These days, it seems like ANYONE and EVERYONE is in therapy. Whether it be the overly stressed out office worker or the A-List celebrity dealing with the pressures of fame and dog kidnappings, it’s almost as if therapy is the new trend. We’re all guilty of pawning our friend or significant other onto therapy when we can’t take their shit anymore and because of that BIG Therapy is thriving today more than ever. There’s even therapy for pets for crying out loud! You bring your dog Charlie in for grooming and he walks out with a prescription for Prozac. Pets on Prozac; strange times. 

When did this shift in demand for therapy happen? Before the internet, you’d never see an infomercial on TV for therapy but now there's a whole ecosystem of TikTok therapists out there, spewing generalized, unfiltered advice in your algorithm whether you like it or not. Therapy: “The new ShamWow for your mental health, and if you CALL NOW you’ll get two sessions for the price of one!” 

Sure, therapy can be a great way to unload your worries and gain a fresh perspective but it’s not a magic cure-all. Especially if the therapist is working from home. If I wanted life advice from someone with their pants off, I’d go to a Catholic church. Afterall, I’m a comedian and God only knows the mental baggage I carry around growing up with a mom from Ireland whose accent sounds like Conor McGregor’s telling me, “You’ll do nuttin’!” all my life… Now, don’t get me wrong, by no means am I downplaying the seriousness of mental health issues in society.

All one has to do is take a stroll down Colfax to see Denver’s version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. But why does it seem like the people who need therapy the most don’t have access to it? The answer in short: money. The average cost of a therapy session in the U.S. is anywhere from $100-$200 depending on the state with a total of $280 billion spent in the past year on mental health services in the U.S. alone. Think about that the next time you see a panhandler with a sign that says “Anything helps.” 

Look, if you have serious issues, then by all means therapy may be the right choice. But too often people think they need therapy because they’re feeling a little anxious or overwhelmed. I’m guilty of it. A younger Brad once went to a therapist seeking this grandiose Robin Williams from Good Will Hunting experience only to be asked by said therapist how many times I masturbate a day on our first session. ”How ‘bout dem apples?” 
The answer is twice in case you were wondering. 

I think it’s safe to take a step back and say what therapy really is for some people: a privileged form of self indulgence. Yup, therapy has turned into just another commodity for the folks who can afford it, like golf, skiing, or anal bleaching, instead of a service for the folks that really need it. At the end of the day, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and like life just isn’t dealing you the best hand, then by all means, please seek the help you need. My advice is to take a breather and think about what you really need. Maybe it’s a good friend to talk to, a few days off to recharge, or maybe even attend a comedy show one night for some laughs—like mine called Tokes & Jokes on March 19th at Ant Life in Denver.

Big Brad’s Alternative activities to Therapy 

1. Start a conspiracy theory
Distract yourself from your old problems by inventing new ones. 

2. Start a cult 
Nothing helps solve your problems quite like being surrounded by people who believe in your every word. 

3. Hire a life coach for your pet 
They may not be able to vocalize it, but they have problems too. 

4. Yell at a wall
It’s a great way to get your frustrations off your chest without offending anyone.

5. Run for president 
It’s the ultimate distraction from your own problems. Plus, who knows, you may even win!