A Therapist Goes to Therapy

Because talking to myself in the mirror didn’t work

Johnzelle Anderson
5 min readJul 25


Photo by Finn on Unsplash

I’ve been a therapist for eight years and I often tell folx, “Don’t trust a therapist who hasn’t been to therapy.”

I’ve been to counseling intermittently since I was first diagnosed with panic disorder in 2012. I had been seeing my last therapist for over four years until I had to fire her in February.

Since that relationship ended, I continued managing my anxiety with medication, exercise, and lots of writing and reading.

I was maintaining some sense of stability.

In the past few months, a series of events disrupted this stability and I’ve found myself overwhelmed.

Going to the gym, writing my memoir, journaling, and yoga have helped, but I needed something more.

Don’t trust a therapist who hasn’t been to therapy.

While I believe in therapy, I don’t think you need to attend nonstop to live a healthy life, but when life delivered that sucker punch, I figured I should practice what I preach and start counseling again.

The search begins

Finding a therapist is hard! I know this because my clients tell me so.

I’ve called over 20 therapists and you’re the only person to return my call!

Hearing this is bittersweet. It’s nice to be appreciated for having good manners and returning calls but it’s also infuriating to know that my fellow therapists are not always doing right by people.

I imagine the folx who, in their darkest moments, put themselves out there by leaving a voicemail for a therapist only to be ignored. Therapists like that are negligent and it’s concerning that they can sleep at night.

Finding my last therapist was easy because I was referred directly. This time, I was starting from scratch and, given that my last therapy relationship ended due to racial insensitivity, I was adamant about finding a Black therapist this time.

Imagine my shock when I called several Black therapists only to never get a call back.

My clients were not exaggerating. It’s hard out here!



Johnzelle Anderson