Jewish Journal

Papa, Pay for My Shrink?

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

February 7, 2010 | 5:20 pm

Sanity is priceless.

As seen at www.AskYourYenta.com
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Dear Yenta,

I owe my Dad 8000 dollars, but don’t want to pay him. Instead I want to deduct the money from the therapy that I pay for that I think he is responsible for…
What should I do?


Dear Jilted,

If Daddy did the damage, then…

Money and therapy are tricky topics because they are self-defined for each individual involved. For example, if your Dad was a poor rail worker who busted his ass and burned holes in his hands to put food on your table, and now you are mad because he wasn’t home more, then you are an asshole. If your Dad is rich, neglected you, screwed women on the side, smacked you when he wasn’t getting any from his mistress, then keep your eight grand and do it your way.

There is a school of thought that parents who screw their kids up and can afford to unscrew them should then be responsible for the financial burden of healing. You sound like you know what to do. Does your Dad want to help pay for your self-help? Can you solicit him? Will this do something good for your family? Are you self-indulgent or self-aware? Figure out the reasons you are in therapy, and what you seek to gain from all that talk. My guess is that your father himself will benefit from the guru you seek.

If your Dad is rich and loves you and wants you “better” from whatever is paining you, and if therapy will bring you to that sunny happy place, then send Papi the bill. In the end, though, it’s up to him how he wants to handle the $8000.00 hole you dug.

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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