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Therapy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Therapy is for the crazy. The lunatics. The people with problems. I don't have problems. How can I, the varsity athlete, principal cellist, class president, be sitting inside the office of a therapist?

But I am.

The therapist's office is a small, white room with only one window on the third floor of an office building. A navy loveseat sits against a wall across from a large, navy recliner - my therapist's chair. Behind the recliner, a black desk is hidden beneath mounds of paperwork. Next to the desk is a tall bookshelf filled with titles like Family Therapy; Understanding the Adolescent Mind; Antidepressants and Their Effects. Each title looms with a haunting familiarity. Around the room, my therapist has seemed deliberately to scatter items of comfort: blankets, pillows, flowers, stress balls. Worry stones of all shapes, sizes, and colors line the table next to the couch.

Week after week, I walk into the office, grab the Kleenex box, plop onto the right corner of the loveseat, and slide my right leg under my bottom. My arms habitually cross and I play nervously with the skin on my elbow. While sharing my soul, I stare at a print of Ansel Adams's photograph of a mountain's reflection on a lake and crave the cool, refreshing water. My gaze shifts to a large pile of fluffy pink pillows next to the recliner and I long to dive in to hide in their warmth. My thoughts begin to race, flowing with emotion and anxiety that I hope isn't apparent in my speech or actions. I study what my therapist is wearing, wondering if her long, flowing lavender skirt, simple black t-shirt, and coordinating necklace are strategically chosen to “comfort” patients.

Analyzing the therapist's reactions and responses, I begin to wonder if therapy is a conspiracy against my brain. I've learned what reactions follow each of my comments and can predict the questions she will ask, most often the cliché, “And how does that make you feel?”

Envy, confusion, self-mutilation, and hatred all begin to brew in my heart; emotions I never wanted to have. Spitting out my angst, I wonder if sitting in this strategically planned room, talking to a strategically dressed woman will actually help me. She utters phrases like “It's not your fault,” “You're normal,” “That must be painful,” and stares at me as if she understands, but her compassion doesn't help.

She's attempted to rummage through my emotions and thoughts; she's tried to delve into my mind. If she can't figure me out, how am I supposed to?

I may be cynical, but I return every week to try.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

kkatie.chapmann said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm:
Your words explain the truth. I've been going to therepy since I was 5 and I am still supposed to be going. This is a wonderful piece of work and it's really discriptive.
 
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SaraB. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 26, 2009 at 10:26 pm:
I get what you mean. I got sent to therapy for the first time when I was 12, and could totally see through the therapist's tricks, and hated that they were working. I've been in and out of there ever since, but the one thing I like is that they make you look at stuff in ways you wouldn't have thought of. I'm glad this got published.
 
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Kwsatr said...
Dec. 2, 2008 at 12:39 am:
Thanks for writing this. I feel the exact same way. When in therapy I try to stare at something the whole time. This is a wonderful piece keep writing!
 
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