I'm Starting to Think There's Something Wrong With My New Therapist


I am pleased to report that after four years out of therapy I recently had a first session with a new therapist. I’m excited to begin the process of confronting my demons and improving my mental health and quality of life but I do have some reservations about my new shrink. Namely, I’m worried that my therapist is trying to turn me into Batman villain The Joker.

I tried to be open and honest with my therapist, leaving out only the elements of my life that might possibly make her think less of me and she delivered what seemed to me to be a very curious diagnosis. 

With a crazed gleam in her eye, my therapist told me that I was out of my goddamn mind and that she fucking loved it. She saw her job as “fanning the flames of my beautiful insanity” and told me that her conception of the perfect patient/therapist relationship was the Joker and Harley Quinn. 

This was only one of many troubling references to the Dark Knight. Early in our session, for example, my therapist excitedly told me that if I really applied myself and overcame some of my bad habits I could be a walking Joker meme or even, under the right training, “the new Joker.” I don’t know whether she meant I could be like Joker as portrayed in the new Joaquin Phoenix movie, who seems to be pretty pathetic and sad, or the Joker in real life but it became distressingly clear that my new shrink clearly thought that the Joker was a real person, and wanted me to emulate his psychotic ways. 


“Have you ever thought about teaming up with Killer Croc or The Riddler? If you worked together, you could defeat Batman” she suggested more than once. I protested that I had not, as they were fictional super villains and I live in reality, but she just kept pushing me to admit that I hated The Batman as much as she did and that my ultimate goal must be to best him in hand to hand combat.

“Look. I’m going to be upfront with you here: I will do anything to aid the Clown Prince of Crime in his sinister and often criminal endeavors, including giving my own life if need be. And I accept insurance” my therapist confidently insisted. Her obsession with “The Batman” felt extremely unprofessional. 

“Why so serious?” she asked three or four times. “Because I’m discussing formative childhood traumas, I guess?” was inevitably my straight-faced reply. 

I was more than a little alarmed when she ended our first session by insisting, “Looking over my notes, it sounds like you basically just want to watch the world burn and also will stop at nothing to stop the Batman. That makes sense. Those are the only sane objectives in this insane world.” 

Then she cackled for a few minutes.  


I told her she was wrong, that I wanted to be less fearful and procrastinate less and get over my intense fear of rejection rather than delight in the world’s frenzied destruction. But she just kept insisting that Batman was my real problem, and that until I destroyed him I would remain psychologically frozen, unable to function in society.

I was something close to horrified when my new therapist suggested that we rob banks together as a “trust exercise” and if one of us got caught and didn’t snitch on the other, then we’d know that we trusted each other enough to have a successful doctor-patient relationship. I can’t say I was surprised, either, when she suggested that I dress up like a clown and wear white faceprint and red lipstick during our crimes, either. 


Though she insisted it was “just a good look” and “something that has worked in the past”, this of course fit snugly into her fierce determination to make me the new Joker. 

I told her that I had no intention of becoming the Clown Prince of Crime, that my mental health goals had nothing to do with taking over Gotham City’s criminal underworld and everything to do with and everything to do with behaving in less self-defeating and counter-productive ways but she still prescribed me with something called “Jokeritis” for which the only cure is “actually becoming the Joker.” 


As I write this I am wearing a purple velvet suit, wearing pancake makeup and lipstick and planning a bank robbery alongside my new shrink/partner in crime. I am such a fucking follower. I know this is a mistake, but my new therapist is just so strong-willed that I’m going along with it anyway. 

You know, I thought only good things could come of me going back into therapy but I may be wrong because this really does not feel remotely right, nor does it feel even a little bit therapeutic. 

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