The more we’re together on these retreats and learning about ourselves, the more comfortable we get asking questions. We want to know why we worry about things we don’t have control over. How should we navigate hard relationships? What can we do to handle stress? Our curiosity drives us to find answers. So we seek people who can help us understand ourselves even better. Sometimes this means finding a therapist, a counselor, a social worker, or some other professional in the mental health field.
brave new world
Sounds simple. But talking about it is anything but. It’s easy to tell friends that you’re going to physical therapy, because they understand you’re recovering from an injury or that your body feels misaligned. It’s a lot harder to tell someone, even those closest to you, that you’re going to therapy. And yet it can help us find the root of our own aching, confusion or imbalance. These guides can offer us tools to walk through our lives with more grace and calm and kindness as we handle the very normal (and sometimes overwhelming) struggles of day-to-day life.
What’s remarkable is the that biggest hurdle a lot of us encounter isn’t the decision to see a therapist or counselor. It’s the judgment we fear from sharing it. Together, we’ve realized that our community norms discourage us from telling our friends and family that we go to emotional therapy. We worry they’ll view us as broken. And, worse, they might think we aren’t smart or disciplined or strong enough to heal ourselves. It’s not all in our heads. Seeking help for our emotional struggles carries a stigma.
bridging the gap
At the same time, mounting research has generated a tsunami of news reports detailing the prevalence of anxiety, depression, unhealthy social pressures, and other mental health challenges. Among teens. And yet the chasm between the challenges we face and the help we find to handle them seems wider than ever.
So we talk openly about it. We encourage one another to share our struggles—and growth!—with the people we trust most. We are glad to have the opportunity, in person and in venues like this, to normalize therapy. We think of it as one of many tools we can use to cultivate emotional self-care. And we want the young people in our lives to have access to whatever helps them grow up happy and healthy, inside and out.
step by step
We are committed to creating spaces that encourage us to connect, with ourselves and others, as deeply as we can. And we know that, for many people, therapy can help. No matter who’s on the couch—whether it’s us or someone else in our lives—it feels healthy and real to to peel back the curtain and step out of the shadow. It’s bright and hopeful here.We know that when we’re curious, we seek answers. We’d be crazy not to.