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Seeing a Psych - Smart, Not a Stigma.

Apparently, there is a stigma associated with working with a psychologist, so much so that I have been advised more than once in my career to change the name of my service from a psychologist to a performance coach.

It's overdue for us to explore and understand what labelling a psychological service as having a stigma really means. A stigma is a form of rejection of a person due to certain behaviours or appearances that are thought of as unacceptable, dangerous or frightening. Stigma can happen on a societal level and on a personal level.

On a personal level, the type of stigma people experience is called self-stigma. Self-stigma is one of the most debilitating errors of thinking in relation to working with a sport and performance psychologist (or any type of psychologist for that matter). It means that if you experience a sense of shame about seeking the support of a psychologist you believe that you are unacceptable for needing to understand and cope with life's challenges. This puts you in a dangerous catch-22 position because you refuse to engage with the very service that can help you achieve your goals.

There is no stigma to seeing a psychologist. It says nothing about you. It is, however, a smart move if you want to achieve your goals.

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