In the middle of a therapy session, another psychiatrist suddenly became inflamed over something I said, and he started screaming at me. Then he got a grip on himself, apologized, and gave me a soliloquy about how I had triggered the memory of something his father had said to him when he was a kid. Some psychiatrists are pretty screwed up themselves!
But the good psychotherapists I've seen have helped me live a better emotional life. They've helped me work through personal crises, validated the good things in my life, and helped me help myself. They've understood that their job isn't to direct my behavior, but to help me explore my own emotional problems and solutions. They've been a tremendous help to me in my journey toward happiness.
While researching this book, I interviewed one of the top psychiatrists in New York, Dr. Richard Rosenthal of St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center. He has an enormous track record of clinical experience treating thousands of patients. I'd never met him before. He bounded out of his office to greet me with a huge smile on his face and he seemed to crackle with positive energy.
As we sat down to talk, I was struck by how open, enthusiastic, and nonjudgmental he was about his work, and about my emotions and my ideas. It struck me that a big reason he was so successful in his work is that he comes across like a powerfully positive life coach, someone who would really be your champion. "The next time I feel the need to formally consult a psychiatrist," I thought, "this is exactly the kind of doctor I'd want to talk to." I think that's the kind of doctor you should try to find if you need one.