There are many conflicting opinions on Katy Perry’s choice to live stream her therapy session with Dr. Siri Singh. While there as been an outpouring of support from her fans who applaud her for being so open and honest, there are many who feel it was simply an attempt to grab the spotlight. To me, it all boils down to one point, this is a huge leap forward. Regardless of how you personally feel about her choice, it is impossible to disregard the fact that 10 or 15 years ago no one would have done this.
Take Britney Spears’ struggle with mental health as an example. Her struggles turned her into an object of ridicule. At that time, no one would have publicized that they were in therapy let alone what specific issues they were struggling with. This is because it would attract career destroying attention rather than positive attention. Back when Britney first shaved her head, coming out about mental health struggles was enough to make you the laughing stock of Hollywood.
How times have changed! Almost weekly we see celebrities coming out about their own mental health struggles. Whether you personally view them as a scheme to grab attention or gain sympathy is irrelevant to the conversation. These confessions demonstrate a new acceptance in society of people with mental health issues. Furthermore, they demonstrate that anyone, no matter their position in life, can struggle. As Kristen Bell so eloquently put it, “Anxiety and depression are impervious to accolades or achievements”. While we may not have achieved a wholly inclusive society as of yet, we are definitely taking steps forward.
Aside from any impact on overall societal views, we also have to take into account the other impacts of a live, unscripted therapy session. Let’s face it, unless you have personally been to therapy, most of what you know is from TV and movies. These depictions often create a lot of anxiety about what really goes on in a session. By broadcasting her therapy session, Katy Perry (or Katherine Hudson) is helping many people overcome their fear of therapy. What normally is discussed in whispers and behind closed doors (if at all) has now been placed out in the open. Guess what? It doesn’t look so scary. In fact, it looks healthy and necessary.
We all experience challenges in life, we all have some pain and suffering but most of us don’t deal with it. Maybe we could all use a good therapist.