Are therapists going on metafilter? December 4, 2008 7:17 PM   Subscribe

When people say "print out this post and take it to your therapist"....do people do that? How does the therapist react? Does it help? Will they go check out your other posts?

I always see people say...print this post and take it to your therapist and in some sense it does seem like a good idea...but on the other hand, it seems a little weird. Do people really do this? Does it help, or are they all, what is this?
posted by sweetkid to MetaFilter-Related at 7:17 PM (55 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

"Ignore them. That fedora is AWESOME."
posted by waraw at 7:24 PM on December 4, 2008 [21 favorites]


I'd say most therapists would have seen most kinds of personal problems before, and would flag your problem as a double.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:25 PM on December 4, 2008 [17 favorites]


We all ARE therapists. How did you get in?
posted by netbros at 7:31 PM on December 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't recall ever actually seeing "print out this post and take it to your therapist", but I would assume it's really just a different way of saying "what you just said here...tell to a therapist". I can't imagine a therapist reading through a printout of a MeFi thread - I'd hope they'd rather discuss it directly with the patient. Unless, of course, they were schooled over at Boing Boing.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:32 PM on December 4, 2008


The.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:34 PM on December 4, 2008 [11 favorites]


1. Print out your entire 982 MB gmail account

2. Present to therapist during first appointment

3. Wait for phone call containing your diagnosis
posted by hermitosis at 7:41 PM on December 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I cringe every time I read an answer that says "show them this thread." No, you really should not show them this thread.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:50 PM on December 4, 2008


I don't recall ever actually seeing "print out this post and take it to your therapist"

Oh, I do. And in other forms, too- show this post to your wife, your doctor, your mother. Totally silly.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:52 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


For those who doubt that people say things very similar to this.

For the record, I agree with Slack-a-gogo that in most cases, they really just mean "tell a professional what you just told us nutjobs".
posted by ErWenn at 7:55 PM on December 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Usually, when that advise seems most useful is when a person is struggling with how to word their problem. Some people want to know things like, "How can I tell my therapist how I feel?"... And then they go on to describe how they feel in the question.

It's really easy to blow something like talking to a therapist out of proportion, so that you can't imagine how you could ever, in that situation, explain what you mean. So, when we all chime in with "Hey, uh, you know what you just said? Say that," we're just explaining that the person has explained what needs to be explained, that they do have the words needed to get what they want.

I don't think "show this to your therapist" is the most common. "Show this to your significant other" is more common. "How do I possibly explain to my boyfriend that I love him, but I really cannot stand how his toenails look? It's not that they make me look down on him, and I certainly don't want to upset him! It's just that feet are very important to me." "Well... Just tell him what you told us."

It makes sense, to me.
posted by Ms. Saint at 8:09 PM on December 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


1. Print out your entire 982 MB gmail account

2. Present to therapist during first appointment

3. Wait for phone call containing your diagnosis


I tried this. Does anyone have any good tips for disposing a body? It's for a book.
posted by loquacious at 8:14 PM on December 4, 2008


I tried this. Does anyone have any good tips for disposing a body? It's for a book.

You could just say you accidently shot him/her during sex. Better hurry up and make the "crime scene" look convincing, though.
posted by hermitosis at 8:23 PM on December 4, 2008


I printed out all of Metafilter and showed it to my therapist, and she wants you all to know that she has convenient openings and reasonable rates.
posted by lore at 8:26 PM on December 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


Damn, hermitosis. Your link is going to give me nightmares now.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:32 PM on December 4, 2008


a friend of mine has printed out parts of livejournal posts she's made and brought them to her therapist.

lore: "convenient openings and reasonable rates"? are you sure you were talking to a therapist and not my mom?
posted by rmd1023 at 8:39 PM on December 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I hope davy is doing ok.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:46 PM on December 4, 2008


I suspect part of the motivation in suggesting that people print things out and show them to other people is the 'I'm not just saying this to make you feel better' aspect of things. If you can literally show your ugly-toed boyfriend that four days ago before you talked to him, you told thousands of strangers on the internet that you don't think his ugly toes make him a bad person, that's proof that when you say his ugly toes don't make him a bad person, you really, really, really mean it.

He will remember that somewhat appreciatively a year from now when he's telling his new girlfriend about that psycho-ex that went on the internet and told thousands of strangers about his toe problems.

Sharing this stuff with your therapist, on the other hand, doesn't seem nearly that bad. Your therapist probably won't be pissed off that you're getting a second opinion from the internet. Unless you keep telling her she's wrong because some guy on the inernet said so.

If you find you have difficulty expressing yourself to your therapist in person, pre-written comments that you can read and then discuss seems like it might actually really help. I probably wouldn't print the whole thread though. Pre-written comments from lore might crack you up, but they likely have little therapeutic value.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:13 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


You did it wrong.

