Page 3 of 3 Previous
Much depends upon the language we use
As the daughter of a therapist and the sister of someone who has suffered from clinical anxiety, I appreciated the article “Avoiding risks can be risky for kids” (April 8). I think that anxiety is an underdiscussed and often trivialized issue, and I applaud Georgiann Steely for sharing her personal experiences. That said, I found some of the language in the article problematic and potentially injurious to mental-health practice. Most upsetting was the ostensibly reassuring claim that helicopter parenting does not necessarily “doom children to therapy.”
Therapy is a privilege, not a punishment. To assert that some people are “doomed” for therapy both perpetuates the stigma of seeking help for mental disorders and portrays therapy as a dreaded practice not necessary for “normal people.”
Mental-health awareness is a red-button issue right now, but as long as attitudes like this permeate our media, people will shy away from helpful treatment options. In actuality, every last one of us could benefit from routine therapy and professional guidance. We are not “doomed for therapy.” Instead, therapy keeps many of us from feeling doomed.
Kate Nesbit, Northfield, Minn.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.