So far the second season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has been wrought with psychological issues. And we are only one episode in! At the dinner party at Adreinne Maloof’s house the topic of marriage counseling and therapy was discussed and various opinions emerged. Ken Todd made a comment at the dinner party that he would not go to therapy because it would make him feel weak. I’m glad that BRAVO decided to show that other people have differing opinions about the value of marriage therapy. Unfortunately, the mistaken belief that therapy somehow means you are weak often deters people from getting much needed help. People from various cultures tend to see therapy differently with some cultures being more open to it than others and Ken mentions that his belief about therapy is related to being British. However, regardless of cultural background, many people hold the belief that if they go to therapy then there must be something truly wrong with them. It is as if people see the act of asking for help as a character flaw, or some sort of validation that they are wrong, bad or weak.
I know I am biased, since this is the work I do, but my belief is that going to therapy can actually reflect internal strength. It is often very difficult and takes much courage for people to ask for help and guidance during times of stress. The act of self reflection is not an easy one. To look at yourself openly and honestly often takes much more inner strength than denying that you have problems or refusing to look at them. My hope is that the airing of differing views of marital therapy will encourage thought, insight and open-mindedness among viewers. It is also my hope that people not suffer silently, but reach out to others, seek help when needed, and take the brave step towards self reflection and improvement.