Image for post
Image for post

Therapy is for Libtards!

Josh Felser
Dec 15, 2016 · 5 min read

Yes this post is about therapy for founders :), but I had a twitter exchange on therapy with Sean Hannity that actually inspired me to write this post. In a bid to understand my country better, I started following some Trump supporters on Twitter. I added Sean Hannity and then commented on a post in which he jokingly appeared to demean therapy after a slightly inappropriate reply from a “liberal”. As you can see below, I replied.

Image for post
Image for post

and then Sean replied to me.

Image for post
Image for post

I am reading into Sean’s reply a bit with my title (stole “libtard” from a Hannity supporter who also replied) but I think it’s a great launchpad for a discussion on why more founders aren’t getting therapy. There is nothing more stressful, in business, than founding and running a startup. It’s all-consuming and runs roughshod over relationships, friendships, marriages, family, colleagues and everything that isn’t the startup. Since therapy can make us better people, better CEOs and founders, save our relationships and actually get us through the debilitating stress, why aren’t more of us leveraging it. My recent Twitter poll asked this very question.

The first two responses are definitely related. If founders could visualize the power of therapy, they would move mountains to make the time. So here is my top 10 list of therapy benefits for founders:

  1. Safe harbor. Legally protected, safe place for you to say whatever you want without fear of social media or judgement. Just think about this.

So the spoiler is I started therapy 10 years ago (once a week), right after I sold my company. Outside of maybe, Burning Man, therapy has been the most important “platform” for change in my life. I just wish someone had compelled me to try therapy when I needed it most, while running the two startups I co-founded. Good therapists don’t need to understand your business or your role, they just need to understand you.

As Hannity says, real people who work hard don’t have the luxury of therapy. It’s precisely these over-worked, over-achieving founders who need therapy the most. I know time is money and money is money but good therapy has an almost priceless ROI. You won’t ever know unless you give it a try. You’d be surprised how many of your friends and colleagues will come out of the closet and admit seeing a shrink when you do. Make therapy your New Year’s Resolution not because you should but because you must. Have a wonderful holiday break, though I suspect many of you will just be working.

Finding a good therapist can be time-consuming. The best recommendations typically come from people you know and respect and IMHO F2F is the ideal medium, but since many of us are impatient, anti-social and love tech, you might want to try these online resources. In full disclosure I have used none of the services below. This article discusses pros and cons of online therapy.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store