10 Reasons Therapy Is Better Over 40

by Susan Shapiro • Guest Writer { View Profile }

1. Such Sweet Sorrow: I’ve already learned I’m eating cupcakes instead of telling my mother I’m mad at her. So now treatment can focus on finding alternative strategies—like actually picking up the phone to yell at her.
2. Oral History: By now I’ve accumulated more colorful stories of old lovers, as well as more trenchant observations about what my self-destructive choices meant and better punch lines.
3. Open-Minded: I’m completely over my family’s fear I’ll spill all their secrets to a stranger. At this age, luckily the loudest guilt-inflictors have kicked the bucket. 
4. Shrink Wrap: After blowing too many relationships by over-sharing over the years,I now know how to feign mystery by not trying to make my mate or my mother into my therapist.
5. Getting Real: Though Freud said therapy transforms hysterical misery into every day unhappiness, by middle age I’m settling for three straight days with no sugar binges.
6. Blame Game: I’ve stopped blaming my family, bad exes and disloyal friends for my problems and can concentrate on the real stuff—like why I’m choosing to keep toxic people in my life.
7. I’ve Outgrown Cinderella Fantasies: I finally figured out that love won’t make me happy. Neither will glass slippers. Now I make myself happy—by choosing good love, good shoes, and a good shrink. 
8. Rhyme & Reason: When I do something stupid, I now know better than to claim “youthful folly,” “I didn’t know any better” or “I had too much to drink” (since I’m no longer young, naïve, or drinking.) Though I can analyze why I’m still reaching for lame excuses.
9. Footing the Bill: Since I’ve become older and more successful, I can now afford good analysis, knowing my sanity is priceless. 
10. Talk to Me: I’ve already explored AA, NA, Transactional Analysis, EST. I’ve realized the best cure is to vent one-on-one to someone saner than me. And Gabriel Bryne, Diane Wiest, Lorraine Bracco, Jane Alexander and Judd Hirsch prove the best screen shrinks are over forty too. 
Susan Shapiro (www.Susanshapiro.net) is a Manhattan-based writing teacher and author of the memoirs Lighting Up, Five Men Who Broke My Heart and Only As Good As Your Word. Her debut comic novel SPEED SHRINKING comes out in August.

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