Therapists and ERE

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before45
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Post by before45 »

I've been thinking about getting some therapy to deal with stress, and basically to pay someone to listen to me whine rather than annoying my loved ones. But ERE is a big part of my life, and I'm concerned about discussing money with therapists. Money is something that's a touchy subject in lots of people's lives, and I guess I'm worried about the transference of how a therapist might feel about my 'stash, savings rate, ERE values in general.
Have any of you had an opportunity to talk with a therapist or counselor about the ERE aspects of your life? And if so, did you meet with helpful professionalism, or resistance and negativity, or what? Am I being silly in worrying about this? (Or possibly using it as a reason not to spend the money on therapy. . . .)


lilacorchid
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Post by lilacorchid »

A good therapist won't judge and won't steer you, but will help you figure out where you want to go or why you feel a certain way. A good therapist will do to your brain what a good architect will do to your house.
You may have to try a few out until you find someone you click with. Some will charge on a sliding scale too.


DutchGirl
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Post by DutchGirl »

If you tell the therapist that you're rich (or almost ERE), they might thus charge you more?
Anyway. I also think they shouldn't judge. And if they do, that you shouldn't care (and just go looking for a new one).

The one thing I was thinking about was making sure that the therapist understands that this isn't some escape dream you have, but that you are actually very near to reaching that ERE goal. That your plans ((will) hold water. A therapist may meet people with unrealistic goals or dreams often (someone looking for love from someone who just isn't interested (anymore), someone believing they will be rich one day out of nowhere and who is thus not facing his current money behaviour, etc), I think he or she may be worried that you're also chasing a pipe dream.


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jennypenny
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Post by jennypenny »

A therapist can be very helpful in teaching you coping skills and helping you identify triggers for your stress. The problem you might run into is if you have other issues--like if you're an introvert, or gifted, or even just shy or insecure--the therapist might view ERE as an unhealthy goal that you use to work around your issue. It can be hard to get a therapist to see ERE as a valid goal, and not just a means to indulge your introvertedness or whatever.
Be very clear upfront about what your goal is for therapy. Don't just go in and say "I'm stressed" or "I think I need therapy." Say "I come home from work stressed every night and talk too much about it. I'd like to learn how to deal with it so I'm relaxed by the time I get home." It might lead to other things, but your therapy will be more focused at first while you get to know each other. If it goes well then you can discuss ERE and other plans you have.
I think many therapists see their role as helping a person stay inside the boundaries of what's considered normal, and teaching that person coping skills to get there and stay there. I'm not saying that's wrong, but ERE by nature is outside of what's normal so it can be a hard sell with a therapist. ("Why don't you want to work? What's wrong with working?")


Spartan_Warrior
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Post by Spartan_Warrior »

"I think many therapists see their role as helping a person stay inside the boundaries of what's considered normal, and teaching that person coping skills to get there and stay there."
Bingo; in fact, I would say a culturally-defined "normal" is the basis and pursuit of all Psychology, but I digress...
I wouldn't bring up ERE at all, unless you really think it's related to the problems you want to discuss. If money comes up for whatever reason, personally, I would be very vague (but then I usually am)--"I'm frugal" or "I'm a saver by nature" would suffice imo. If discussion continues along a path you don't like, it should be easy to say, "You know, I'm perfectly satisfied with that aspect of my life. I'm normal/healthy/happy with my spending and saving habits and I don't think that's something I need to discuss with you."
Remember, you're paying for this service (most likely by the hour), so I wouldn't hesitate to control the direction of the conversation. As Jenny said, coming in with specific things that YOU want to discuss is probably more helpful for both you and the therapist anyway. By the same token, I doubt the therapist will go "digging" for problems. ;)


before45
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Post by before45 »

Thanks to everyone, particularly jennypenny who really clarified some things for me. I don't think I would bother going to therapy if I couldn't talk about ERE, as most of my stress is coming from deciding when and how to "pull the trigger"/quit my job. I've realized for me that this is more a psychological than a financial question. I also have stress from having a SO who is not pursuing an ERE lifestyle, and my concerns about how our relationship is going to work when I'm kickin' back and he's still wage-slaving and scraping by.


