Relationships

Made Me Laugh

When the pandemic hit last spring and my mind was spinning, I decided to start therapy. The other day, my sister asked me how it was going, and I launched into a description of my therapist, explaining how she was brilliant and radiant and how I secretly wished I could ask about her skincare routine. After our call, my sister sent me this comedy song by Kristen Bell. It rings so true!

P.S. The Grand Canyon trick, and how to be a better listener.

  1. What a brilliant video! I love her. Comedy is always spot on :) Thanks for the actual LOL

  2. Ellie says...

    This is really interesting. My impression from movies and posts such as this is that therapy in the States is just something you do and that everyone has access to, but I know people who would dearly love to be in therapy and can’t afford it. Here in the UK, you have to be pretty well off to be able to afford private therapy, or you’re faced with waiting lists years long for treatment on the NHS. I hear conversations so often that start with “My therapist says…”. It’s quite throwaway, with connotations of it being something that everyone can access. There is no judgement here, but I am struck by the differences between the States and the UK (as I seem them, anyway).

    • Kim says...

      Therapy in the US is not something that “everyone has access to,“ it is expensive and much like where you live, it is something mainly available to the privileged. There is no NHS here, so even the waiting list system you describe is not an option for people. Some people are fortunate enough to have private insurance cover it, but even that is not a given. There is also unfortunately still stigma In some communities associated with going to therapy, although that is changing. As a result, many people who desire treatment, don’t or can”t get it. As with everything else, don’t always believe what you see in movies.

    • Ellie says...

      Hi Kim, no indeed, I don’t believe the movies at all, but it’s interesting that this comments thread reads like an impression that might be gleaned from movies. I think what I missed from these comments are statements like yours: that it’s not open to all, and that it is privileged. I just didn’t see that come through, and that’s what I found interesting.

  3. Lamah says...

    The last two sentences in the video make me laugh so hard :D hahahahaha

  4. Kat says...

    I would love a post on how to find the right therapist and how to get the most out of therapy.

  5. allison says...

    is it bad that i thought about sending this to my therapist?

    • Lauren says...

      Is it bad that I *sent* this to my therapist?

    • Jenn says...

      Omg I was thinking the same thing!

  6. Sandra says...

    As a therapist, I think it’s totally fine to ask about skincare and other fun things! Why not? We are curious humans and it doesn’t affect the therapeutic relationship. I was joking with a patient about trying to find the “perfect” mascara, since masking seemed to put more emphasis on eye makeup. Especially during tough times, levity is just as important ❤️

  7. AN says...

    Does anyone gets irked with a therapist’s enthusiasm (or forcefulness) to book future sessions even after being told that you would call and schedule at a later time? This has been my biggest pet-peeve when it comes to therapists and I lose respect and have switched providers too.

    Asking to know if that feeling is okay or if i have anger issues!

    • Sandra says...

      I do this with my patients not because I want their commission or because I don’t respect their desire to have sessions “as needed.” Because therapists are getting so booked, many are having trouble booking existing clients because new ones might be taking these future spots. That said, you definitely want to feel heard! I would clarify that you felt your needs and wishes were dismissed, and if the behavior doesn’t change, it’s time for a new therapist!

  8. Gail says...

    My therapist’s office was in the same building as where I see patients
    myself (not a therapist but in the medical field and so this was a plus since I could make convenient appointments for myself, haha). We had established early on that we would just say hi in passing but not interact further, just to keep the therapeutic relationship separate from work. That was always a little strangely thrilling… but our hours were so different that we never ran into each other when I had my “clinician” hat on!

    This video hits home for sure, thanks for sharing. I moved out of town and haven’t re-established care, but this makes me miss her!!

    • Gail says...

      On another note – I felt this same way about my lactation consultant. This woman served as my therapist for the incredibly raw time that is the fourth trimester. My baby is now 2 and I still feel so grateful and humbled that she let me be so openly exposed (literally and figuratively) with her. I send her Christmas cards, haha.

