Tackling stigma: 13 celebrities who have benefitted from therapy

by Sarah Graham
Tuesday 16 December 2014
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Following our recent articles on famous men and women who have helped tackle stigma by speaking out about their own mental health struggles, we look at celebrities who have spoken publicly about the benefits of therapy.

Canadian-American singer-songwriter Alanis Morisette:

When I was younger, I was terrified to express anger because it would often kick-start a horrible reaction in the men in my life. So I bit my tongue. I was left to painstakingly deal with the aftermath of my avoidance later in life, in therapy or through the lyrics of my songs. 

 

American pop singer Katy Perry: 

If you are not happy with something, you should change it. So I went to a lot of therapy, and finally, I am able to speak up for myself. 

 

If you are not happy with something, you should change it. 

 

British popstar, best known as the lead singer of Culture Club, Boy George:

A lot of what I've been learning in the last two years is due to therapy - about my sexuality, why things go wrong, why relationships haven't worked. It isn't anything to do with anybody else; it's to do with me.

 

 

American comedian Sarah Silverman: 

I definitely think that prescription drugs, like antidepressants, are prescribed so cavalierly, anyone can get anything, but I need it. I do think that it needs to work hand and hand with therapy.

 

[Antidepressents need] to work hand and hand with therapy.

 

American golfer Tiger Woods: 

In therapy I have learned the importance of keeping spiritual life and professional life balanced. I need to regain my balance.

 

You do [therapy] for your life, you do it for yourself, because you want to get at the bottom of some things.

 

American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who sadly lost his battle with drug addiction earlier this year:

I think therapy is a helpful thing. I think everyone knows it. You do it for your life, you do it for yourself, because you want to explore some things, and get at the bottom of some things. It's about your life, the quality of your life. 

 

 

American singer-songwriter Neil Diamond:

I didn't want to repeat my mistakes so I stopped, took some time out and started having therapy. My songs were bringing up feelings inside of me I didn't really understand, so I wanted to understand where they were coming from to help me be a better person and a better songwriter.

 

 

British actor and comedian John Cleese: 

I would say that I began with a very edgy, very driven personality and after a sufficient amount of therapy over many, many years, I managed to become rather relaxed and happy.

 

 

It's incredibly liberating to spend an hour talking to someone and not caring about what you sound like.

 

Columbian popstar Shakira:

My therapist taught me why I behave in certain ways and not to feel so pressured. It's incredibly liberating to spend an hour talking to someone and not caring about what you sound like. It's about understanding myself. Sometimes I'll speak to my therapist for an hour a day. It's become part of my routine. 

 

British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding: 

I started getting these [panic] attacks in 2009, just as my music career was taking off. I'd be doing photoshoots and started to feel like I was having heart attacks. Increasingly I found it difficult to step outside my flat. Things started to get better after I saw a therapist, who told me I needed to make peace with my panic attacks.

 

Things started to get better after I saw a therapist, who told me I needed to make peace with my panic attacks.

 

American popstar Fergie:

I call my therapist every other day. It's not a one-stop shop. You have to push away all that negativity in your head. Face it, name it, let it go.

 

You have to push away all that negativity in your head.

 

American actor Halle Berry:

I've done therapy on an as-needed basis since I was probably 10 years old. My father was an alcoholic and a very abusive one, and my mother knew the value of providing me with the outlet of an unbiased person to talk to, so I've done that all my life when times get stressful. It really helps me deal with stuff. 

 

 

American actor Jennifer Aniston:

Go to therapy. Clean up all of the sh*t. Clean up all of the toxins and the noise. Understand who you are. Educate yourself on the self. 

 

Understand who you are. Educate yourself on the self

 

All celebrity images via Wikimedia Commons


Finding support


If you are concerned about the issues raised in this article then you may like to read about finding the right therapist for you. If this route is not appropriate for you, your GP can assess you and direct you towards support.

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Updated 16 December 2014