Why I Tell People I Have A Therapist
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Health and Wellness

Why I Tell People I Have A Therapist

Saying "I have a therapist" should be no different then saying that you have a doctor.

Why I Tell People I Have A Therapist
Sodanie Chea via flickr

Coming out of finals week, many of us have put our school work above our mental health. From pulling all-nighters to the in and out grind of everyday life, the place to focus on mental health in our lives is always on the back-burner. For many of us, it would take a large stressor or life-changing event to make mental health one of our first priorities. But to keep the hustle, is it worth sacrificing own health and well-being?

What is lacking in our dialogue around health is one word, and that’s therapist. We could easily tell our friends about our physical ailments, but it is less easy to say that you are going to an appointment to see a therapist or mental health practitioner.

This lack of vocabulary for mental health starts at a very young age, when we start to associate health with just our bodies and not our minds. Even as a child who grew up with parents who are therapists (yes, both of my parents are actually therapists), I didn’t think that therapy could actually be something for me. I thought that it was only reserved for people with serious psychological, addictive, and marital issues.

It didn’t occur to me until much later that I should see a therapist, and that saying that you are seeing a therapist should be no different than saying that you are seeing a doctor.

Even for those of us without serious mental health concerns, seeing a therapist can be helpful. Developing a good relationship with your therapist is like finding a new friend. Finding someone who is empathetic and good at listening can help you discover new things about yourself, and guide through living a healthier life. It’s all about finding someone who gets you, and who can help you navigate your thoughts and goals in a judgment-free environment.

Regardless, opening up to saying the word “therapist” in public can help de-stigmatize the feelings around seeing a therapist. I was amazed when one of my supervisors came forward saying that they saw a therapist, and I remember feeling less embarrassed about admitting that I had one too.

These days, I don’t just walk up to people and say “I have a therapist” when I introduce myself, but if it is relevant to the conversation, I don’t try to omit it. If someone asks what I’m doing on a certain day, I may say, “I’m running some errands, and then I’m going to my appointment with my therapist.” No longer trying to hide it from my conversations has made it more visible and normal for myself and the people around me.

Too often, mental health is tabled for other things, but the simple words “I’m seeing a therapist” can help break the shame and stigma that surrounds therapy. Seeking extra support for yourself as a multifaceted, amazing human being is nothing to be ashamed of. I hope that sharing this can help others feel comfortable with speaking about therapy - because sometimes all it takes is one little word to change the way that we see mental health in society.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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