Many hold a different understanding of both the word and practice of therapy. Some believe it means solely a “type of sickness.” I believe the word and practice of therapy comprise the broad continuum of health – both illness and well-being (overall mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual). When the word therapy is perceived and discussed as solely related to illness, there is the real risk here of perpetuating the longstanding stigma of therapy, which has serious implications.
I often share with my clients one of the hardest things they’ll ever do in life is to face the reality – of a situation, relationship, or some aspect of our Selves that would benefit from change. The practice and safe space of therapy is one of the most powerful mediums for this type of transformation. For both healing and growth.
My own therapy time is a sacred space, which I highly value.
Many continue to struggle reaching out for therapy because of the various insidious forms the stigma encompasses, such as sick, crazy, weak, dysfunctional, unstable, loser, abnormal, incompetent, etc. Whatever reason brings one to seek therapy, the act of reaching out for therapy is a courageous one. It requires real vulnerability which for me reflects strength – not weakness. It is bravely opening the door into the unknown for many, and a willingness to look at our Selves, others, our minds, and the world with a different lens. For me, this is Courageous.
Let’s begin framing therapy as something brave to do, an act of self-care and self-love. And inclusive of everyone – whatever continuum of health they’re on. Rarely does one go through life without experiencing any one of the common mental health conditions. They are intricately woven into the fabric of the human condition, not an anomaly.
And let the language we use reflect this, and intentionally support and encourage each other to reach out for therapy if and whenever one feels it could be helpful.
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