justify Pat’s behavior today.
Pat’s story seems like an extremely common example of what people I personally know have experienced with therapy. Heck, I have even tried therapy myself which was a complete waste of my time and my money. Nothing was ever accomplished and there were no tangible results from it. I already knew how I felt. I already communicated that to the people that were involved and at that point if things didn’t change it wasn’t on me.
This brings me to the reason that I’m writing this article and sharing my opinion with the masses. I just can’t stop thinking that it would make more sense to focus on what you can do moving forward. Focus on the things that you can control opposed to the things you can’t. All therapists are doing is helping to perpetuate the victim mindset that has become so prevalent in todays western culture.
Personally I feel like there is a lot of different content out there that can be more beneficial and is free or at least a low cost alternative to therapy that will garner actual results. I read a lot of books, consume a lot of content such as podcasts, YouTube videos, Audible, etc. that focus on your mindset. There’s some really great material out there. Books like Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander, or even just listening to free content like former Navy Seal Rob O’Neal discuss his life on the Vigilance Elite YouTube Channel which I will link here – https://youtu.be/Vm0fAae8x7Q.
I know it’s a four hour long interview, so let me just mention a couple of items that really stood out to me. Around the 27:35 mark Rob talks about going through Seal training and how tomorrow you always start with a clean slate. He says “When you feel like quitting, and you will. Do not quit right now. That’s emotion. I want you to quit tomorrow. If you can keep quitting tomorrow you can do anything in life.” At the 57:42 mark he discusses getting punished for something he didn’t do wrong. And the instructors thought process behind that was to see if you it would get inside your head.
Most people choose not to be mentally strong in life. Most people choose not to take accountability for their actions. They feel like they’re a victim of someone else’s decisions and not their own. I do realize the medical industry, therapy included, makes its money from repeat business, however, would it not be prudent to focus on taking accountability and focusing on moving forward rather than placing blame on a past that can’t be changed?