What Therapy Is For

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Is going to therapy akin to seeing a physical therapist, a temporary process used to work through an issue? Or is it more like going to the gym, a matter of consistent upkeep? My colleague Hanna Rosin posed that question to the psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman earlier this year, in response to his provocative argument that plenty of people could stand to quit therapy right now.

Now that therapy is destigmatized in the United States—as Hanna noted, many Americans now use the language of therapy in daily life (think: triggered, codependent, etc.)—patients and doctors alike are thinking more deeply about what the practice is really for. There’s no single answer. But exploring what therapy is capable of, and what it can’t actually solve, may help people better understand what they’re seeking when they walk into a therapist’s office.


On Therapy

Plenty of People Could Quit Therapy Right Now

By Richard A. Friedman

Except in rare cases, treatment shouldn’t last forever.

Read the article.

How America Became Addicted to Therapy

By Hanna Rosin

And lost its tolerance for everyday stress.

Listen to the podcast.

What It’s Like to Visit an Existential Therapist

By Faith Hill

It’s not meant to be comforting, but somehow it is.

Read the article.


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P.S.

A green leaf illuminated by the sun
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