  9. May says...

    I had my first psychotherapy appointment today and was trying to figure out how to get them off the phone. Probably not the best first experience. It actually made me think, I wish cupofjo had a post about how to get the most out of therapy, as being asked how I feel numerous times wasn’t very helpful.

  10. Hannah says...

    I loooove my therapist, and LOST it at the Trader Joe’s bit. I would probably just leave the store to save us both the small talk! Cry laugh loving this song.

  11. Kathryn says...

    An unrelated comment– Joanna, back in the day, you did this motherhood work-life balance series. Any way we could get another one of those from 8-5 office-working moms? I am at a job that requires a lot of time in the office and thinking having children soon…. Advice needed on how to wrangle that! (Maybe the connection here is I’m asking YOU GUYS to be my therapist! ;))

    • Kat says...

      hahah

  12. sydney says...

    ooo, bit close to the bone, haha 😅

  13. Buttons says...

    I love my therapist (and this video) so much but this sent me down a Facebook rabbit hole of trying to find out more about her! Would not recommend.

  14. liz says...

    “I spend most of my sessions holding back questions about you” THIS!!! I’m so curious about my own therapists everything. I don’t ask or pry but god do I want to!

  15. Bobby says...

    Jo, would you be willing to post about your experiences with meds? I know from something here, or something you posted on instagram that you take medication. I’m sure I’m not the only one of your readers who also takes meds, and is thinking about changing which one. Would love to have some kind of post on this.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! Will work on a post now.

  16. Alyssa says...

    I LOVE my therapist. My now-fiance has suggested for years that I see one simply because seeing one helped him so much.

    Well once the pandemic started and I was out of work for a few months, living with my parents then adjusting back to living on my own, I knew I needed to find one.

    I found the most wonderful lovely human ever and because she’s going through her grad program, the out of pocket fee is low and affordable for me. But honestly, she is so fantastic and I want to be her friend.

    Also, my gyno is wonderful and I want to be her friend too.

    • jan says...

      How did you find a grad student who can take clients? I mean, where? Asking for a friend 😬

    • Tricia says...

      Jan – if you live near a college or university, they may have a clinic where graduate students are doing internships. (We do at the university where I work, and community members can go for $15 a session)

    • shannon says...

      You can look at local counseling grad programs to see if they have an in house practicum or internship clinic. Or call group practices and request to see an intern. If you name the price range you can afford and volunteer to pay out of pocket, most practices/therapists will tell you up front if that will work for them or not. You can also use open path collective to find therapists who have already agreed to $30-$60 range per session.

    • Sandra says...

      This is a response to Jan! You can call local graduate programs to see where students are placed for field work. A search for “sliding scale” therapists often turns up interns who can provide the services for free/low cost, too.

  17. Carla says...

    Cup of Jo is my therapy! :-)

  18. I am currently studying to become a mental health counselor at Northwestern and my teacher sent this to the class. It’s so funny. We had a great conversation about it laughing all the way through.

    I’m glad you found someone you feel good about working with! It is the essence of what makes process and progress happen!

  19. A says...

    Holy God, at $300 a session for marriage counseling I was laser focused on getting what we needed and getting out of there. She was lovely and competent, but also very expensive out of pocket.

    I’d rather be friends with my gyn. She is a very warm person and shares a bit about her life without it being a crazy, verboten subject. Plus, I only pay the copay to see her. Dr. Faris, you rock!

    • E says...

      Dr. Faris in St. Louis? I used to go to her if that’s the same one!

  20. melz says...

    i had an awesome CBT therapist. Often my gal pals would say, “what did amber say”? We still quote her….

  21. HA! The Venmo reference!!

  22. ash says...

    omg it’s shirley from Community!

  23. Molly says...

    “What Do You Hear in These Sounds” by Dar William is another great ode to therapy!

