9 thoughts on “Everyone Should Go to Therapy

  1. Pingback: Antidepressants and Strength of Character | Brute Reason

  2. The worst part is that therapy has such social stigma attached to it. People tend to assume one of two things if you go to therapy; either you’re insane, or you’re emotionally weak and should just “get over it”. It disgusts me how the assumption is made that if someone goes to therapy, then they must be mentally unsound. It’s ridiculous. Just because you see a dentist doesn’t mean you have bad teeth. So why this connection?
    I’ve been going to therapy for years, and I still have to be cautious about telling people. Not that I feel ashamed – not once has needing therapy ever made me feel like I was insane. The sad truth is that it’s inappropriate for today’s social standards. I can’t tell a potential employer, “I have a therapist” because that translates to one of the following:
    – “I’m psychotic and unable to perform work.”
    – “I’m emotionally unstable and need to polish off my ego.”
    – “I have the plague.”
    The other problem is, like you said, people don’t understand that you can be psychologically fine and still need a therapist. Example – recently my sister has become downright disagreeable, frequently igniting screaming matches with our parents or just being unfriendly on a regular basis. She claims (and/or believes) that we don’t love her. We’ve offered to take her to see a therapist, but she refuses because according to her, only crazy people go to therapy. Or when she’s angry at me, she’ll say something like, “At least I don’t need therapy.”

    My point is that one reason not everyone goes to therapy is because they don’t want to. They won’t admit that it could benefit them. People are just too damn proud for their own good.

    • That’s all very (unfortunately) true. My hope is that as people gain more knowledge of how therapy works and how helpful it can be, the stigma will start to fade away.

      Ironically, I’m more comfortable telling people that I have depression than that I’m getting treatment for it. How weird is that?

      I’m sorry to hear about your sister and her passive-aggressive jabs at you. It might help if your family reframes it as not “seeing a therapist” but “talking to someone supportive” or what have you. Or perhaps by pointing out that it doesn’t really matter what “type” of people go to therapy; what matters is that she would like to feel better, theoretically at least.

      Anyways, best of luck with everything. 🙂

  3. If therapy were free, or even more affordable, then I’d love to do it. I definitely have a lot of issues with my self-esteem, body image, anger issues, daddy issues…the list goes on. but it’s not something I can afford. And CAPS isn’t the best.

  4. The trouble with this idea is that, while it’s pretty easy to say what does or doesn’t count as something impairing the functioning of the body, and physiological and pathological functions and problems are quite well understood, the same cannot be said of the functioning of the mind.

    In short, I don’t trust a therapist to be a better expert on how my mind should be functioning than I am, unless there is something very clearly wrong (for example, when I was suffering from severe depression a few years back). In fact, I suspect the tendency to prescribe therapy or medication for a lot of things to be a form of enforcing social conformity.

    Let’s not forget, it’s not so long ago that homosexuality was listed as a mental health problem. If I were to go to a therapist, there’s a fairly good chance that some aspects of my sexuality and self-identity would be considered to be a mental health problem, and I really don’t feel that it is.

    My feeling is that going to a therapist, for a lot of people today, would be like visiting a doctor in the middle-ages: some of the treatments prescribed could end up only making things worse. I note that in the OP you say, “But in the Happy Fun Miriam Land of the future, where … research has identified effective therapeutic interventions for most mental problems” – but again, who decides what counts as a mental health problem? Who decides what needs help, and what sort of help is appropriate?

  5. I think the current state of therapy versus regular medicine may also be to blame. I can add up the privileged idiocy I’ve had to deal with from therapists versus the privileged idiocy that I’ve had to deal with from physicians. Guess which side is winning, by a large margin? There are unfortunately a large number of mental health practitioners who use their position to attempt to reinforce standard social roles, construing societal prejudices as the models of health. As someone who has been through the mental health system, I have routinely had my concerns and frustrations with gender discrimination dismissed. I have had my religious views treated as unimportant and been treated as bigoted for expressing concerns that they were not being fairly represented. I’ve never had this type of action outside of mental health.

  6. I like the idea as well but like other commenters before me I do not think that this is possible (right now). My impression is rather that therapists (and often doctors as well) have no clue and either will say that you have no problem (because they do not understand your problem, not because it doesn’t exist) or give you a random label that somehow fits what you are describing to them but which is not useful at all.

  7. Pingback: A Holistic Perspective on Bullying | Brute Reason

  8. Pingback: More Than Just a Body With a Broken Brain: Why I’m Choosing Social Work | Brute Reason

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