This is one of seven interviews with young professionals about their experiences with therapy and its costs.
All Eve wanted was to leave her job. She was 31, and stuck in a stressful restaurant job that was made her unhappy. But she was afraid to quit without having another steady supply of money. “Basically, I needed someone to help me find courage to leave. I needed someone to assure me that I could find another job that didn’t hurt me and suck my soul out,” she says. “I was like, ‘I’ve got to have somebody grab my shoulders and shake me until I leave this damn job.” Uncomfortable with continually relying on her friends and boyfriend for support and venting about the same problems, Eve says she felt like “such a sad bag”. That’s just the definition of being stuck: when you are upset over the same things over and over and over, and you feel like you are imposing on your loved ones,” she says, “when you just keep talking about it, but aren’t making any progress.”
To make progress, in December 2012, Eve decided to go to therapy. The weekly sessions came at a cost: a co-pay of $50 per 45-minute session. The therapist “gave me advice and sort of scared me in the right direction, but mostly she made me talk it out, talk myself in circles”, she says. “All the revelations seemed to kind of come from inside because she really didn’t say ‘This is what you should do.’” Eve left her job in September 2013 after nine months of therapy. Her insurance, which was tied to her job, ran out, and she switched to an Affordable Care Act plan by Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield that would have required her to pay the full price of therapy – $120 to $140 per week – until she met a deductible. The new cost was a “bit too pricey” for Eve, who opted to stop seeing her therapist. “I had felt like I had gotten what I needed,” Eve said. “So I decided not to go on … The factors just added up so I felt like it might be more trouble than it was worth to continue going, so I decided to stop and see how that went.” Since ending therapy in December 2013, Eve has found and worked two other full-time jobs.
This article first appeared The Guardian, 18 February 2015.