  24. Jenna says...

    Joanna, I’d love to know how you found your therapist! I would love to see one, but finding the search process overwhelming. Thank you xoxo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my friend recommended her — she used to see her years ago. we are actually working on a post about how to find a therapist, though! please stay tuned :)

    • Angela says...

      Found one on psychologytoday.com and first appointment is today. Weeeeee!

    • Erin G. says...

      Jenna, I found mine on Psychology Today (as another poster recommended), but I wanted to share good advice I got from a friend who is a therapist: she told me to phone interview therapists and to not be afraid to use that free screening time to see if it might be a good fit. And then she also stressed that changing therapists is perfectly fine and to never feel bad about trying out as many as you need to. I was very lucky, the phone interviews told me exactly what I needed (and I ended up going with the Psychology Today result that spoke to me – not the two folks recommended by close friends – and I LOVE my therapist!)

    • Jenna says...

      That’s a great recommendation. What kind of questions did you ask them over the phone interview or if you have any advice on what to ask?

    • Em says...

      Jenna, some ideas on what to ask:

      -Explain very briefly the issue you’re hoping to work on (anxiety, relationship struggles, addiction, etc.) and then ask the therapist, “What’s your approach to working on this issue with clients?” you don’t need to analyze their answer like in the context of different therapeutic approaches, just listen to if the answer resonates with you, does it give you a gut feeling like it’s something that would benefit you?

      -In a first session, (probably not a 15min phone consult bc there isn’t much time), if you can, try to say something that feels vulnerable, like you took a bit of a chance. And see how they respond. If their response makes you feel heard + validated, this is a great sign that the two of you are a good fit.

    • anonymous says...

      Echo here to not be afraid to “interview” therapists! This may not be the case for some folks, but honestly the moment I knew my therapist was the right one for me was when she told me in one of our first sessions to acknowledge the “bullsh*t” I’d been through for what it was (she was RIGHT, it was bullsh*t!). I knew from that moment on that I could open up and be my true self with her. She is fantastic.

  25. Sandra says...

    This is a classic…and yes we know. (And it’s ok.. put it into words!)
    Signed,
    A therapist

  26. Meghan L. says...

    I’m a therapist… it goes the other way around sometimes! There are those special few patients that I genuinely just love and secretly wish we could be friends in real life!

    • Jo says...

      **instantly spins off into sub-fantasy about me being one of those patients for my therapist**

  27. Rachel Hauge says...

    YES. My dream is to have my therapist as the guest of honor at a boozy ladies brunch.
    The session that she told me she was proud of me is one of the most significant compliments I’ve ever gotten and hold it close to my heart, this is the person that has heard about the darkest corners of my insides + I’m so grateful for her.

    • Em says...

      Rachel, well said! When my therapist told me that he cares about me, that goes down as one of the most significant affirmations I’ve ever gotten. Like you said, after sharing so much struggle with him (and for me, after pushing him away and closing down for a while because I have such a hard time opening up), to hear that they he cares anyways…. damn, so much gratitude for that.

  28. Rose says...

    I love my therapist so much! She helped me turn my life around in so many ways. A few ago years ago, in my mid-thirties, I quit my job and went back to school to train as a psychologist because of how much she inspired me. I’m now completing my PHD and will start practicing soon!

    • jenna says...

      Incredible! I also love you were in your 30s!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s amazing, rose!!

    • That’s awesome Rose!

  29. Elise says...

    I definitely took it as a sign that me and my old therapist should be BFFs when she suggested I should try writing – she definitely saw the untapped talent in me that no one else did… I still miss her

  30. Agnès says...

    Oh that’s so true and hilarious! (Though my therapist is a man!) I miss him so much! (he’s in mexico where he was my therapist for a good 10 years); I never managed to find somebody else for therapy. Maybe with the pandemic I could start therapy again through video. Are you doing therapy in person Jo, -and everybody-? (sorry, I am not sure what you can and cannot do in terms of pandemic rules, in the us). I’m wondering if therapy works through zoom. I dedicated my PhD to my therapist and I think of him first when I go through dark stages.

