Cheaper Than Therapy

February 23, 2016

 

“Honestly, shopping beats therapy, anytime.  It costs the same and you get a dress out of it!” 

 

I absolutely love Sophie Kinsella.  I am a loyal reader of hers and have much respect for her hilarious writing style.  One day while idling on Pinterest, I saw the above quote from her book Mini Shopaholic. As a Kinsella fan, I laughed out loud.  As a therapist, though, I cringed. 

 

You have probably seen countless memes with a similar message online:

 

Running:  It’s cheaper than therapy…

Coffee:  It’s cheaper than therapy…

Friends:  They’re cheaper than therapy...

Chocolate: It’s cheaper than therapy…

Wine: It’s cheaper than therapy…

Gardening: It’s cheaper than therapy…

 

You get the idea.  Just fill in your favorite activity and BOOM you’ve got a splendid new phrase for a t-shirt, mug, or coaster. The truth is my perfect day would include working out, grabbing a French vanilla coffee from Dunkin Donuts, and then stopping by my best friend's house for a glass of pinot noir paired with some dark chocolate. You can keep the gardening, it’s just not my thing. So there you have it…therapy all day!  Except it’s not.

 

I know it’s just a meme.  I know it’s supposed to be funny.   I know I’m over-thinking it.  But just bear with me as I make my point:

 

1)      IT’S NOT THERAPY:  Therapy is a process.  One of the MANY components to the process of therapy is identifying and using personal coping skills. Coping skills are the activities (like horseback riding, video games, or any of the activities listed above) that we use to lighten our mood and keep us feeling good despite our hardships. By ONLY using our coping skills, we miss out on the other, deeper, aspects of therapy. 

 

2)      IT’S NOT CHEAPER: In all honesty if you added up my gym membership, my Dunkin Donuts bill, my wine club membership, and any miscellaneous chocolate expenses I doubt it would be cheaper than my $20 copay for a therapy session with a licensed professional that is otherwise covered by my insurance plan. 

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