Why should a person hire a psychotherapist?

Salvatore asks: You had asked me before whether I am consulting a psychiatrist or a therapist or not, for my grief and depression over the loss of my mother. The answer is ‘NO’ for the following reasons: I am of the view that a psychiatrist is an ordinary guy who will try to fix my problems because its his profession; I feel that opening my heart and my life history will induce the same pain I felt when I actually went through the painful circumstances; I also feel that if I go to a psychiatrist and tell him everything, God may not like it – He’ll think that I am complaining for what happened; and last, but not least, my elder brothers and sister don’t have time to take me for sessions (my brothers have consuming jobs and my sister’s in a very difficult school program). I share all I have to you, instead of a therapist, because it doesn’t give me mental fatigue. Nowadays, everyday when I wake up, the first thought that comes in my mind is that my mom is dead. I feel shallow. The normal routine is almost restored. Sometimes i feel there is nothing wrong, while at other times I feel that life is unnatural’. I get the feeling that I can never achieve my goals. But my brother often reminds me that, ”God doesn’t burden a soul more than his strength.”

Hi Salvatore –


Of course, I’m not one to demand anything of anyone (except squirrels – I do yell at them to get off my roof!).  But I would like to throw one more argument at you, about talking to a professional (doesn’t have to be a psychiatrist – they tend to cost so much! – but a school counselor, a therapist, a spiritual leader… just someone who knows what they’re doing).  It’s a story I heard recently.


There was a man, of great faith.  The weather forecasters told everyone in the area that a huge flood was coming.  And this man knew, deep in his heart, that God would save him.  So when it started to rain, and some neighbors stopped by in their truck and asked if he wanted to come with them to escape the flood, he said, “No, for I know God will save me.”  So they drove off.  It rained and rained and rained, till all the ground was covered in over a foot of water.  Some people rowed up to his house in a boat, and asked if he would climb in, so everyone could get to safer ground.  “No thank you, I know God will save me.”  So they rowed away.  It kept raining and raining, till the only place the man could be was on the roof of his house.  A police helicopter flew down and lowered a ladder to him.  “No thank you, officers.  I’m fine.  I know God will save me.”  Finally they pulled the ladder up and flew away.  And it kept raining and raining, and eventually the water overtook him and he drowned.


He then went to heaven, and beheld God.  And asked God what had happened.  “I had faith in you, why didn’t you save me?”


“I did try to save you,” answered God, “But you wouldn’t let me.  I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter, and every time you refused my help!”


I’m telling you this story, my dear friend, to say that I can’t speak for your religion or anyone else’s.  But I do believe that a good counselor, a good therapist, a good spiritual leader… all of these are tools that God uses, to help people.  (And, yes, a good dog too).  So if there’s any way you can get to someone, I do recommend it very strongly.


But in the meantime, I am so proud and honored that you turn to me.  And I will always be touched, deep in my heart, for that fact.


All my best,


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