My Life in Therapy

ClinkShrink offers an opinion on a recent article in The New York Times by Daphne Merkin titled "My Life in Therapy."

This post originally appeared on Shrink Rap.

I got an email from one of our readers asking for the Shrink Rappers' opinion of an article in the New York Times by Daphne Merkin entitled "My Life in Therapy". My first thought was: "I am sooo not the person to be blogging about this." My clinical practice consists entirely of medication management, occasionally with additional crisis intervention and brief supportive therapy. I know that Dinah will have more to say about this story when she gets back and will probably say it better than I can. Nevertheless, I'll give it a shot.

In keeping with the Dinah tradition, I'll summarize the story and post a couple excerpts, then give my thoughts on it and ask for comments.

Merkin writes about her forty-plus years of experience as a psychoanalytic patient in New York City. Her first therapeutic contact took place when she was ten years old; she writes about her initial ambivalence and resentment of her therapists, what therapy has taught her over the years and also what therapy has cost her in both financial and personal terms. In spite of her professional and successful outward appearance, she suffered from repeated episodes of depression. Therapy helped keep her alive, but also occasionally provoked the symptoms she was struggling to contain:

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