Man Up | Ep. 188 • May 26, 2017
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or over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D., has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their dating and love lives.
Once a nerdy, skinny professor of Asian philosophy who couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life, David is now director of Aura Transformation Corp., and a world renowned dating and life coach. Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, including AXN, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore. Formerly a professor at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Tian is actively researching, speaking, and publishing in the areas of philosophy and psychology.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man,” is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in The Man Up private Facebook group and answers based on his experience Coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
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David Tian: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video, I answer the question: Do you need therapy? Welcome to Man Up Episode 188.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hey. I’m David Tian, PhD., and for over the past 10 years, I have been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness, and fulfillment in life and love; and welcome to Man Up Episode 188.
We are here in Bali. A beautiful resort. You see behind me the beach and so on. I’ve got a question here from Joshua.
“Feeling depressed today, and to add to it, just got into a huge fight with the wifey, really over me not being able to express myself clearly. I’ve got my issues. My question: Has anyone ever gone to therapist before? How did it help? Years ago, I mistakenly went to a psychiatrist thinking it was the same as a therapy and they tried to throw me in the loony bin because of some depression so I ran out of there, and I have pursued professional help since. Seriously contemplating searching again.”
Alright, cool. This is a quickie question. I’m choosing a quickie question because we gotta get down there.
So Joshua, this is really easy, and for all the guys out there, I’ve been saying this for a very long time, but I want to make this even clearer: Yes, everybody should have a therapist if you can afford it. It’s the most amazing luxury.
You know, about 30 or 40 years from now, it will be seen as one of those things… Like right now, if you have the money, why wouldn’t you have a personal trainer at the gym, instead of you having to run through your own…
I mean, if you could have Mr. Olympia be your trainer, depending on what your goal is, you know, weightlifting or whatever, be like the champion gold medalist in whatever goal you want, and he’s your personal coach at the gym spotting you, telling you how many reps… I mean, that’s amazing. Why wouldn’t you do it? You would if you had the money.
And people are just stupid about the mind. They are just naive about the mind. And that’s because of the old economy.
Well, the new economy is going to force it on them and it’s going to be a much more rapid development.
Maybe 20 years from now, it’ll be quite commonplace for everyone to want to get a therapist just like now everyone – if they could afford it – if they want to get fast results in whatever area of their life, would find a one-on-one coach; same with the mind, getting a one-on-one coach for your mind.
Soon, I think the school system should be abolished and you would have… If you had the money and from that money, you just hire all the top people one-on-one to teach you and your children one-on-one if you could, or a small group.
So, why wouldn’t you for your mind? And it’s an amazing luxury to have somebody who has spent their entire career focused on how to help people with mental health, focused just on you for that hour. You can ask whatever questions you want.
You can emote all you want and that person is there for you, and you can monopolize that time for yourself. That’s sounds something you can do with a friend. Don’t ever turn a friend into a therapist.
That’s just a bad idea. A lot of people are like, “Oh, I don’t need therapy. I got friends. I got my sister” or some shit. That’s pathetic. That’s like saying, “I don’t need a trainer. I’ve got my fat brother.” You know what I mean?
This person is not trained, is not a mental health professional, unless your sister happens to be a therapist. But even then, I think she might be too close and not objective enough.
So, if you can afford it, it’s around 150 to 200 an hour I think on average, depending on where you live and so on and how good of a therapist you’re looking for. But if you can afford it, yes, by all means do it.
Otherwise, I’d find group coaching, like group therapy has been proven to work in addiction therapies and things like that.
I would recommend that you do that. I think everyone should get, if you could. I mean, I’ve had in my prime as an academic, I had seven one-on-one tutors in the week, and I just saw them for an hour or two, or three hours, at various times of the week.
That was an awesome dream, just having all of those minds at my disposal. So, I constantly seek out therapy, and coaching, and all kinds of ways of improving myself. Therapy is just another awesome way to do it.
And I think, in fact, it’s one of the most effective ways. But you have to commit to it.
So the next question is going to be… Well, actually, let me just address something he’s got there: a psychiatrist or a psychologist?
Psychiatrists are going to hate me right now, but a lot of the rap I’ve heard about – like, the bad rap that psychiatrists get is deserved.
Like, I have friends who are psychiatrists, but they are very specialized and they know what they can do.
The thing is, a psychiatrist goes through medical school, and that’s a lot of time, and that’s a lot of brain space; and then they tack onto that some psychotherapy or understanding of psychology.
A lot of what they are doing – they are trained to basically find out what ailment you have in the textbook and then medicate you for that. That’s why Joshua here had a bad experience, because if he goes in saying, “I’m depressed”, they’re going to medicate you.
That’s going to be one of the first things they do. And they are just trying to manage symptoms instead of getting to the root. Psychiatrists don’t like thinking about childhood issues because that actually will undermine the work the work that they need to do, which is to prescribe shit.
So, I haven’t had good experience personally with seeing psychiatrists and my psychiatrist friends will bug me for that, but dude, man, you know the truth.
Psychiatry is effective in specific context, but in terms of just general “I want to be better. I want to have more power and more energy. I want to be more vulnerable and have power of that, and have fewer fears and anxiety”, then get a therapist if you can afford it.
