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  • Writer's pictureKate Flood

Yes, you should go to therapy (but maybe not for the reason you think)

As a therapist, it’s great to see the massive reduction in the stigma around mental health.

Much of this can be attributed to social media, especially over the last five years. TikTok took our phones by storm during a global pandemic when many felt more isolated than ever. It is a platform that offers so many of us connection, a place to feel understood and less alone.

It was also a place to get information about mental health and wellness. Though this is great on the surface, as a professional, it’s not entirely positive. 

Hear me out. 

The downside of the TikTok Mental Health Discourse 

This isn’t to say that some great social media creators aren't offering informative and accurate advice to their audiences. For example, @the.hotlistic.psychologist , @therapyjeff, @queersurgeon, @myeasytherapy, @nedratawwab, @millennial.therapist (to name a few)

Also, just to be clear, people sharing their struggles and experiences is valuable… 

But…it can also be a little problematic.

This is largely because of the improper and sometimes manipulative options of “therapy speak.” For those who’ve had the privilege of being off TikTok for the last five years, "therapy speak" refers to the use of psychological or therapeutic language, often characterized by jargon or terms from therapy and mental health, in everyday conversations. 

While these things may be true to some extent, it’s important to reach out and seek professional support. If you come to therapy (with me) for help with these things, I will likely push you to get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is when change or clarity happens. For example, we may work to challenge your thoughts and behaviours by working toward going out with friends despite being anxious or by exploring perspective-taking and boundaries to gain a better understanding of how we communicate with others. Even if you or someone you know is diagnosed with a mental health condition, it does not mean you cannot achieve mental well-being, only that we adapt to better our own circumstances. 

It comes down to this: While social media can provide great value and information about mental health, everyone is different. Just because you resonate with someone else’s diagnosis or experience doesn’t mean it’s yours. 

How to get a therapist in New Brunswick 

Finding a therapist in New Brunswick involves a few steps. If you have health coverage, contact your insurance provider to get a list of in-network therapists and understand what your plan covers regarding mental health services. You can also ask your primary care physician for a referral. 

If you do not have health coverage, look for community health centers or non-profit organizations that offer sliding scale fees based on income. Universities with psychology programs might also provide low-cost therapy services through training clinics or have onsite student health clinics. Additionally, online directories such as Psychology Today can help filter therapists by location, specialty, and cost. 

It’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences, such as the type of therapy, the therapist's gender, or cultural competence when making your choice. Remember, therapists are human, too, so don’t be discouraged or feel pressured. Every therapist is different and has different approaches. 

Listen to your gut—if you do not think it’s a good fit, that’s okay. Therapy is (mostly) YOUR time. 

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