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Stahlmann
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Re: Therapists and ERE

Post by Stahlmann »

indeed, interesting problem.

ertyu
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Re: Therapists and ERE

Post by ertyu »

Oldie but goodie. It’s true that many therapists would work against you to get you to “normal” rather than to get you to what you want. I saw one years ago who saw my desire to quit sugar as too much out there and expressed hopes that one day I would be able to arrive at “moderation”. In the end, therapists are humans, and subject to the same traps and fallacies as everyone else. I think at some point I shared that I had a period of teaching myself therapy via reading manuals and professional literature aimed at therapists + watching example sessions on YouTube (some therapists would put these up for training purposes and also so prospective clients can see what to expect). One of the things I kept bumping into consistently is the importance for the therapist to keep doing their own psychological development work. “You can’t take others further than you’ve gone yourself” is a phrase I encountered often. So when choosing therapists, make sure you pick one that's gone far enough.

All of this doesn’t mean that an EREr shouldn’t pursue therapy. It simply means they should be selective about their therapists. If I knew then what I know now, I would open the therapist interviewing process with explicitly stating, “X thing/philosophy is very important to me and I am looking to strengthen rather than change that. Instead, I am interested in working on Y. What are your reactions to this and do you think you would be able to work with me?”

If during the course of therapy you sense that the therapist is putting pressure on you about an area of your life you would not like to change, have 0 hesitation to be open and forthright about it. “Seems to me you see X behavior of mine as extreme and you’ve been putting pressure on me to be more Y even though we discussed when we set therapy goals that I am not Interested in being less X at this point of my life. What’s up with that? / I’d like to remind you that X area of my life is not something I am interested in changing right now. I am interested in working on Y instead.”

I guess the most important point here is, a good therapist would NOT just assume that a part of you is dysfunctional and needs changing. If they are worth their salt, they should first establish whether that area is in fact a problem for you. They can absolutely say something along the lines of, “you’ve been talking about being pretty lonely right now. Seems to me one factor contributing to this is that you aren’t willing to go to the pub with colleagues to socialize.” At which point, you put your big pants on and you say, yes it’s true that my desire to save/pay off debt/be FI ASAP means I cant socialize the way most people do, but I am not willing to sacrifice that. I am instead looking to develop my social skills in ways that allow me to make friendships with others less dependent on spending money together.” Again, a good therapist should work with you on this. They should work with you on what you decide your goals are, not on what they think your goals should be.

Aside: this actually comes up pretty often in therapy. Eg an abused wife comes in and says she wants to improve her marriage and you listen to her and go, holy shit woman gtfo yesterday this situation is a nightmare. Well, this very well may be your personal opinion, but you don’t say to her, you should leave your abusive husband. Instead, you work with her on helping her realize that she has value and that, like any other human being, she deserves to be treated with dignity. A person who believes she deserves to be treated with dignity would make the decision to leave independently, on her own time. You don't get to set goals for her and decide for her on the right way to live, you empower her to make those decisions for herself.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Therapists and ERE

Post by Jin+Guice »

I've found going to therapy to be very helpful. It's been equally as helpful as ERE in challenging and reframing existing beliefs and changing my life for the better.

@ertyu: Maybe I've just had good therapists but what you're describing is, to me, the main advantage of therapy. My therapist worked to establish what my own morality was instead of imposing one on me. She will challenge me if she thinks something is a problem. Most of the time she is listening, asking questions for further clarification or to make me explore what I've said and pointing out and discussing inconsistencies in my own framework. I have several friends that I rely heavily upon for advice, but they are much worse at listening and it's easy for me to see how they impart their own morality on the situation. I'll often get something useful out of the conversation with my friends even when they do this, but it's much more efficient/ direct to deal with someone who doesn't know you socially, is trained in and experienced with emotional/ social/ psychological techniques and is trying not to impart their own motives/ morality on your situation.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Therapists and ERE

Post by Stahlmann »

btw, anyone found some video service based in 3rd Worlds countries to help themselves?

Crusader
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Re: Therapists and ERE

Post by Crusader »

I have found this channel to be useful:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClHVl2 ... NJVx-ItQIQ

Also, any book by Albert Ellis, with my favourite being:
https://www.amazon.ca/Guide-Rational-Li ... 0879800429

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