A therapist fact check of Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up

Front cover of Bad Therapy: Why the kids aren't growing up by Abigail ShrierAs a licensed therapist, I am not the intended audience for Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up. It’s written for those who are skeptical of mental health care and even mental health terminology directed at kids. It casts therapists and teachers as condescending elites who generally view parents as obstacles to children’s thriving.

I’ll credit author Abigail Shrier for this: I found myself agreeing more than I expected to. She identifies some potentially problematic trends in mental health care, criticizes some ways the language of mental health (and trauma in particular) has become culturally ingrained, and ultimately encourages anxious parents to chill out and let their kids’ childhood unfold. My wife and I are both licensed family therapists, and she works with kids, so we spend a lot of time discussing these very issues — and often land where Shrier does.

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