When I think about therapy, I feel overwhelmed. What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a counselor? And if I’ve never gone to either, how do I know where to start?
“There are so many different types of therapy,” explains Lindsay Holmes, senior wellness editor for HuffPost U.S., where the project originated. “Many people also don’t know what they can expect from their sessions, or don’t know how to talk about it. We looked at this package as a way to highlight our mental health coverage, offer advice and — most importantly — help people feel comfortable with the idea of therapy.”
HuffPost editions worldwide collaborated to look at the effects and challenges of therapy across cultures. For example, a piece from HuffPost France shares how mental health professionals unwind from their work; one from HuffPost U.K. focuses on the increase in younger couples turning to counseling for help with communication (rather than seeing it as the last resort before ending a relationship); a story from HuffPost Canada explores how parents can cope when they have a child with a mental health crisis; and HuffPost India lays out the difference between anxiety and a panic attack.
One of the stories that has resonated most with readers is a guide on how to find the right therapist, which breaks down the different types of mental health professionals and approaches to therapy and also explains how to find someone who meets your needs. Another piece discusses online mental health resources for people of color, who often have a tough time finding therapy that meets their needs.
We also explored therapy in pop culture: how reality TV has been normalizing therapy and how memes have transformed the way we talk about therapy online.
“Mental health issues, particularly among young people, are on the rise and it’s important for people dealing with them to know that it’s OK to talk to a professional,” Lindsay says. “The whole point of this project was to normalize mental health help and give people the tools to fit it within their own lives and budget.”
And Lindsay asks that we each spread the word: “Therapy won’t be seen as a completely normal part of life until we’re all talking about it, whether we’re seeing someone or not.”
Enjoy your week,
Follow HuffPost Life (@HuffPostLife) for more stories about mental health, therapy and more. Find the therapy series on your favorite edition of HuffPost: U.S., U.K., Canada, India, France, Italy and Greece.
Although discussions about pregnancy loss are becoming more common, many of those conversations focus on the experiences of white, straight, cisgender women. “But this affects everybody,” Aditi Loveridge, founder of Calgary’s Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre, told HuffPost Canada. She noted that many narratives from the LGBTQ community and other marginalized groups are left out. “It’s not specific to women, it’s not specific to heterosexuals — it’s people. So it’s time that we start to really look at that as a whole,” she said. Many people who have experienced loss share their stories this month, as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is Oct. 15. Those in the LGBTQ community may experience such loss differently in part because the path to parenthood often involves assisted reproductive technologies, adoption, surrogacy or the interruption of gender-affirming treatments. And that can make the stakes feel even higher. “There’s also something about the fact that we were two women who made this decision to make this baby in this unconventional way in this unconventional family,” said midwife Sarah Cressman, who lost her son Luca in 2008. “To some people, what we were doing is at best weird and at worst wrong. I wanted everything to be good, and to prove that we could do it. … It was like I somehow failed — failed our community.”
Kamali Moorthy, 9, isn’t just a rare female skateboarder in India — she’s a source of inspiration for her mother. “When I was a child, I believed I would be courageous. In my time, girls weren’t allowed out to play,” her mother, Suganthi, says in the documentary “Kamali.” “My girl mustn’t grow up like that.” The film, which is distributed by RYOT Films in partnership with HuffPost, is on the festival circuit now and has qualified for the short list for the 2020 Academy Awards. Kamali and her mother spoke with HuffPost India about how unusual it is for their neighbors in Mahabalipuram to see a young girl skateboarding. “They kept asking me, ‘What will happen if she falls down and gets hurt?’” Suganthi said. “This was their biggest concern then. Who will marry her? Even today, someone asked me this.” Kamali was first given a skateboard when she was 4; she has since caught the attention of skating greats worldwide and participated in a national competition. But Suganthi’s biggest hope is that her daughter’s interest in the sport will empower her to face fear and find freedom and new opportunities. “I want to tell my precious little Kamali one thing,” Suganthi says in the film. “As long as you stand steady on your legs, success will come and find you. And never be afraid.”
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