The Stigma of Therapy + How I Came to Love It

The Stigma of Therapy + How I Came to Love It

When I was growing up I thought therapy was a bad thing. I thought it involved lying on a couch while you talked to someone who took curiously secretive notes and peered over you from their spectacles. Perhaps I saw too many movies? I knew therapy in itself wasn’t bad, but I thought to get there you had to be bad or crazy.

I clearly had no actual knowledge of therapy. 

Fast forward to adult life when all of the preconceived notions I had went out the window. Somewhere through the years of being an adult and all that has happened in our lives, I went from an assumptive, naive view of what therapy was, to something we do many times per week. 

While my own views of therapy have changed, I still notice a strange look on people’s faces at times when I mention the word “therapy.” I recognize the look because it’s how I used to feel. I used to be skeptical and hesitant. Now our schedule is planned around therapies. It’s quite a change. 

After our son died, I needed therapy.

I needed some help; someone to talk to about my fears and my heartbreak. And I met the most wonderful person through seeking out help for myself. A counselor who helped me tremendously and greatly impacted my life. Then our girls came along and I fought for help for them. They needed therapy. Not the same kind I had experienced before. They needed expert help to grow and develop and heal.

We sought out a variety of therapies for them. We started physical therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy, behavioral therapy, play therapy, early intervention, and speech therapy. Sometimes it seems like a lot. In fact, sometimes it’s just overwhelming. But we want our kids to have the best growth and development possible, so it’s worth it. I’m so thankful for all of the progress our children have made over our time in therapy. They’ve made incredible strides and that just tells me that it’s worth it — worth every dedication it takes to do it. Our children’s therapists are amazing! 

The moment I realized that my mindset had completely shifted was when I was in a PT evaluation with my youngest.

She was very small at the time — about six months old. The physical therapist made a comment about how our daughter was going to make good progress and, one of the reasons was because she could tell that I “believed in therapy.” It caught me off guard, and I pressed her on it, wondering what she meant. She told me that she meets a lot of parents who don’t think therapy will actually help their kids, but she could tell I was not like that. 

That was the moment I knew I had changed. Occasionally someone will express to me their own skepticism of therapy, and I get it. I used to be there, too, but now I can be found at any given time on the way to a therapy appointment. And I’m happy about that. 

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