When I first started out as a mental health therapist, I found that I had several clients who were truckers. Quickly, I realized that my clients were unable to keep appointments because they were out on the road. Therapy was quickly ineffective for them.
I also had clients who would take weeks off work (usually unpaid, of course) so they were able to see me for weekly office visits. This was also not very helpful to the client.
I knew there needed to be a more effective means to help the truckers. After a great deal of thought, I remembered my skills of volunteering at a crisis hotline (more than 500 hours). I started networking with the trucking community by leaving business cards at truck stops and through word of mouth. Then, Twitter and Facebook started to become more popular. Now, I’m proud to say that I talk with truckers every day who are seeking help, as well having casual conversations over Facebook and Twitter.
Not only do truckers suffer from having great difficulty accessing therapy and other healthcare, but there are many problems related to the profession itself. For example, truckers have a high rate of depression related to the isolation of being out on the road for days and weeks on-end. Because most people are social creatures, the isolation of driving a truck can really take a toll on one’s mental health. Also, relationship problems are very frequent, as well. It is very difficult to keep a relationship going when one is away from home for extended periods of time. As there are more arguments and/or isolation with the trucker’s loved ones, life becomes more and more stressful. Dispatchers, receivers, and all of the four wheelers on the road only compound the stress.
What is Trucker Therapy? Trucker Therapy uses phone and Skype so the trucker can stay on the road and improve themselves at the same time. Couples can also work on their relationship, either with teams or when the trucker is on the road and the other is at home. For couples that are away from one another, I use conference calls and/or Skype. For those who are passing through, visits are also available in my Lafayette, Indiana office. Anger, Stress, and Relationships are the primary focus of trucker therapy, but many other issues may be discussed.
Trucker Therapy is only part of what I do. I also work in private practice where I see people in my office for anger management, anxiety, and couples therapy. I am also active in the community by giving trainings to other healthcare providers and the general public on these topics.