A life on the road can be a lonely one. Even the most dedicated relationships become tested when you’re unable to make it home often, schedules are tough and demanding, seeking comfort from family or friends is rare when you are unable to see them consistently, and general feelings of isolation can nibble at your toes until eventually the leather of your shoes are worn thin. Patience gets worn thin as well. Anger, stress and frustration can run rampant for both truck drivers and their families. In these cases, therapy is a much-needed solution to combat the issues that commonly arise on the road. However, it’s nearly impossible for a lot of drivers to be able to make and keep their appointments with professionals or they just don’t take the steps necessary to heal.
Buck Black is a licensed clinical social worker as well as a licensed clinical addictions counselor who saw the extreme need for truck drivers to receive the therapy in the industry and actually created a service that would accommodate the needs of a busy driver. In 2009, he launched Trucker Therapy, as a way to help truckers and their families with flexible meetings via phone, Skype, or multi-line conference calling.
The need for therapy in trucking
Black began practicing his counseling career specializing in relationship issues, marriage counseling, couples counseling, anger management, depression, sexual problems, and substance abuse. Based out of Indiana, where truck driving is one of the primary professions for residents, Black began to notice that a great number of his clients were in the transport industry. He also saw that truck drivers shared many common themes in their visits and also had difficulty being able to keep their appointments because of their grueling schedules. Black saw the need for therapy solutions for truck drivers after witnessing many of them have loss of income or just battling their problems without seeking the help they need.
“Helping truckers is my priority because they are so important to all of us, if we realize it or not. Remember, if you’ve got it, a trucker brought it! Its also important to remember that truckers lack access to the basic services that most of us take for granted. So, I am doing everything I can to help improve the quality of life for truckers and their families,” says Buck Black on his website.
Truck drivers are subject to many sacrifices in their line of work. In return for their long and tiring hauls, their health and relationships get strained. The #1 problem Black sees through his trucker therapy is the relationship problems that arise through long-distance. Communication issues, feelings of loneliness, and depression rear their ugly head on the road. Additionally, Trucker Therapy sessions are significantly more affordable than traditional therapy sessions, are able to be booked for an initial consultation within two-business days (compared to weeks for most other therapy appointments), and serves as a more viable option for drivers who can’t just take time off the road.
“Many of my nicest clients are drivers,” Buck Black told AllTruckJobs.com, “they’ve taught me a lot about appreciation—everything we have come from a truck.” For Black, the most rewarding part of the job is the follow-ups he has with patients where he can see that drivers have overcomes their rough patches and are leading happy lives. Hearing the success stories of clients he was able to help or that careers were saved or family connections made stronger is the best perk of them all. Even in Black’s office where he sees clients from all walks of life, one-third of them are truck drivers.
What drivers should know about their mental health:
- It’s crucial to be mindful of your overall health, both physically and mentally.
- In the long run, it only hurts you to refuse to seek help. (Don’t be embarrassed or think that you’re alone.)
- Families of drivers can also benefit from counseling.
- Consulting with someone doesn’t necessarily mean paying a therapist to talk. Talking with friends, loved ones, etc. can be helpful, too.
- Don’t ever underestimate the difficulties of your work.
Trucking can be one of the most rewarding careers sometimes. However, it can also be hard on people, physically and mentally. It’s important for drivers to understand the vital role their job plays in the industry and that asking for help during tough times is not only okay, but it can be save your career or even your life. It also should be noted that paid therapy isn’t the only way to improve mental health or overcome some of the personal challenges that happen on the road. Just opening up and talking to a trusted person can help you get over many personal hurtles.
For more information on Trucker Therapy or Buck Black, visit TruckerTherapy.com.