The RAPISTS. For 100.
posted by yhbc at 9:33 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just invite your therapist to post here.

"First of all, IAAT, IAYT, etc."
posted by ALongDecember at 9:40 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh... I guess I always took the advise to mean, "Print this out, but edit out the parts that make it clear this was originally a post to a popular internets forum. Just keep the stuff where you discuss the problem at hand."

Maybe that's reading a bit into it.
posted by Ms. Saint at 9:58 PM on December 4, 2008


I advise people to print things out sometimes (but never for boyfriends). When someone writes a Compilation of Problems and then asks - how do I tell my therapist? - I think it makes sense to not duplicate the work, but bring it along either to *give* or to use as a script. But there are other situations, too... If someone posts, "my hand hurts (probably because there are demons in it) anyhow, any remedies?" I feel like suggesting go to the doctor! might get them to communicate the "hurt hand" - but they might leave out the more salient info, kwim? Sometimes posts have some dangerous stuff between the lines, and if they're going to see a doctor or therapist, it would be best for the poster that the practitioner be made aware of the undercurrent.
posted by moxiedoll at 12:15 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've seen a lot of "print out this post" advice - including something like, "My neighbor is doing XYZ that annoys me" and ensuing comments including all sorts of weirdo revenge or eye-for-an-eye stuff (as well as reasonable advice)... and chipper suggestions to print out the post and tape it to the neighbor's door. Right. by which, of course, I mean, omgwtfbbq???!!!

I can definitely see the point of printing out the section or sections in which you explain your situation and giving it to the therapist (I'd delete my screen name and any site info, personally) if you feel like you are struggling to convey your meaning... and as well, those words might be clearer or less guarded as addressed to your peers instead of your doctor, and that this could be potentially beneficial.

If I were a therapist (and I'm so not), I'd appreciate the text, but I'd still want you to speak directly about the same things, because that communication would have its own intrinsic information that couldn't be relayed by a thought-over and edited text. As a patient, I would definitely offer written information, because that's my chief method of trying to tease out any problem for myself; I learn a lot about how I feel about things when I try to put them into a logical and coherent written form.
posted by taz at 1:06 AM on December 5, 2008


Awww, you're sweetkid.
posted by gman at 3:43 AM on December 5, 2008


Does anyone have any good tips for disposing a body? It's for a book.

They sure do.
posted by gman at 4:00 AM on December 5, 2008


Didn't someone print out a post and stick it on their shared refrigerator?
posted by smackfu at 5:52 AM on December 5, 2008


That's actually how I found out about Metafilter, one of my patients brought me a thread to read.

You people are nuts.
posted by bondcliff at 6:01 AM on December 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


1. Print out your entire 982 MB gmail account
2. Present to therapist during first appointment
3. Wait for phone call containing your diagnosis


I can't wait until gmail finally has an "Analyze Me" button, so you can skip some of those steps.
posted by inigo2 at 6:27 AM on December 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


you could always just use the rogerian therapist built into emacs.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:30 AM on December 5, 2008


Usually, when that advise seems most useful is when a person is struggling with how to word their problem.

Yes, this. I see the downside too though. Possible privacy issues, one likely filters more in writing, long rambles, etc. I think showing your therapist/doctor/friend/wife this thread is helpful though when the basis of the askme is "how do I explain the below to my friend/therapist/wife/doctor". They need not necessarily read the whole thread, just the OP.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 6:53 AM on December 5, 2008


Didn't someone print out a post and stick it on their shared refrigerator?

Yes.

My interpretation otherwise has been what Ms. Saint says "Hey you put it pretty well in that paragraph, why don't you print that out and tell them that?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:54 AM on December 5, 2008


"I'm Feeling Borderline With Antisocial Tendencies"
posted by waraw at 7:03 AM on December 5, 2008


Am I the only person who's actually done something similar?

Okay, well maybe not explicitly. But I was showing someone else something on my MeFi account, they browsed to it later, found an AskMe that is related to them, and asked me about it. It ended well and nothing came of it (hurrah for communication), but I definitely started thinking a lot more about using AskMe (or at least Anonymize it if it invovles ... people...)
posted by Phire at 7:04 AM on December 5, 2008


I haven't actually printed anything out, but typing out my human relations questions invariably gives me the clarity of thought I need to effectively communicate. There are times I literally cannot think or speak when I'm emotional, and having something to use as a script would certainly help. Of course, one anonymous question I submitted was filled with DTMFA answers, so I'll probably skip showing that to my husband.
posted by desjardins at 7:42 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm remembering a quiet-woman-on-the-bus-vs-two-sassy-black-women question from a long time ago that had a much-debated "print this thread and show it to them" suggestion in it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:57 AM on December 5, 2008


The two sassy black women are the only thing that makes the bus ride tolerable. Well, that and the frottage. But that's it! The two sassy black women, the frottage, and the art student pretending he isn't there. THREE things that make riding the bus worthwhile. The two sassy black women, the frottage, the non-existent art student, and the crazy dude with the snot bubble. FOUR things, ah-ah-ah! Bleh! The two sassy black women, the frottage, the non-existent art student, the crazy dude with the snot bubble...

and thou.
posted by Mister_A at 8:56 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I keep trying to sing that post to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas and it's just not quite there.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:23 AM on December 5, 2008


Mister_A: Thanks for teaching me a new word (frottage). You have fulfilled my "learn something new everyday" requirement for today.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:28 AM on December 5, 2008


Oh, Crazy-Dude-With-The-Snot-Bubble were Paradise enow!

