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168 - Bad Therapy and Irreversible Damage with Abigail Shrier

Why the Rising Generation is So Unhappy
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This episode, Sasha and Stella welcome author and journalist Abigail Shrier to the show, and what a remarkable conversation it is!

Abigail Shrier is an acclaimed journalist who has been honored with the Barbara Olson Award for Excellence and Independence in Journalism. She is the author of "Bad Therapy: Why The Kids Aren’t Growing Up" (2024), a New York Times and International Bestseller, as well as the bestselling "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters" (2020), which was recognized as a "Best Book" by both the Economist and the Times. You can subscriber to her newsletter, The Truth Fairy, below. Read her articles for The Free Press here.

Her academic credentials include an A.B. from Columbia College, where she was awarded the prestigious Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship, a B.Phil. from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Shrier's influential works have been translated into seventeen languages.

This discussion revolves around the influence of mental health culture on young people and families, examining how therapeutic attitudes are affecting schools and parenting, and the negative consequences of certain social and psychological interventions on youth.

You’ll hear why Abigail chose the title "Bad Therapy" and her perspective that the issue lies not with therapy itself, but with the pervasive therapeutic mindset.

The conversation emphasizes the importance of parental involvement, critiques specific therapeutic approaches, explores the gentle parenting movement, and advocates for a balance of introspection and reflection together with task orientated methods for processing through natural emotions.


Resources & Links

Learn more about Abigail Shrier

@AbigailShrier on X

Abigail’s newsletter, The Truth Fairy

Bad Therapy: Why The Kids Aren’t Growing Up

Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters


Check out Abigail Shrier’s recommendations:

Am I Okay? Lucy figures out later in life that she’s not attracted to men. With the help of her life-long friend Jane, she attempts to navigate coming out in her 30s. (now streaming on MAX)

Rules of Estrangement: Why adult children cut ties and how to heal the conflict, By Joshua Coleman, PhD. A guide for parents whose adult children have cut off contact that reveals the hidden logic of estrangement, explores its cultural causes, and offers practical advice for parents trying to reestablish contact with their adult children.

The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness, By Jonathan Haidt. After more than a decade of stability or improvement, the mental health of adolescents plunged in the early 2010s. Rates of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide rose sharply, more than doubling on most measures. Why? Jonathan Haidt lays out the facts about the epidemic of teen mental illness that hit many countries at the same time.


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If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting include:

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Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
In this podcast, now in its fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.