Recently more and more celebrities – Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Brad Pitt, Chrissy Tiegen, and Prince Harry – have been coming forward and opening up publicly in interviews to discuss their positive experiences and experience in seeking professional advice through counseling! I believe in counseling so much that I chose a career in it! I believe that “knowledge is power” and a person can never know too much! Sometimes talking to a professional is what is most needed because those family and friends are too close to the situation and are emotionally compromised.
Most recently, Prince Harry opened up in new interviews about his personal experience with grief and loss. Prince Harry discussed the grief and anxiety he struggled with while in his 20’s after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and revealed that he sought counseling to deal with what he was feeling as the “total chaos” of his life. He admitted that he “shut down all of his emotions” for almost two decades after losing his mother in 1997 at the young age of 12, when she was killed in a car accident. Prince Harry revealed in the interview that his way of dealing with his grief and heartbreaking loss was, “sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help? It’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back. I was like, ‘Right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything. I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” he said, adding, “I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.” Prince Harry also stated in the interview that he struggled with anger and aggression which he ended up channeling into his new outlet and coping skill, boxing. He stated, “That really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone.” Prince Harry also went on to say that his older brother, Prince William was a huge support and kept trying to talk to him by saying, “This is not right, this is not normal. You need to talk to [someone] about stuff. It’s OK.” I applaud Prince William for his non-judgment, support, and encouragement towards his brother! Sometimes it take an outsider looking in to reach us and nudge us in the right direction and remind us we don’t have to white knuckle it or suppress the pain until it turns into numbness.
Prince Harry went on to discuss that his experience in counseling was positive and a process which took over the past two and a half years. This process he shared as allowed him to now been able to take his work more seriously and become more ready to move into the next phase of his private life in finding that special someone. Prince Harry reported that he is now able to fully dedicate himself and able to put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a meaningful difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else. He also said that he’s learned so much from talking to servicemen and women about the impact and after effects of active duty. Prince Harry now believes that keeping it quiet will only make it worse and that talking about it is of “huge merit” and part of the healing process towards absolute resolve. I applaud him and others which are opening up more and more about the effectiveness and healing aspect of counseling. Prince Harry if you ever come across this blog and are reading this, thank you for “telling your story.” I am so very proud of you! Thank you for going public to help others!