There has always been stigma shrouding the idea of seeking therapy. Thankfully, the past decade has brought a new wave of appreciation and recognition of mental health which has helped to bring psychology services into mainstream. Despite this, there still is a big misconception about therapy that contributes to the stigma: that therapy represents weakness. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, seeking therapy represents strength.
This misconception manifests from a combination of both social stigma (the fear of judgment/discrimination from our social circles) and self-stigma (internal beliefs and values surrounding certain things). The social stigma stems from a societal fear of mental illness. This fear dates back thousands of years and reflects a poor understanding of psychology. But it’s 2019. We now know infinite amounts about the brain and how it works. And we know there is nothing to shy away from. So it’s sad that we are still struggling to accept therapy as a valid means of improving our wellbeing.
When someone joins a gym, we do not think of them as unhealthy, unfit or lazy. In fact we think the opposite. Naturally, someone who goes to the gym is presumed strong, fit and dedicated. So why is therapy any different? When someone steps into a psychology practice, they are showing dedication to become mentally fitter, happier and healthier. It really is as simple as that. And it’s such a shame (and such a blatant fallacy) that society reads therapy as a place for the weak. Therapy-goers, just like gym-goers, are working hard to be the very best version of themselves. Therapy represents strength. Remember that.
Whether you need help with a bout of depression, you need ways to tackle anxious thoughts or you feel overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start, a psychologist can help. If you’re going through heartbreak, if you’re stuck in a big life decision, if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or even if you just feel a little lost in life, a psychologist can help. If you want to feel better, see someone (join a mental gym!). It’s not weak. Let’s shrug this silly stigma and start seeing therapy for what it is; as a space of strength.