    • Kate says...

      I’m seeing my therapist over video, I found her online. She lives in another city so even after this is all over we will continue our sessions online :)

    • Kate A says...

      I used to see my therapist in person, but then transitioned to online when this started – my insurance still covers the sessions just the same as if we were in person. I do CBT – talk therapy and also EMDR online, and I have found it just as effective as being in person – thank goodness or I don’t know how I would have gotten through this past year.

    • Agnès says...

      thanks Kate and Kate A!

  31. DB says...

    HAHAHAHAHA, this is so great!- Like many people I’ve been reassessing a lot due to the pandemic and have made the decision to pursue psychotherapeutic training, not until after a lot of soul searching as to whether this went beyond simply wanting to be my own therapist though! Due to funding changes our relationship will be ending next month after several years of working together. Preparing for the grief has actually been a wonderful opportunity to reflect on just how much I’ve developed in that time.

  32. Amy says...

    Would it be super weird if I sent this to my therapist?

    • Courtney says...

      Haha! I had the same thought!

  33. Heather says...

    That’s pretty accurate!

  34. Kimmie says...

    I finally took action and have a therapy appointment scheduled in a few weeks. It will be my very first after years of thinking talking to someone would probably really help me. What finally pushed me to take action were two things..my mental health that has suffered greatly in just the past few months AND after reading “Maybe You Should Talk To Someone” by Lori Gottlieb. It’s been my most favorite pandemic read! It totally demystified what therapy can be and she gets into a lot of the phenomenons that can occur in the client /therapist relationships. It was so interesting to me as well as informative. This surely sounds silly but I feel like I now know what I’m supposed to do in a therapy session. I always have thought I might do it wrong.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that book inspired me to go to therapy, too!

    • KWu says...

      That book is amazing! I’m catching up but was hoping someone had mentioned it in the comments.

  35. Debbie P says...

    I might need to send this to my therapist.

  36. Alexandra says...

    I am in school to be a therapist and can only hope some of my clients will feel this way :)

  37. Molly says...

    Yes. This.

    I love my therapist and the lyrics about wanting her to be my mom, feeling like the rug ripped out from under me when a vacation pops up and respecting their privacy and not asking personal questions even though I am DYING to rang so true haha

  38. Lora says...

    The skincare routine idea made me laugh out loud. As a psychologist, I’ve had people ask or assume all kinds of surprising (and at times uncomfortable) things about me, my life, and my family. Always fun to redirect back to their therapeutic needs. ;) For the record though, skincare questions wouldn’t be too far out there based on my experience.

  39. Leigh Feather says...

    is it wrong to want to send this to my therapist?

    • MB says...

      Haha I thought this too! I just love my therapist so much!

  40. Meghan says...

    I feel the same way about my endocrinologist. I am completely in (platonic and not-creepy) love with him. I quote him to others, I brag about him (he literally wrote the book on endocrinology – he is one of the authors of a common endo textbook here in Canada). He’s a grandpa, wears super thick, old-fashioned Coke-bottle glasses and usually talks to a spot above my left shoulder. But he will forever have my love and devotion because …. wait for it… he believed me when I said I didn’t feel good.

    When I first went to see him, I had a diagnosed, but untreated, thyroid condition. I had been going to my family doctor for a while, with a variety of symptoms, but was never able to really feel better. I was at the point where I just figured I couldn’t really hack it, like everyone else could. At my first appointment Dr. Awesome McWonderful, I had all my symptoms organized and presented them like I was making closing arguments on Law and Order. Midway through he interrupted me and said, “Stop. You don’t need to convince me you feel bad. If you tell me you feel bad, then you feel bad.” I swear I felt the Earth shift. Sitting on the bus on my way home, I could not stop the tears streaming down my face behind my sunglasses. I didn’t realize until that moment just how much I needed someone to believe me, what a burden it was thinking the problem was just me.

