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People Who Never Consider Therapy

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Have you ever met any of the following types?

…The man who seems like the nicest, most well-adjusted person in the world, the man everybody likes, the one you have been waiting for all your life—until that sudden day when he ends up cleaning out your bank account?

…The man who seems so debonair that you call your mother and all nine of your female friends to croon about him? Within weeks, he begins to look at other women, wink, flex his muscles at them, and when you say something about it he tells you that you are over-reacting and when you scream at him he says you need anger management. Pretty soon he practically has you foaming at the mouth.

…The deliriously sexy woman who blatantly offers herself to you almost as soon as you meet her at a neighborhood bar, invites you to her apartment and then into her bed, only to pull herself back at the last moment. Just when you are about to reach orgasm, she says, “Stop! No means no.” And she starts hollering “rape” and threatening to call the police if you so much as touch her left pinkie?

…The girlfriend who believes that she and only she knows what is right and wrong, and you are always wrong. Therefore she feels justified in being your judge and jury and meting out punishment whenever you veer in the slightest way from what she considers the “right” path.

These are a few of the disturbed people who seldom show up in therapy offices. They don’t show up because they are quite successful at acting out their disturbances. (and their sometimes unconscious anger) on other people. If you ask them if they need therapy they will be quick to answer, “Of course not. What do you think–I’m crazy?” They remain blissfully unaware of their own craziness while they are beautifully driving other people crazy.

Here is a case example. A man was raised as a “golden child.” His mother had divorced his father when the boy was only three years old and his younger sister only one. The mother never remarried. The boy became her surrogate husband, and indeed he slept in her bed until he was 10 years old. The girl became her mother’s rival and she slept in her own room. If she ran into her mother’s room saying she was scared of the dark and wanted to sleep in her bed, her mother would tell her not to be such a sissy.

“But Johnny sleeps in your bed.”

“Johnny’s older,” her mother explained.

“But that’s not fair,” she said.

“Go back to your room.”

Because the boy was her golden child, the mother allowed him to behave anyway he wanted. The girl, on the other hand, could do nothing right. The boy would tease and bully his sister and then taunt her when she cried. “You’re such a crybaby.” The mother would back him up when the girl complained to her. “Your brother’s right, you shouldn’t be such a crybaby!” The boy would beat his younger sister at games and then laugh at her and call her a “bad sport” if she raised her voice. And if she got angry, he would smile, “You’re such a baby.” His mother would back him up completely. “Don’t be a brooder,” she would tell her daughter.

As an adult this son would invariably begin to treat women the same way he had treated his younger sister. He had an unshakable, narcissistic sense of his own entitlement and righteousness, due to his mother’s doting, and any time a woman even tried to complain he would quickly turn it back to her, “I think you need anger management!” If she continued to complain he’d just smile at her serenely and say, “I’m not angry about anything, and I don’t know why you always are.”

“I’m not always angry.”

“If you say so.”

“I’m not!”

“Yes, dear!”

As soon as one woman got out from under he’d find another victim to feel victimized by. He lived happily after, building his ego at other people’s expense. Never for a moment did he contemplate therapy

People Who Never Consider Therapy

Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D.

Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. is a licensed psychoanalyst in New York and has been practicing for over 37 years. He works with adults, couples, families, adolescents, and children. He has graduated from three psychotherapy institutes and received a Certificate in Psychoanalysis from the Washington Square Institute in 1981. He has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of psychology at the Borough of Manhattan Community College since 2002 and has authored thirteen books on psychotherapy and psychoanalysis as well as four novels and a book of poems and drawings. More recently he wrote 20 screenplays (winning four first-place awards at festivals) and produced and directed two feature films.

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APA Reference
Schoenewolf, G. (2018). People Who Never Consider Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Oct 2018
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