Saturday, February 26, 2005

Q: Want to have fun?

A: Try finding a therapist when you are having money issues.

OK, this is a fast one because the rain has finally stopped for a few days here in once again sunny Los Angeles and I need to get to the beach to do my fretting.

In case you don’t know, I have been not feeling so good on the emotional end lately. Many people have been concerned and have made suggestions about various forms of psychotherapy and psychotherapists. Most of these suggestions were quite good.

So, I followed up on them while also giving careful, intropsective, logical, albeit irrational consideration to my mental distresses.

All of the psychotherapists that I talked to got to their fee within the first five minutes of conversation. Fees ranged from $150 to $200 an hour. One said that he did offer sliding scale, that we would work with me in the $60-$70 an hour range, if he thought that he wanted to work with me. (As if, were I to pay the full fee, he would work with me even if he didn't want to. This really inspires confidence. And, another thing: can you imagine a dentist telling you that he would give you 25% off a crown, if he decided that he wanted to work with you? He’d probably give you the 25% off because he needed the business or he didn’t need the business and he was just being a good guy or guyette, being that dental pain and discomfort really, really sucks.)

OK. Psychotherapists need to make money like just about everybody else in the American, European, Asian, and sub continental Indian parts of the human race. (I have no idea how the others get over.) Thus, they charge a fee for services rendered. Fair enough. Nonetheless, because I am short on scratch, I found the whole experience to feel degrading. It felt as if I was taking a handout, which is not my style and echoes back to some bad experiences that I had in childhood when the big discussion at the dinner table was where the next meal would come from and where we all would be living should we get kicked out of where we were.

Then I find that I get twenty six psychotherapeutic visits a year as part of my HMO health plan. The most excellent HR person at work sends me the list of psychotherapists that the plan supports. I call a few up. They are not taking any more patients. Also, I notice that in the list, these psychotherapists are listed under, Medication and Psychiatrists. Can you say, Xanax, anybody?

(Wouldn’t it be a weird thing if the dynamics of modern society was such that just about everybody existed in a state of anxiety at such a scale that the only real solution was to medicate the population en masse with psychotropic drugs? .......say, isn’t that the theme of a book by Aldous Huxley?)

So here is what I discovered while giving careful, introspective, logical, albeit irrational consideration to my mental distresses: I need more money! My adult and almost adult teenage daughters live in the Midwest as does my granddaughter, ex-wife and assortment of friends that I picked up during my sojourn there. Because I am “just getting over” on my present income, getting up the cash and time to see them is hard. I miss them.... a lot. Thus I am sad and in mental distress over it.

Here is the psychodramatic vignette (recursion loop) for all of you mental health professionals:

1. Patient does not have enough money.
2. Patient gets anxious.
3. Patient seeks psychotherapeutic help in order to alleviate feelings of anxiety.
4. Psychotherapist requires money.
5. Go back to Step 1.

Boy, and I thought being addicted to cocaine was an eternal Catch 22.

So, I guess I'll break the recursion of this weird, psycho-social dynamic and figure out a way to get more money. Then I will visit the kids, granddaughter, ex-wife, friends held hostage in the Midwest and get on with the important things in my life, like going to the beach and figuring out women.


Blogger Ralph Loizzo said...

Hey Bob,

While I don't have a psychotherapy fund started...

if you ever need a place to stay in the midwest,

mi casa, su casa...


4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Psychotherapists need to make money like just about everybody else in the American, European..."
I have to correct you on this one. You don't have to work in Germany to make money. You get money from the government if you don't *want* to work. And where does the money come from? People who do *want* to work pay a shitload of taxes (~40%).

2:04 AM  
Blogger Swan said...

Yeah, a few people don't want to work. But most of them do, but cannot find a job. I'm glad these people are supported.

It also means that it is easier to get therapy when you need it but cannot afford to pay for it and lots of other good things.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Bob Reselman said...

I wonder what the chances of a "Send Bobby to Rome" fund are?

5:18 PM  

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