Therapy Faux Pas


Kav Lakshmi, Reporter


For years, that word has come with a negative connotation for people who hear it. However, in recent times, the stigma around therapy is starting to shift into something positive–and it’s about time.

Therapy is simply a tool for people who need an outlet to release their emotions. Whether it’s because a person is dealing with a mental illness, has endured a traumatic event or just needs someone to talk to, therapy has already helped countless people overcome their difficulties and understand themselves and continues to offer aid to even more people today.

So although for a long time, therapy was a word barely whispered among people, members of this generation are much more open about their experiences with seeing a therapist. This movement towards de-stigmatization is because their friends are much more willing to hear about these experiences.

Presentation students’ attitudes about therapy reflect this de-stigmatization.

Sophomore Anjelle Johnson said, “I think therapy is not a big deal anymore. I think it’s more of a part of a healing process and it’s for a greater good. And it doesn’t have to be for someone who’s suffering with an illness, but it could be for anybody who’s been through any traumatic incident.”

Junior Carla Pelino said she wouldn’t mind if a friend told her they were in therapy. “[People] have their reasons and I don’t know what that was. If they want to open up to me what those reasons are, I wouldn’t mind, but I wouldn’t force them to tell me what those reasons are,” she said.

Sophomore Evie Kavanaugh added, “Well, when I hear that someone’s going to therapy I’m happy for them ‘cause it means they’re getting help. You know, if your friend had a physical illness or injury and they said they weren’t going to doctor, you’d be worried, right? The same is true for mental health.”

The opinions of Presentation counselors also emphasize this acceptance of therapy.

“As counselors we try to let students know…that the brain is like any other organ in your body and just as you would seek a medical doctor for the pain you had or something in your physical body, the same thing for a counselor who could help you with the feelings and emotions that you’re having,” said Senior Class Counselor Yvette Frojelin. “So I would say that we try to normalize it that way when we’re talking to students…It seems like students, for me anyway, are a little bit more open in talking about that and feeling that [therapy is] okay.”

Furthermore, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America has conducted research that further emphasizes the importance of mental health treatment. According to a survey taken by the association in 2015, over half of college-aged students (60 percent) believe seeing a mental health professional is a sign of strength. These numbers show the generational difference in how college-aged adults have more positive views on seeking mental health treatment.

Whereas some stigma around therapy still persists, the progress society has made in recent years is definitely something commendable. This increasing social acceptance of therapy has provided many with the confidence to seek help for themselves.