According to Dictionary.com, the definition of a therapist is “a person trained in the use of psychological methods for helping patients overcome psychological problems.”
Simple enough. The Urban Dictionary, though, currently boasts 11 different entries for therapist, many of which resemble those for social worker (yesterday’s post).
Hugely popular definition of a therapist is number one: word often mistaken as ‘the rapist’ by Sean Connery when playing celebrity jeopardy. [Example given: I’ll take the rapist for 500].
A similar concept is echoed in number two (not to mention five and eight), which then adds two primary definitions of therapist: 1. Someone for you to cry to when you lost your puppy, and 2. Someone who your parents send you to become diagnosed or talked to because you have some mental problem to hide the fact that your parents suck at parenting.
And, how philosophical and/or revealing is number six? Someone who understands the power of language but hasn’t yet seen the definition of freedom. Did someone’s therapist have control issues?
Nine sounds sweet enough—if we don’t overanalyze the perception of “friendship” involved: a close friend whom you talk to about your problems. Before we go and dwell on that, 10 comes and turns this right on its head: a bitch who listens to you gab and gab, and acts like your mother when she says she won’t do that.
Interestingly, there’s only one entry on the page for counselor, a close cousin to therapist, and it’s okay: someone who knows all the right things to say, who want [sic] to know how you’re “really” feeling.
Finally, the actual practice of psychotherapy receives this presentation. Kinda sorta balanced?
An incredibly expensive process whereby you end up talking more about yourself than you ever thought possible, while learning virtually nothing and becoming increasingly entrenched in your skewed view of reality… or, if it works (which it sometimes does!) a sublime experience of subtle revelation, insight and healing that enables you to be a fuller, happier human who moves more freely through the world than you ever thought possible…
It’s no wonder people look at me kinda funny and become speechless when they ask me what I do for work and I say I’m a clinical social worker/counselo/therapist!