    • Abesha1 says...

      That’s wonderful… I’ve had that experience, and I’ve had the opposite. A Dr who said, No, you shouldn’t have to live with that, and then she fixed it. And a Dr who said, it’s in your head. That one caused years of suffering and I still think about reporting him for his callousness when I KNEW there was something wrong.
      To be heard, and believed… it is a wonderful thing.

    • Alexandra says...

      Meghan I love this! I am so sorry you had to go through the experience of your symptoms not being believed before, but wow what a beautiful experience to be heard and respected by Dr. Awesome McWonderful! I can definitely relate to feeling next-level grateful when a medical provider really stops to listen to my experience :)

    • Eve says...

      I love your writing Megan and Dr. Awesome Mc Wonderful sounds amazing!

    • kath says...

      He sounds wonderful. I’m so glad you met him and wish you hadn’t had to go through all that. I’m just thinking how much we all just want to be heard, seen, and believed. It’s so powerful in any context.

    • Kate says...

      My family doctor is very similar. He takes the time to listen to every tiny issue and explain things to me, very empathetic and understanding. He and the rest of the doctors at the clinic are young-ish GPs fresh out of a new-ish med school in our city so I just hope after many years of practice they won’t ever become the jaded, callous doctors we have all experienced! I make a point of dropping off chocolates and a Christmas card to the friendly clinic staff every year as a roundabout way of saying, I am SO grateful you’re my doctor and please don’t EVER change!

  41. Charlie says...

    Also in love with my therapist, and I think there’s an official term for that.
    I just sent this video to her. :)

    • wally, phd says...

      It’s “transference.” :)

    • shannon says...

      Yes someone had to say it Wally PhD! Lol! Signed, a fellow therapist 😆

      But really I encourage everyone to consider expressing these types of thoughts to your therapist. It can deepen your experience in therapy to be honest and vulnerable about what you’re really thinking even/especially when it’s a bit “against the rules.” It’s not easy to say these things out loud.

      Love the video, definitely going to send it to a few therapist friends!

  42. Tara D. says...

    I love this so so much! My therapist has absolutely helped me save myself this year and I ADORE her! Real life – I actually thought about texting this link to her and then thought, “Too much Tara! Don’t do it!” HAHAHAHAHAH

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha

    • Charlie says...

      I did!

    • Olivia Jane says...

      HA! Also thought about it. Not going to text it, but…am definitely going to bring it up in our next session. When she’s back from vacation.

  43. Celeste says...

    Yvette Nicole Brown <3

    • CFM says...

      Yes! Came to the comments looking for another fan!!! More of her please!

  44. Taylor says...

    Haha This reminds me of my Spanish teacher! In the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to brush up on my Spanish by taking virtual lessons with a teacher in Argentina (who could no longer teach in person). Since the conversation is mostly him asking me questions to get me to speak more in Spanish, I now joke that he’s basically also my therapist! I talk with him for an hour and a half twice a week and he now knows more about my personal life than pretty much anyone (especially this year) and the only other person I have more interactions with weekly is my fiancé, who I live with. For me, he’s the silver lining of this pandemic! And my fiancé has also started classes with him and we now joke that we are going to go to Argentina for our (postponed wedding’s) honeymoon just so we can meet him in person!

    • Amy says...

      This sounds fun! How did you find your teacher?

    • Brooke says...

      Argentina was where we went for our honeymoon and it was amazing!

    • Ker says...

      This is such a silver lining; what a pandemic win! I also started online language classes and it’s been fun although I am still looking for the perfect teacher. If anyone else is considering it and doesn’t know where to start, check out italki.com. I’m not affiliated with them in any way but am loving the platform.

    • Taylor says...

