The use of therapy speak to gaslight someone is also something that can happen in relationships. Gaslighters may toss in some professional-sounding words to appear intellectually superior and intimidate you into agreeing with them or putting you in your place.
So, how do you use therapy speak in a healthy way? Healthy therapy speak should be open and understanding. It’s used with thought and intention.
For example, when someone is telling you about a problem they’re having, ask them what they need from you before you start giving advice they didn’t request. Are they looking for solutions, or do they just want a listening ear? You can also state that you have some suggestions or opinions and ask if they want to hear them.
Another way to be respectful is to give the other person the option to share sensitive information with you. Let them know that it’s okay to be vulnerable and that they don’t have to be alone, but it’s also okay if they don’t feel ready to talk about it quite yet.
Consider what therapy-related terms you incorporate into your conversations on a regular basis. If you realize that you may have been using them in an off-hand way, get educated about them beyond a viral TikTok video. Try to save the therapy speak for more formal and serious conversations.
If you feel that a friend, family member, or partner is misusing therapy speak, don’t be afraid to call them out or say no to them. Trust your gut when you think that something seems off. If the person continues to be toxic, you don’t need to continue engaging with them.
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