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Therapist Admits The Reality Of Her Own Mental Health — 'Don't Let Your Therapist Trick You'

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therapist and patient

If you are struggling with your mental health, one important step that you could take to improve it is to seek therapy. Speaking to a licensed professional can certainly help make sense of your triggers, strategize helpful coping mechanisms, and ease your anxieties by having someone to talk to. 

Many people view their therapists as their saviors. How could they possibly have their own struggles when they guide us so beautifully through ours? 

However, even the best therapists are not ones without faults. One therapist is revealing the truth about the mental health of those who specialize in treating mental health, and her honesty is refreshing. 

The therapist got real about her own mental health struggles despite her career of helping others with theirs. 

Gretchen Winterkorn, a psychotherapist from the Hudson Valley, counsels all different kinds of people who have various mental health struggles throughout 50-minute sessions. 



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Despite her guidance, Winterkorn wants people to know that even as a therapist, immediately after her sessions, she walks into her house and “loses her s–-- almost every day.” 

Just like all of us, she has her own triggers that send her into an emotional state. “I’m triggered by my wife, I’m triggered by my kids, I’m triggered by my stress,” Winterkorn admits, adding that she had also suffered from severe medical anxiety. 

However, it is these mental struggles and trauma that prompted her to become a therapist in the first place. “I’ve been practicing to do this job well since I was six years old,” Winterkorn reveals.

Because of her own experiences, she is in tune with her clients’ struggles and wanted to go into a field where she could offer her advice on how to best help them. 

Winterkorn also wants to end the stigma that therapists must have it all together considering the work they do. 

“It should be a part of our understanding of the public-facing role of the mental health professional,” she explains. “That’s the fallacy of therapy, is it is well people treating sick people… We are well and sick people helping well and sick people.” 

As a therapist, and as a human being, Winterkorn says that she is always working on herself, trying to do her very best, while still battling mental health struggles. “I still lose it in front of my kids with my wife,” she shares. “I am a human trying every day to work on my mental health… every day it’s still hard.” 

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Even as a licensed therapist herself, Winterkorn says that she benefits from seeing a therapist of her own. “I have fed from the breast of therapy and that’s what has made me want to be a therapist,” she says. 

Winterkorn confesses that she had a rather traumatic childhood, with a father who struggled with addiction and depression, and a mother battling breast cancer all while having a newborn sister to look after. 



It was therapy that provided her with the tools she needed for her healing journey that she now passes on to others. In fact, even when she is going through her own pain, Winterkorn says that providing therapy sessions to those who need it is what helps ease it the most. 

“When I’m feeling bad, the thing I most wanna do is come give a therapy session,” she says. “To lose myself in someone else’s pain or to occupy the space that therapy comes through.” 

To get even more transparent with viewers, Winterkorn revealed a video clip that was taken during one of her online EFT (emotionally focused therapy) sessions, where she opens up about her body image issues. 

She unapologetically allows the walls to come down, tearing up and detailing her negative school experiences where she was picked on for her weight. As the tears fall, her therapist is seen nodding and validating her pain as they work through it. 



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Many TikTok users, most of them therapists themselves, commended Winterkorn for her unfiltered vulnerability. 

“As a therapist who also struggles, I feel SO SEEN by you and this video. Thank you for using this platform to share your experience,” one user commented. “As another therapist who is also a wounded healer… I 100% feel this!” another user wrote. 

Others revealed that they actually feel more comfortable when they learn that their therapists are not perfect. 

“I knew I liked my therapist as soon as she told me that she’s afraid to drive,” one user admitted. “My therapist has a therapist that she sees most days, and it makes me love her even more,” another added. 

Sigmund Freud once said, “a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply, consists in the doctor’s examining himself, for only what he can put right in himself can he hope to put right in the patient.” 

An Antioch University of Seattle doctoral dissertation found that 81% of psychologists battled their own mental health struggles including depression, addiction, anxiety, and eating disorders.  

Some of us may have the misconception that if licensed professionals have their own mental health issues then they cannot possibly be trusted to help us treat ours. However, it is their own pain and personal battles that shape them into the excellent counselors they are. 

Having gone through their own emotional turmoil only allows them to have a deeper connection with their clients who turn to them to overcome theirs. 

None of us, even the most profound therapists, are immune to mental health struggles and suffering. Do not let your therapist fool you into thinking that they have it all together. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.