This Train

“There are many ways of getting strong, sometimes talking is the best way.”
Andre Agassi, Open

We all want to be stronger. In order to do that  psychologically, many people go to therapy.  However, according to recent studies less than 4% of the American public utilizes psycho-therapeutic services.  This  shockingly low number speaks to the ignorance of many people, and the apparent stigma of therapy.

In my 30 years of being a therapist, I have my own observations. Starting therapy is one of the hardest things to do. When people find the courage to pick up the 10,000 pound telephone to make an  initial appointment, they don’t leave messages.  Other people call, leave messages, and never return a follow up call.  If people return the call and make a first appointment, 15% of them  cancel late or do not show up at all.  Anxiety and fear of change  is running wild!

For years, therapists have made many statements about when people will attend therapy.    We have said things  like “when the person is ready to change, they will attend”, “when the pain is great enough..”  “when they hit  bottom…”  These well intentioned bumper sticker statements don’t help a scared and running like hell population. They only rationalize the person’s behavior and put little band-aids on our inabilities for more people to get better.

The question about how to get more of the population to attend therapy is a huge issue.  Psychological groups have started awareness days for disorders(alcohol, depression, anxiety, etc.) in an effort to give people access for help.  There is  “National Psychotherapy Day“(this year on 9-25-14)in which supporters of therapy are requested to wear turquoise to show support.  We’ve given people more opportunities to have health insurance and created parity laws to “level the playing field”. It is unknown if any of these macro movements produce change.   My pitch for more people to attend therapy comes via Bruce Springsteen.  Springsteen recently recorded a song entitled “Land of hope and dreams”  I think the refrain serves as a great invitation to come to therapy. Watch the video and see if you agree.

This train
carries saints and sinners
This train
carries losers and winners
This train
carries whores and gamblers
This train
carries lost souls

This train
carries broken hearted
this train
thieves and sweet souls departed
this train
carries fools and carries kings
this train
all aboard
I said this train
dreams will not be thwarted
This train
faith will be rewarded

this train
hear the steel wheels singing
this train
bells of freedom ring


The train will soon be boarding…

Change is possible


2 thoughts on “This Train

  1. Jeff –

    When I first saw the email invite on my iPhone it looked like you were inviting me to a Bruce concert! That would’ve been something, but I see it’s just a brilliant disguise and with the song you shared it’s like a freight train running through the middle of my head (yes Bruce lyrics in mashup).

    In the business world I have been involved in many corporate branded “transformational” initiatives. They are last minute attempts at change brought upon due to panic, and often too late. That seems to be the MO for people in general.

    Getting our ahead of the curve and being proactive in better managing our lives (all aspects, personal, family, business, life) is the challenge and may take generations to turn around.

    Keep fighting the good fight. I may have been slow to the table, but I’m applying all of these principles in all of my affairs – at least the best as I can, and I’ll continue to seek out the guidance and assistance I didn’t previously understand was there and possible…

  2. I struggled with going to therapy. It was fear of letting it all out…it was fear of accepting that I wasn’t perfect and accepting my own mistakes…it was many issues ..but I was one of those that cancelled. When I knew I couldn’t go on living like I was…I gave in and am happy I did. I still have struggles but I thank you, Jeff, for teaching me the tools to use when necessary. I am very grateful for that. I do hope that those who need to learn how to deal with whatever causes them pain, reach out and help themselves..

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