When we think of the word therapy, a mental image of laying on a couch and hearing “how does that make you feel?" comes into mind. Most likely, we’ll imagine the person in therapy is crying over an incident that makes them look crazy, and we’ll picture the therapist as an old guy with a notebook. This is what the movies and TV shows have led us to believe therapy is like. It’s meant for the mentally ill, the “emo” kids, and the crazy people that can’t get their life in order. Yet, I reject those beliefs.
Therapy has always had the stigma of being for the weak. Society says if you’re in therapy, it’s because you couldn’t handle life’s curve balls or you were too sad to function. If you are in therapy, you’re told to hide that fact, pretend you’d never once gone into a therapist’s office and complained about how bad you have it. The more and more we express this to people, the worse therapy sounds. However, as a patient of therapy myself, I wish that would change.
Being in therapy is nothing like the movies made it look like. It’s not like “Freaky Friday” where Jamie Lee Curtis blatantly ignores every problem and just lets her patients ramble on. It’s going to a safe place and talking about anything you want. The second you walk into the office, everything is confidential. It’s an amazing feeling to just be able to express every feeling you’ve ever had and having the response be only the best way to make you feel better. The therapist can’t tell your parents anything (unless it could hurt you), and they’re being paid to listen and give suggestions, not diagnose you with anything. There’s no leather couches or any “how does that make you feel?” It’s just two people having an open, honest conversation.
When I first started therapy, I was ashamed of having to go. I would tell my friends I was busy every Thursday afternoon, and would make up doctor's appointments or obligations during the one-hour time slot I was in the office. I never wanted to admit that I had allowed myself to be so broken that I needed a professional to assist me. But as time in therapy went on, I realized that there was nothing to be ashamed of. Some people need to talk to others about their problems, and I was one of those people. There was nothing wrong with me going to those visits, especially since I had started to enjoy and learn from them. When something makes you feel good, you should share it with those around you. Once I started to divulge the fact that I was in therapy to my friends, I realized a few of them were in similar situations as well. More people needed help than I ever knew, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I’m an advocate for therapy now. I believe every child of divorce should have to go to talk about what’s going on. I think parents and children fighting should utilize a therapist to help aid their problems. There’s no reason for anyone in need to not go to a therapist, and furthermore, hide it if they decide to go. Therapy is nothing like it seems, and the idea of it should not be put down, but glorified.