In a developing story out of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Leila Marcuso is lying to her therapist in order to avoid the inevitable result of more therapy.
“I know that you’re supposed to be totally honest in therapy for it to work,” says Leila. “But I feel like for now it’s better if Dr. Powell thinks I’m doing okay so she stops pushing me to do two sessions a week.”
While Leila recently recovered a childhood memory that may be imperative to her present day issues with trust and self-esteem, she’s disinclined to get into it with her psychotherapist who she is seeing for this very reason.
“Somehow I had totally forgotten about that Easter when I didn’t get any chocolate and when I asked why, my mom told me that the Easter Bunny died from disappointment when I left dirty dishes in the sink,” Leila says. “I kept that one to myself.”
“It could relate to my tendency to catastrophize and take on undeserved blame in relationships, but I’m not really sure, and I’m definitely not going to find out, because I don’t have the time, money, or mental energy for more therapy.”
Though Leila initially decided to withhold only one truth from her therapist, the method was so effective, she is now considering it a viable approach to psychoanalysis and life in general.
“When I don’t tell my therapist things that happened or what I’m really thinking or feeling, I don’t have to spend more time in therapy talking about it,” says Leila. “But if I don’t tell myself things that happened or what I’m really feeling, then I don’t even have to deal with it at all! Wow.”
The method, however, has its detractors.
“What is the point of doing therapy if you’re not going to be honest?” says Leila’s partner, Alix Reuben. “She’ll straight up tell me things that she won’t tell to her therapist; it should be the other way around.”
But Leila doesn’t see it that way.
“Therapy is great when you don’t tell the truth,” she says. “You get to make your therapist happy that you’re improving, and then no bunny is disappointed. I mean, nobody. I’m doing great actually!”