That NYT article that got everyone talking

Jonathan Alpert’s April New York Times article caused quite a stir, but it further underscored his convictions.

Several months ago, I wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled “In Therapy Forever? Enough Already.” In it, I came down hard on my profession — arguing that people get stuck in therapy, and in many cases the therapist is to blame. I urged people who are in therapy and not getting better to move on.

The reaction to the article was polarizing. Within hours, I had dozens of people calling my office wanting to be my patient. By week’s end, I had received more than 60 such calls — and to this day, I still get calls stemming from the article. I was invited to speak to organizations and was discussed on major media outlets, including “The Today Show.”

I was also harshly criticized by hundreds of therapists — many of whom publicly lied and said I don’t have a degree or license — and they also sent threatening letters. Some of the e-mails I got included comments such as: “Go to hell.” “The article is dangerous.” “You’re going to ruin our business model.” And a Forbes blogger used the salacious headline: “Jonathan Alpert’s Misstatements and Possible Misconduct.” An NYU commencement speaker also made negative remarks about me.

This experience reinforced what I have long believed: If you feel strongly about something, then stick to it. Do not panic, jump to conclusions or cast aspersions on the naysayers. Doing so will only weaken your original message and make you look bad.  

My experience with the aftermath reminded me of what a lot of my patients deal with: fear of criticism. I see it in many aspects of peoples’ lives.

Alpert’s advice

Here’s how to deal with criticism:
   
Focus on what you believe in and what you did right. Had I taken to heart the criticism that I received from my New York Times piece, it would have brought me down. Instead, I focused on the praise I received. Doing this helped to diminish the negative comments and keep me focused on what’s most important: my views and beliefs.

Speak your mind. Don’t be deterred by opposing views or criticism. Doing so will make you weaker, not stronger. Know what you believe in and stand firm.

Accept the notion that there will be some people who love you and others who don’t. You can’t please everybody.

Change your self-talk. Instead of thinking, “I can’t deal with this,” or “Maybe they are right about me,” think: “I am strong and can roll with the punches” and “Others don’t define me; I define me.”

– Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. His book, “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” is available now. E-mail him your questions at jonathan@jonathanalpert.com
.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.