50 Minutes

“Only fifty minutes?” other people asked. I shrugged.

Therapy sessions are 50 minutes. They’ve been like that for a long time. It’s just because. There’s no need to question it.

I think people underestimate how much can be discussed in a fifty-minute time span. I’ve noticed that when I don’t have much to talk about it goes long, and when I do have a lot to talk about it’s really short and over before I know it. And sometimes it’s the opposite.

Sometimes a lot of things are discussed, and other times we may sit in silence for about a minute.

It’s all free will in therapy sessions. And it’s not necessarily difficult to open up; usually I want to run from those I’ve opened up to because I dislike it when people know too much about me. I hate labels and being labeled, because it makes me feel like I’m confined to just that, and even if that’s not the case I still hate it.

So I often run away, and I hate going back to live in the same place for the second or third time. I admit it.

If I had the money and was able to be independent and self-reliant, I would have ran away by now. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not stable and able to be independent specifically for that reason, but it’s still a pain because I’m judged for being “lazy” and not even trying to be independent. Little do they know, they’re actually pushing me away because of their idea of what’s best for me, which is a mere excuse to shape me into the mold they want me to be.

Maybe I want to move many states away so I can run, too. What if it’s true? Even if it is, it won’t change anything. The south is so draining. Staying in it for the rest of my life is the least I want to do.

I guess therapy seems so easy because my therapist is great and therapy is like a spoken blog post or a post that only goes to one person. And it feels helpful because it’s a professional who knows what they’re doing. And it makes me feel less crazy, like I’m not making it all up as I go like some people make me feel.

And she’s paid to stay. She can’t leave or run away in a flash and never look back.

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Comments on this post

Erin Nicole’s gravatar

50 minutes is perfect time. Not quite an hour so for the days where you have nothing to say it still goes by quick and it isn’t too short for those days where you have a lot to say.

I can understand not liking to be labeled or judged but we, as humans, judge people. Our first impressions are judgements on what we see on the outside of people. So even if you don’t WANT to be labeled/judged you are going to be. That is just a fact which you have to live with.

Liz’s gravatar

I’m aware it’s something that will happen anyway. That wasn’t the point. No need to lecture.

Vivian’s gravatar

I’ve been doing therapy for a while, and 50 minutes almost seems too long for me, haha. I talk really fast, and my therapist is great about sitting back and listening instead of trying to talk over me… so I usually end up finishing everything I wanted to discuss by the 30-minute mark.

I share your sentiment about wanting to move away from the South – we actually live in the same state. The only thing keeping me here is pretty much the money – the cost of living is really low here so I can get my on a low salary. I want to move somewhere like San Francisco or New York and reinvent myself, but I would starve to death in those cities with the salary I’m making now. Even if everyone else thinks it’s not the “best” option for you, I really encourage you to move away in the future. You sound like to need it, to be free and have a chance to experience the world without being held down by others’ expectations and past impressions of you. Best of luck! <3

jessica’s gravatar

I can definitely see the benefits of therapy sessions only being 50 minutes. 🙂 Personally, I would be stressing that I wouldn’t have anything to say for a whole hour. But sometimes it is difficult to come up with something to say for even a couple of minutes.

I imagine that the best thing about therapy is that you have a person who will actually sit and listen to your thoughts and opinions, someone who won’t just get up and walk away. 🙂

Alice’s gravatar

*hugs* I understand what you mean about disliking labels and when people know too much about you, although obviously our situations are probably very different. Wanting to escape is such a familiar feeling but knowing that (a hypothetical) you just can’t because of money and trusting yourself as an adult (ha ha) just feels… entrapping, I suppose. I’m glad that you’re comfortable with having a therapist–a “spoken blog post,” like you said, which sounds super helpful. 😀

Amy’s gravatar

Fifty minutes does sound really short, but I think it’s also ridiculously long when you’re under pressure or don’t have anything to say. I think getting a set time for something so personal and different for each individual is always going to get one reaction or the other. I don’t think you can put a perfect time span on anything like that.

Glad that therapy seems to be going well for you. Hope you’re doing okay

Christine’s gravatar

When I was in middle school I saw a therapist (it was part of a court ordered decision) and 50 minutes was just great. You really can say a lot and do a lot of listening if need be. As for becoming self-reliant, I think just by doing good things for yourself (therapy, being healthy, opening up on your blog) you’ve already taken steps towards doing just that. It’s unfortunate that others don’t see that.

Joy’s gravatar

I don’t think the length of time is important, more or less. Sometimes it’s comforting knowing that there is someone who is going to listen to whatever it is you have to say or feel.

Stephanie’s gravatar

Having been to a couple sessions with counselors before, I’d say that 50 minutes is for the most part, a good amount of time. I’m glad that the sessions are working out for you so far!

At some point, you’ll definitely have the independence to get away. Either that, or people in the south will begin to be more educated. But since the latter can take decades, the first will probably happen.