I have lost count of how many therapists I have seen and fired over the years. By stark contrast, I have only had 4 auto mechanics. I've been going to the same one for 8 years, and one of the others I'd go to again, except that this current guy specializes in Hondas and bio-diesel cars.
I think that a (not "the") problem with therapists is that they are so intent on finding a diagnosis (and then treating it) that they do so in a hasty manner, and then try to cram parts of my story--or life or psyche or whatever--into the diagnosis, even if they don't fit, and also they tend to completely ignore parts that can't be crammed into the diagnosis, even if those parts are significant life events. This most recent 'pist tried to cram the "alcoholism" diagnosis onto me and, eventually, L-Dawg.
Just so we are all on the same page, here's a quick checklist of diagnostic criteria:
Craving -- A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
Impaired control -- The inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion.
Physical dependence -- Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.
Tolerance -- The need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to feel its effects.
None of which I fit.
But, the funny thing about someone who's trying to diagnose meas an alcoholic, no matter what I say, they take that as a "sign". Do I drink? Yes. Do I get drunk? Sometimes. Do I sometimes not drink? Yes. Do I sometimes feel like I need a drink? Yes. Do I sometimes feel like I need to take a break from drinking? Yes. Do I spend time in bars? Yes. Do I have friends who are alcoholics? Yes. Must be a sign, right? If I do those things and yet assert that I am not an alcoholic, I must be in denial, right? What about if I take a year off of drinking, as I did a couple years ago? Must mean that I am a dry drunk....
Once this lady had decided I was an alkie, she kept trying to convince me that I should go to a 12-step program. No use in protesting that I am an atheist and I don't care for the "god" aspect of 12-step stuff, no use in saying that I don't need that kinda of a program, anyway (if I say I don't need it, it must mean that I am in denial). She had convinced herself that my problem was addiction. Oh, and anger. When she started getting judgmental about my anger--when I felt that I had to justify my feelings to my therapist--that's when I fired her. It took a couple weeks of not going, and realizing that I was scheduling cleaning clients right at the time when I was supposed to have therapy, and wondering why I was doing that to myself and acknowledging to myself that I didn't want to go back, and then actually getting angry and being okay with getting angry, and even realizing that I love my own anger--it is an urgent telegram from my subconscious that something ain't right--before I finally sent her an email telling her that I wasn't coming back, and why.
She....told me that she hoped I would get some help with setting boundaries.