A furry look at lockdown vibes and finding therapy
by Patch O'Furr
Fun is good for you. Furries know it. Get a fursona and have fun with art, stories, role play, or putting on a carpet and doing silly voices. How about news reporting with a silly voice that makes dogs flip their heads to the side? (I was on a podcast this week.)
Sick of lockdown? More than ever, people need fun to stay well, but options are limited: “The pandemic has evaporated entire categories of friendship, and by doing so, depleted the joys that make up a human life—and buoy human health.“
You can talk to people online, but social media has bad vibes that are hard to ignore. Expecting bad ideas to get neutralized by good ideas is a bad idea at this point. Stoking them can turn into mass hysteria. Or mega-hysteria. (Megascale is a thing now, but here’s some history:)
OK, I don’t think soldiers should come whip people for meowing (kinky) but there are problems that don’t get fixed with meowing back.
Speaking of mass hysteria, look how a thing like QAnon jumped from online to real life. It’s the conspiracy theory about satan-worshipping pedo-cannibals ruling the world from a “Deep State” who were supposed to get rounded up by the Messiah Trump. What a sentence. I’m just a talking dog, but that doesn’t sound healthy. I have no idea what those people are doing now, but they might need help to come back down to earth.
Sometimes you need professional help.
This started with a friend having the idea of a therapist finder for furries, because if you are one, you might prefer someone who gets your reality. Think of professionals who get common LGBT issues and won’t judge role-playing. I gathered some comments about this.
I'm a therapist! Feel free to reach out!
— FuzzyFin #BlackLivesMatter (@TheFuzzyFin) February 15, 2021
Anon furry tip:
I have a counselor who’s been very open and accepting about the whole ‘furry’ thing, though it took several years to come up. We also spoke about it in the context of something else, and so I ended up talking about how I entered the fandom, what my initial experiences were, and how early interactions shaped me (both positively and negatively). There were a few questions they had to ask more than once, but overall I feel like the fact that they hadn’t known anything about the fandom previously was a big help. I had a similarly positive experience with a hypnotherapist. Oddly enough, both of them were professionals who’d decided to train as counselors later in life.
For therapists with furry clients, from Furscience, via MythicalRedFox:
I was just thinking the other day how it’d be nice to have a therapist that is a furry. Getting a therapist up to speed on furry context has always been a barrier. There is this: Clinical Interaction with Anthropomorphic Phenomenon: Notes for Health Professionals about Interacting with Clients Who Possess This Unusual Identity.
Finding help online might not be as easy as you think, says Furscience:
A big challenge is the restriction on therapists to practice only in the state they are licensed.
— Furscience! (@furscience) February 15, 2021
A caveat from Hero of None:
I don’t know many furry therapists, but I’ve certainly seen several that aren’t. Discords and Telegram chats, just like twitter, are not good places to discuss mental health issues, especially in “anonymous” help channels. Always seek accredited & professional therapists! I think we’re both familiar with at least one furry group that promotes said ‘help’ to furries, just to boost their membership numbers and with no accredited therapists on its constantly shifting staff list. =\
Reassurance from Horrible Horse and more furries:
This reminds me of work with my therapist, where we’ve discussed Furry Fandom often; everything from him having a little knowledge about BLFC to my unadulterated joy at Foxtrot (furry dance), how Furry helped me embrace my gayness, and how anthro deer are the epitome of men I find attractive.
I have a sex therapist too. He's the most understanding one I've ever met regarding Furry culture.
— Scrimno (@Scrimno) February 16, 2021
That’s a good start… but what would therapy be like for various animals?
- Therapy dog: “Nobody ever asks how *I* feel…”
- Housecat: “I get in trouble for sleeping around.”
- Owl: “It feels like I’m always watching my back”.
- Groundhog: “I can’t get one day for myself without people expecting things from me.”
- Porcupine: “I’m working on less prickly relationships.”
- Sheep: “Is it OK if I’m attracted to farmers and Scottish people?”
- Bear: “My parents were overbearing and I’m learning not to panda to them.”
- Cow: “I’m getting help for a moo disorder.”
Tomorrow, check out what Fuzzyfin has to say about being a furry therapist!
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