If you can’t do it every week, you might want to do it once every two weeks or once a month. I think once a month is minimum, especially if you’re starting out, you should probably commit to once a week for like two months, and then you can start to assess how much more time you want to put into it; maybe once a month instead.
So, I address the psychiatrist vs. psychologist issue, and then the issue about, “How do you get the most out of it?” It’s a long-term solution.
It’s not a quick fix. Therapy won’t quickly fix you on anything, really. You’ve got to commit to it.
And depending on if you come to it with a specific problem, it can be handled in like two months or a month. But ideally, you would have it for six months, or you could commit to it for a year, or two years, or three year; or ideally for life.
If money is the only issue, why wouldn’t you? If you could get rid of the money issue by making more money, then why wouldn’t you just keep it going for life?
But obviously, it’s harder to get somebody to commit for life or something, so having a two-month minimum period of trying it out is a good way to go. But I would commit to it for six months and see some real results.
It’s sort of like somebody who wants to go to a workout. It’s the same thing. You’re working it out your heart, your mind.
But if somebody comes to you, “I want to get in shape but I only want to do it for two months.” You’ll be like, don’t even bother, right? Or if they’re like, “I want to get in shape but I want to do it for only one months and then not do it again.”
And then it’s just like, don’t even bother. It’s a waste of time. You’re just going to suffer for a month, maybe get some kind of results, but if you don’t keep it up and if it’s not part of your lifestyle, you’re just going to go back to your baseline.
So, it’s the same with the mind; it’s the same with the heart; it’s the same with your emotions. You’ve got to make it part of your lifestyle and part of your long-term change and long-term personality.
So, if you don’t do that, then you might as well not start. But I think everyone should have it.
A lot of the successful people in the world that I know, the richest people I know have coaches who sort of act as therapist, or have full-on therapy; and some of them have multiple therapists.
One great way to do it is to go on PsychologyToday.com, and they have a directory of therapists in America. Otherwise, you can just Google. And the last thing I’m going to leave you with is something to look for in your psychologist.
Look for somebody whose background you share. One of the issues I’ve discovered is – I’ve got some good psychologists that I’ve worked with when I was at the University of Michigan, and they were great.
I had two different psychologists there, and then when I went to Asia, I ran into a lot of problems finding a good psychologist because we had very different value systems – as you’ll see in some of the episodes where I answered guys from Singapore, their questions.
Some of their value systems were incredibly judgmental about sexuality.
Like, “Oh, you’re dating a girl who is much younger than you? Oh, I don’t know about this.” And I’m like, “What’s wrong with that? I don’t understand. What is wrong with dating a girl who is younger than you?” “Oh, it’s just wrong.” Right? This is not therapy, you know.
It became like toxic, in fact. So I’ve met several therapists in Singapore who were not effective for cool people, for modern people. It really depends, and if you mix with them well in terms of your values and your background.
Get somebody who understands your background. For me, that’s Canadian, it’s somebody who was raised in Canada but also of Chinese origin; so somebody who is open to Asian things. But also, I’m a very sexualized nature.
I’m very open and comfortable with my sexuality. I need somebody like that too, who is not under the weight of a lot of sexual shame, like many of these Asian cultures are. So, I basically just – you can basically just Google that.
You can start to find your way out from there. Or like I said, group therapy is really great. If you’re in the US, I don’t know that there are No More Mr. Nice Guy group sessions, and you might find one of those local chapters and go and attend some of those, see if something comes out of that.
I personally have not actually personally attended any group therapy, but I know and the research shows that it’s effective as well. That’s an easier way if you don’t want to spend the money or you want to dip your toes in the water and try it out.
But yeah man, everybody should have… So, one of the big problems with the ‘macho masculinity’, is that they are afraid to admit that they have problems, and they are too arrogant and stupid, like naive, to realize that they need some training for the mind and from the heart.
It’s all in the brain, by the way, right? So, to train the brain in terms of emotions.
One of the best long-term solutions is therapy. I would also throw in there meditation. These are two easy ways to go. If you’ve got therapy and meditation, you’re going a long way towards success.
So, there you go. Everyone should get therapy. I know it’s gotten a bad rap, that word, especially for dudes who want to be macho and they have shame around admitting they have problems; they are stupid… Just kidding.
I totally get it, man. In fact, instead, I’ve been using the word ‘counselling’, but by ‘counselling’, I actually mean therapy. I’m just using a euphemism for therapy, counselling.
So there you go. Look it up. Find a good therapist. Try it out. Usually, the first session will be free. And if you feel like the person is matching you in terms of your background and your values, go for it.
But commit to at least two months, if not six months thinking you’re going to see it pay off six months later.
What are they supposed to be doing? They are leading you through emotional change, and that’s going to be hard emotionally for people, dudes, who aren’t used to feeling.
It’s deep, man. It is deep, the psychology, and most guys know maybe 5% of what they ought to know.
I’m chomping at the bit to do longer videos where I reveal a lot more of the psychology. I do that for the guys in the paid program, but I’m so busy right now with our paid coaching programs that I haven’t had the time to sit down and do it for the free stuff, but it’s coming up.
It’s coming up maybe in a few months, a couple of months.
But for now, I’m going to enjoy this. This is beautiful. We’re going to down, down to the beach there. Alright, man. It’s David Tian.
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