Saturday, 1 July 2017

Therapy through a lens

A couple of weeks ago Katy Perry released a YouTube video of her live streaming a therapy session and today I want to discuss why it is an important thing that she has done this, not only for herself but for others. 

Mental health is still a taboo subject and one that comes along with a lot of stigma attached to it, and as a tool that is used for mental ill health, therapy also carries a stigma. However, what Katy, or shall we say rather Katherine Hudson does, is to show that actually therapy is also a great way to get to know yourself on a deeper level, to explore how past experiences have shaped the person you are today and therefore enables you to grow.

Therapy for many is an extremely daunting process. In this hour long video Katherine, not only normalises it, but also gives viewers an idea of what a therapy session is like. Of course this one video isn't a representation of what everyone's sessions will look like because different issues will be at the root of the session, the therapist will be different and also the type of therapy could be different. But this video shows that therapy isn't scary, it is just two people talking. 

Throughout this therapy session Katherine addresses issues that are relatable and whilst every situation is different, Katherine shows that she is just like anyone else, she is human. The most noticeable issue that is discussed in the session is Katherine's persona Katy Perry. Whilst this is a personal discussion about herself, I do think on a milder scale this idea of a persona is relevant to many these days. Social media gives us a blank canvas to create whoever we want to create and for many it is an opportunity to play out an alternative persona. One that seems, perhaps, more interesting and more socially acceptable to societies expectations. However, Katherine also shows how tiring keeping up a persona can be and how it is important to let yourself breathe, to feel and to be real. Katherine shows that there is no shame in showing emotion, there is no shame in being vulnerable or hurting. She shows how it is important to be honest with yourself in order to evolve. 

Most importantly, in a world that has people believing that celebrities are perfect, this shows that this isn't the case. That like you and I, celebs need to work through things, through childhood experiences, through difficulties. And Katherine is working through these issues before they become huge problems which is a pattern celebrities usually tend to follow; problems go unattended and result in bigger issues such as addictions or breakdowns. Katherine is showing that if you continually work on yourself (she mentions that she has been in therapy for the last 5 years) you can avoid these bigger issues. 

However, Katy Perry isn't the first to undergo therapy on screen. Channel 5 have been following various celebrities in therapy and whilst these other celebrities are helping to reduce the stigma around therapy, having such a big icon and a figure that many young people look up to helps to engage different audiences. At no point does Katy Perry try to dress up the therapy session. It is raw, it is emotional, it is truthful and it shows a side to Katy/Katherine that many have never seen. 

I personally think that whilst it is strange that watching celebrities in therapy has become a form of entertainment (which is the point of the channel 5 series), Katherine Hudson live streamed her therapy session for a very different reason. One that was beyond herself and beyond making money. It was a way to allow herself to be the real her and not the dressed up version the world knows, it was a way to show her audience what therapy is like and it was to help reduce the stigma that to be in therapy must mean you are "crazy". 

Have you watched her video? What did you think of it? 

If you haven't then you can see it here:


  1. Really interesting post this. I haven't seen the video but i had heard she was doing it and was in two minds whether it was just a publicity stunt, but i think I'll have a look.

    Especially since the idea of persona and the masks we wear has been a recurring theme in my own therapy.

  2. I would 1000% advise you watch it, it made me see her in a completely new light and the idea of Katy Perry being a persona is really interesting, even down to the way she acts when she is Katy in comparison to Katherine is huge and almost shocking.

  3. I've had therapy in the past (CBT) but it didn't work for me, I'm looking for a style that will support me living with Bipolar. I would never watch therapy sessions for entertainment, but if the video gives an insight into therapy than i'd be interested in watching.