      Amy – A friend of mine who had lived in Argentina for a month in school was friends with him and posted for him that he was looking for virtual students! So I just lucked out with a happy coincidence!

  45. Ashley says...

    I asked mine if her Rothy’s were worth the price, so I think a skin care routine question isn’t out of the question! (… She said they weren’t, by the way.)

  46. jdp says...

    i’ve often said i wish i could include our couples counselor in our holiday card photos, that’s how much i love him, and feel he is a part of the family. i love him! (not in that way.)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Awwwww

  47. Anna Mudd says...

    Hoo boy – I’ve been so blessed to have an amazing life partner with (relatively) little drama in my dating life, but I often say I’ve made up for it in my search for the right therapist! I hear other people raving about therapy and wonder what I’m missing since I’ve tried probably a dozen counselors of various types over the years and never clicked. Oh well, I’ll keep searching for “the one” haha. Would LOVE to have the experience in this song.

  48. AE says...

    Hilarious! I aurally had to dump my last therapist because we were becoming too friendly! We spent our time 50/50 talking about my life and talking about her life which got weird for me! I recently switched providers after she pulled an unprofessional (but totally something a friend would do) move. It’s been 10 weeks with my new therapist and my old one just sent me an email asking if we could mend things! So odd!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      So interesting!

    • Avi says...

      I also feel like I got too close to mine bc she became opinionated and started giving advice like I’m her daughter and I don’t know what to do bc we get along great and she’s otherwise been quite helpful to me!

    • Julia says...

      You may want to report that behavior to the licensing board? That seems like quite an overstep…

    • wally, phd says...

      Good on you for ending therapy when it stopped being focused on your needs. It can be, at best, unhelpful and at worst harmful when therapists overstep boundaries.

    • Audra says...

      I had a similar experience with a counselor I saw for just 3 sessions last Fall. She regularly over-shared about her own life and over-stepped into mine. It made me really uncomfortable, so I told her I didn’t want to see her anymore and she tried to get me to have one last session to talk about why (which I did not do, it had only been 3 appointments!). She texted me out of the blue last week to see how I was doing and ask if she should officially close my file. It was all very strange.

    • Gina says...

      I can relate to this! Last year I was seeing a therapist and although I had amazing breakthrough moments our dynamic started to shift. As we got closer, she started over sharing so much about her life and the sessions didn’t feel like they were about me anymore. She didn’t stop when I told her how I felt and I started to feel very uncomfortable seeing her in this different light. I found a new therapist and I don’t know anything personal about her and prefer it that way!

  49. Cece says...

    i love my therapist!!! and everyone in my life knows it lol

  50. Caro says...

    Haha! That’s bang on.
    Joanna-Thanks so much for sharing-I’m curious to know what type of therapy/counselling you’ve been pursuing? I’m also an anxious person and this pandemic has definitely thrown me for a loop! I’ve done CBT and some mindfulness training in the past but wondering if I should try a new angle…Thanks again!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Honestly, I’m not sure! I think it’s call empathetic or something? She does a little CBT too. Xo

    • Amy says...

      Hi Caro. I too had a lot of anxiety since the pandemic started. I tried CBT for the first time and found it really helpful. I have done talk therapy before which was good for other issues but CBT is very practical. Hang in there <3

    • Caitlin says...

      Hey Caro! Therapist and therapy client here. I love Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for anxiety! Lots of therapists use it.

    • Mary E. says...

      Caro, I second Caitlin’s comment! As a therapist & also as a client, I’ve found ACT to be so helpful. Mostly, find the *therapist* you’re comfortable with – all the technique in the world won’t make up for weird vibes between you. :) Best wishes!

  51. Jill says...

    Hahahahaha! Hilarious!! That really was too funny! And it was a pretty accurate train of thought!!!
    I wonder who wrote that!
    Kristen delivers! AGAIN! Love her!
    Thanks for the laugh Joanna. <3