the word therapy often has a negative stigma associated with it. i would say there is even more of one with men and people of color. while the thoughts about therapy are not as negative or easily dismissed as they were 10 or 20 years ago, there is still a lot of work to be done.
when i think about many of my clients i see weekly or even every other week, many of them share a common thread: they are the first person in their family or friend group to go to therapy to unearth or discuss issues in their lives that (no matter how hard they try) seem impossible to work through or find a solution for. that brings me to my thought of the week i came across on instagram courtesy of shannon downey – the creator of badass cross stitch.
“people in therapy are often in therapy to deal with the people in their lives who won’t go to therapy”
y’all. listen. this is some of the realest shit i have ever read.
not only did i think of so many of my clients, when i really thought about it, this even applied to me. i remember as a child, when i asked to go to therapy, it was met with resistance from some members of my family. i was told that i did not have any “real problems” and that i “didn’t know what stress was” which is laughable now as someone who both works as a therapist and as a person who has had a few anxiety attacks.
once i got to therapy, it became glaringly evident that one of my biggest stressors was with an immediate family member who (you guessed it) did not believe in therapy, despite the countless number of issues that were unaddressed in their lives. so much of my time spent in therapy was spent discussing how to deal with unsupportive family members and how to break generational issues. now, i do that same type of work with the teenage girls i work with daily.
if you are in therapy to deal with someone in your life who refuses to go to therapy, what has that been like for you?