This morning I’m doing something I never dreamed that I would do: I’m going to see a therapist.
All my life, I’ve placed myself firmly in the category of Not the Kind of Person Who Goes to Therapy. First of all, I was vaguely suspicious of it as a general concept. I’d heard horror stories from friends who went to therapists who convinced them they had problems they didn’t have, presumably to keep the high monthly fees rolling in. On top of that, I simply didn’t see how talking to a professional counselor would help anything. I’ve always had a good network of friends and family members whom I could count on during difficult times, and I would turn to them if there was anything I needed to get off my chest. My conversion to Catholicism in my late 20s pretty much sealed my opinion on this issue: Now that I had prayer, the sacraments, and a wise spiritual director, what use could I possibly have for secular psychology?
What I was missing, that I have only recently come to understand, is that sometimes traumatic experiences can impact us in a way that goes beyond the purely emotional realm.