Nah, doesn't scan...
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:29 AM on December 5, 2008


It makes sense to me- some of us write a lot more clearly than we speak and I for one, get all tongue tied around anything authority-ish, which includes just about any professional.

(Thank god I'm getting older- it's harder to be intimidated by someone 10 years younger than me.)
posted by small_ruminant at 9:33 AM on December 5, 2008


you could always just use the rogerian therapist built into emacs.

Especially if you need a brisk rogerian.
posted by dersins at 9:57 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person who's actually done something similar?

I just bring a DVD of the original "Planet of the Apes", and we watch it in silence together except for the breathing through our flared nostrils very loudly. After that we usually go out and throw eggs at cars, again without speaking. Pretty much every session.

I suggest you all do the same.
posted by tkchrist at 10:05 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


No no no. It's pronounced "uh-NAL-ruh-PIST." It's a combination of ANALyst & theRAPIST.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:09 AM on December 5, 2008


cortex, can you find that? I can't, and it sounds like a lively read.
posted by cowbellemoo at 10:45 AM on December 5, 2008


Here it is. Had a little trouble tracking it down.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:07 AM on December 5, 2008


cowbellemoo said: "cortex, can you find that? I can't, and it sounds like a lively read."

FWIW, I found it by searching using the string "bus women". :P
posted by booticon at 11:11 AM on December 5, 2008


I was overthinking it and putting in words that were all present in the thread but not in the post itself or any single comment. "bus black women" finally got me there via a comment, and reminded me that the race angle hadn't actually come up in the original question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2008


Mister_A, you bested my Word of the Day ( hornswoggle) by miles.
posted by tenderman kingsaver at 12:17 PM on December 5, 2008


dersins owes me a keyboard and about 3 oz of beer
posted by Carbolic at 1:39 PM on December 5, 2008


Oooh, thanks! I looked through the askme "bus" tag and it didn't catch my eye for some reason (or was surreptitiously backtagged to make me look foolish!). I did, however, pick up other transit-related facts against my will.
posted by cowbellemoo at 2:05 PM on December 5, 2008


Wow, that thread went from absurd to funny to sad.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:21 PM on December 5, 2008


How does the therapist react?

She scanned it briefly. And then she reached for the BIG RED PANIC BUTTON.

Two large men burst into the room, dragged me off the couch and tossed me out.

Oh, well. At least she didn't charge me for that session.
posted by jason's_planet at 3:18 PM on December 5, 2008


loquacious, this was already answered, and it even appeared on the handy-dandy Blue side-bar. (is there a name for that side bar?) You really should search through Ask Mefi before posting questions. (I only knew of that thread because I saw it recently, not because I was going to post this question myself. Really)

And isn't the suggestion to print the post that you (the asker) had posted, not the whole silly thread? I thought the idea was that the asker was able to clearly state their quandary or issues with something in the initial post, and the presenting of that post to your therapist could simply say what you intended to someone in the first place.

In short: stop asking us, ask a real therapist.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:44 PM on December 5, 2008


I have literally printed out a thread and brought it to my therapist. I had nothing to do with the thread, it just contained a bunch of things I wanted to ask about. She kept pointing out posters that were wrong, uninformed, rude, or just plain stupid and I kept trying to explain to her that metafilter is really great, you just need to ignore the noise.

OTOH, there was also a lot of, "That person? Actually knows what they're talking about. Recognize them as an authority." It was weird. Metafilter doesn't make a lot of sense to the normals.
posted by stet at 4:34 PM on December 5, 2008


Thanks for the serious answers. I was just curious, and also wondering if maybe it is beneficial to bring something that was written for a different audience than the therapist. Because perhaps you're phrasing things in a certain way for the therapist.
posted by sweetkid at 6:24 PM on December 5, 2008


You could print threads on a variety of subjects, and keep them in a 3-ring binder, tabbed and organized alphabetically, by topic. Take it with you everywhere you go. The next time you hear someone at a party say, "You know, Satriani is a really excellent musician" or "I think you'll find Twilight is one of the greatest movies ever made" or even "Hey, guys, I killed someone last night. How do I get rid of the body?", you'll be armed with knowledge.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:47 PM on December 5, 2008


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