Oh how I wish I had read this thirty years ago. I was a deeply depressed teenager (&borderline autistic/ADD/not-neurologically-typical, though didn’t know that at the time) who got almost nothing out of therapy.
Because I thought a bit like this — not this exact metaphor (it’s a very good one!) — and I wanted to understand what was going on in my mind, explore different mental models. Therapist was not interested. She only seemed interested in feelings and interactions with other people.
I chalked it up as yet another thing I did weird, or wrong. Over-intellectualising yet again, not being “real” and just being precocious.
If I had known then that creating mental models was a valuable tool, not an aberration, I might not have lost four important years of my life. If I had known that other people, functional people, thought about things in this way, I might have got the courage sooner to speak up about what I actually needed.
Take this to a therapist, and if they don’t “bite”, aren’t interested, say goodbye and find another therapist. Life is too short, sanity too precious, to throw away time and energy on other people’s ideas of how you should think.
(Luckily times change: it was flabbergasting to me when CBT and solution-focused modes of therapy started to have some influence in the late 90ies. Suddenly this type of thinking was not only ok, it was encouraged and even celebrated. It can be a very empowering experience to go through your own mental models with a therapist, toy with them, debate them, contextualise them into everyday life, sand off the rough edges, work them into practical exercises.)