Therapy Memes Are Good For You

Can therapy and memes about therapy have similar benefits? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Behind the humor is a real vulnerability being released for all to see

Joking about therapy can actually benefit those dealing with mental health issues. Therapy memes and tweets are images with humorous message about therapy that speak to many people. In his 1976 book, scientist Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” from the Greek word for “mimesis,” meaning to imitate when describing the natural selection of transmittable ideas. Since then, people on the internet have appropriated the word to create a new language that tells your audience how you are feeling or what you believe through a wry, satirical voice. You can emote at a distance.

Alejandre is a licensed therapist who specializes in trauma and anxiety in cases including sexual assault, domestic violence, and mass shooting survivors and works out of her office in Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley located in Los Angeles County. “Therapy memes do provide that space for people to feel connected and not alone with others because it really brings out the dark thoughts or the feelings that you don't share with anyone else. It's bringing in humor. So, I find that a lot of my clients share memes with me. And, in terms of how they feel after therapy or after a given assignments or after an intervention, they bring it up. If I do find that a therapy meme to be useful for my clients, given their reaction or the way that they process, I do bring it up if I do feel comfortable with them enough to do that, you know,” Adriana Alejandre, therapist from LatinXtherapy tells Brut.

To be successful at spreading a message, internet memes must get to the punchline quickly. That often means juxtaposing a line of dialogue with a familiar viral image or a scenario seen before. Personal experiences in therapy sessions are increasingly being shared online. However, Alejandre acknowledges that not all professionals see memes and tweets as therapeutic mediums.