In the early days of original programming on Comedy Central, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist told the story of a neurotic therapist, his neurotic son, and lots of guest stars with multiple neuroses.
Way before Dr. Katz was the old-school Bob Newhart Show full of great characters and stories from the therapist’s couch way beyond my comprehension.
Even Tony Soprano went to a psychiatrist and the show got all Freudian on us at times.
Well, put all those characters, generalizations, and preconceived notions of therapy aside and consider the following – as a single dad, some kind of therapy may be in your future!
Given your position in life, you may have already been to a counselor for something associated with the departure of your kids’ mother whether it came from death, divorce or separation. And you probably did not see anyone quite like Dr. Katz.
Instead, you probably saw a licensed therapist, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist who helped you process things – like emotions – many guys struggle with. You might have also gotten some tools to help you deal with those emotions and gotten some real value out of your investment of time. While I have not finished the book yet, you should check out Donald Miller’s new book, “Scary Close” which explores these issues – what I have read so far is excellent.
For our kids, therapy can have great value. Maybe a therapist gives you tools to help you play with, talk to, relate to, or better nurture your kids. Maybe a therapist can serve as the trusted person your kid can talk to about the loss they experience. Maybe a psychiatrist can assist in dealing with neurological/biological issues affecting your kid’s mental health.
In short, we have many tools at our disposal as single dads, and these professionals can, and often should, play a part in our lives. If you have already seen one, you know the value quality therapy delivers.
If you have not, consider going to one specializing in family/children to do nothing more than check in and talk about your single parenting experience and some of your concerns and frustrations. You might get some of those parenting tools, enhance your effectiveness, and bring greater emotional health to you and the kiddos.
If you do not know where to find one, ask another single parent, your attorney, or a leader at your church.
In short, do not let preconceived notions keep you from utilizing a potentially powerful tool to improve your parenting and your kids’ emotional health.
What was the most effective or impactful parenting tool or lesson you got from a therapist?