All posts tagged: kind of wish fulfillment

How We Became Addicted to Therapy

How We Became Addicted to Therapy

A few months ago, as I was absent-mindedly mending a pillow, I thought, I should quit therapy. Then I quickly suppressed the heresy. Among many people I know, therapy is like regular exercise or taking vitamin D: something a sensible person does routinely to clear out the system. BetterHelp ran an ad where a woman says she’s ignoring a guy’s texts because he doesn’t see a therapist. “Hard pass,” she explains. “Red flag.” Therapy for many people has no natural endpoint. It’s just “baked into my life,” as one patient told the psychiatrist Richard Friedman, explaining why he’d been seeing a therapist for the past 15 years. Therapy is so destigmatized now that a lot of us sound like therapists. We’re “codependent,” “triggered,” “catastrophizing.” We cut off our friends who are toxic. Justin Bieber doesn’t fear an exposé on the damage of childhood fame; he freely discusses his trauma and healing. Oprah wonders what happened to you. And once you figure it out, you’ll find hours of free advice on TherapyTok. Friedman, who has been …