Mandy Moore On Therapy: "It's Most Beneficial At Times When I Don’t Think That I Need It"
Gary Jules was on point when he sang the words, “It’s a very, very mad world.” To be completely honest, it amazes me that there are still so many people who stigmatize therapy. When you consider the mental strain we tackle amid competitive work environments, social stressors, and the never-ending disasters, both natural and man-made, in this world, acknowledging the fact that you need professional help is not a form of weakness, but an act of bravery. You may not necessarily be going through a tough time in your life, but according to a recent interview with Mandy Moore on therapy, the Huffington Post reports that the This Is Us actress finds comfort in sessions that take place when she genuinely feels like she’s “doing OK.”
Therapy is definitely valuable, and, trust me, the benefits stretch way beyond a means to an end. How many times do you call your mom or best friend to vent about an offensive comment your co-worker made at lunch, or complain about how you missed your first class because public transportation is the absolute worst? Over the years, our culture has come to assume that seeing a therapist is directly linked to mental illness, and while there is absolutely no shame whatsoever in seeking professional help if you are experiencing any type of mental health issues, therapy is not exclusive to those cases.
Sometimes you really do just need to get things off your chest.
I saw a therapist once a week from the beginning of sophomore year through my junior year of college, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. The person I was during my first session was a persona I’d left behind by my last visit, and, to be honest, I probably didn’t “need” therapy by the time I was entering junior year, but I stuck with it because even on my best day, there was always something to talk about.
Moore told Huffington Post she's a "big proponent of therapy,” because throughout many different situations she encountered in her life, it was a constant. She explained,
I feel like it’s most beneficial at times when I don’t think that I need it, like when there’s not a ton going on that feels stressful.
I find that I get the most benefit out of it sometimes when I feel like I’m doing OK.
In many instances, you may feel perfectly fine, happy even, but sometimes when you have an open-ended discussion that transitions from one part of the day to the next, it can unmask broader issues, or even just allow you to shake off little things that may have affected you more than you initially realized.
Plus, talking to someone who's 100 percent objective can be very constructive in navigating stressful situations in life.
Maybe you’re struggling to see eye-to-eye with a family member, or perhaps you have feelings of resentment toward a close friend and are looking for a third party to weigh in on the situation. It is a straight-up myth that the only people who need or attend therapy sessions have a mental illness.
Author of Teach Me How To Die and staff writer for TalkSpace Joseph Rauch wrote that a common misconception of therapy is that it is only for people with mental illness. He said,
In the same way people visit doctors when they aren’t sick — they might want a checkup, test, or advice — therapy is not exclusively for people with diagnosed mental illness.
Good therapists listen to us without judgment and teach us how to solve problems in a healthy way and live a happier life. This is something all of us want, whether we seek help or not.
Talk therapy is a treatment to work through both the conscious and subconscious mind, and the emotions that stem from internal and external confrontation. By discussing our plights with someone such as a therapist or psychologist who has been trained to look at all situations objectively, you may find that it's easier to lay all your frustrations out on the table. Whereas, if you were to sit down with your mom or SO to hash out your problems, it's likely that you could end up holding back to protect their feelings and avoid judgment.
Overall, therapy is meant to improve your quality of life in the long-term, and that's exactly what Moore was getting at.
Another common fallacy about therapy is that sessions are a means to an end. Fix what’s broken and then move on, right? Well, not exactly.
Whether you decide therapy is right for you as a coping mechanism for a mental disorder, or you just need someone to help you make sense of life, the goal of every therapist, psychologist, and counselor is to help you live a happy, healthy, all-around more fulfilling life. To do so, the objective is to identify what bothers you, how you react to these situations, and how to learn from/improve on these behaviors.
According to the American Psychological Association, psychologists utilize a range of "scientifically validated procedures" to ensure patients can learn from their issues and, in turn, develop "healthier, more effective habits."
The goal is that, by attending these sessions and performing these exercises, you're able to not only solve the immediate problem at hand, but you'll also acquire skills that allow you to cope better in similar situations moving forward.
So if you think therapy could potentially be a good fit for you, give it a try. As Moore noted in her interview with Huffington Post, "there's more transparency" about therapy and the stigma behind it. In order to beat that stigma, we need to be more accepting, and maybe even experience the treatment for ourselves in times of need.