2015 Press Release

Hello psychotherapy enthusiasts!

The fourth annual National Psychotherapy Day, a day to reduce stigma and draw awareness to the effectiveness of therapy, is Friday, September 25.

People who support psychotherapy – therapists, clients, academics, policymakers, or any other interested party – are encouraged to talk about their own experiences with therapy, contribute to low-fee and community mental health clinics, share therapy effectiveness research (can be found here), and wear turquoise to show support and start conversations.

National Psychotherapy Day was started by me and several psychology graduate students because we believed psychotherapy as a profession had a significant image problem. Therapy takes place behind closed doors, so the public relies on movies and TV to tell them what therapy is like, and those depictions are rarely accurate. We set out to demystify our work, educate the public about what real therapy looks like and how effective it can be, and create a fun day to celebrate therapy, rather than hide it. We encourage therapists to take one day to promote the profession instead of their own practice.

You can find more information on our website,
or Facebook page,
or contact me at: ryan@ryanhowes.net

We’re proud to say we made some waves over the past four years. We’ve received endorsements from many of the top therapists in the field…

“I’m pleased to support National Psychotherapy Day and honor the therapists and patients who courageously travel together on this most intimate, meaningful and big-hearted journey.”Irvin Yalom, M.D.

“I was pleased to hear about the establishment of the first annual National Psychotherapy Day. I recognize the responsibility of psychotherapists to join together on this day to promote the field of psychotherapy, to share evidence-based research, to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and to emphasize the necessity for effective, low-cost counseling options.”Judith Beck, Ph.D.

“I’m honored and delighted to lend my support and I hope the day is wonderful. Psychotherapists are that part of nature which has been called to heal the most wounded part of nature, ourselves. It is a holy vocation, not a career or a job.”Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.

“The benefits and risks of psychiatric drugs, especially the antidepressants, have probably been oversold to the America public, and many of these medications appear to have few, if any, benefits above and beyond the placebo effect. I feel sad about that, because my colleagues and I have developed amazing new treatment methods. So I definitely support your effort to raise public awareness about psychotherapy, and wish you the best for your Psychotherapy Day!”David D. Burns, M.D.

… and we’re sponsored by www.goodtherapy.org, the socially-aware therapist referral organization with the most rigorous standards,

… and this year we held a storytelling event where therapists told true therapy stories (de-identified, of course) to demystify therapy. This event was called Moments of Meaning – the videos can be found here: www.momentsofmeaning.org.

We’d love it if you would spread the word about National Psychotherapy Day. We believe therapy truly helps, and if more people knew that, the world would be a better place.


– Ryan

2 thoughts on “2015 Press Release

    • Thanks for writing, Bruce. When we started this day we had to choose between the “third Wednesday in September”-type day (Thanksgiving style) or the set date (Christmas style). We chose the set date so that we wouldn’t have to change our printed materials every year, it’s always 9/25, and we’d just deal with a Sunday every seven years or so. We actually encourage people to stretch it out for a week anyway, so the actual day isn’t quite as important. So make your Psychotherapy Day brunch plans now, and celebrate with us!


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