I’m going to start going to therapy soon. I know there’s nothing wrong with going to therapy and there’s nothing wrong with me because of it. But it feels wrong with the stigma and all. How do I deal with the stigma and stay cool and all that?

Thanks for your question. Starting therapy to better understand yourself and how you respond to life is outstanding. Congratulations on moving forward with this. It takes strength to look at yourself, reflect, and figure out how you can feel better.

A few ideas about the stigma, which is sometimes connected with therapy.

  1. You can choose whom to share this information with. Really, it is your business who you choose to share this with. Very few people need to know if that does not feel comfortable to you. No one needs to know if you are going to see your doctor for an injured arm or a check-up; why do they need to know if you are working on an emotional issue?
  2. Therapy is REALLY common. There are professional athletes from the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and FIFA who have talked openly about seeing a therapist and the benefits it has provided them. Movie stars, actors, musicians, as well as former presidents and world leaders have talked about the benefits they have gotten from therapy. If you choose to share, you too can be a role model for others.

We all have bumps in the road of life–some are pebbles, some are mountains. Understanding how you can address these bumps in a way that will work for you is a hugely important skill to learn and many people use therapy for this. You might find that something which feels stigmatizing at first feels better once you’ve had some time in therapy to think about it.