Can you study/ become a Therapist if you have Mental Health issues? Tumblr Tuesday #KatiFAQ

Can you study/ become a Therapist if you have Mental Health issues?  Tumblr Tuesday #KatiFAQ

Hey Everybody! It's Tuesday here on and that means I'm on Tumbler. And many of you have asked questions… there are a lot of questions … And today I'm kind of in a hurry because I'm going back to the office, so I'm here and I'm video'ing, and then I'm gonna head back … So I will try to get to some more of your questions when I get back, but I have 4 today as well as a journal topic. So hopefully these will help to answer some of the questions that I couldn't get to. And thank you all for asking all your questions, I couldn't do it without you. And know that by asking you're helping others because for every one of you who has that question and actually asks it… There are hundreds who haven't asked it. Okay? So Question #1 – Hey Kati, can you fully recover from self harming? I haven't self harmed in about 4 months, but sometimes I'm thinking that if I ever stop therapy I might slip back, and it terrifies me. Yes you can; it is a process and you will find for – I don't know – a year or two, maybe more – everybody's differing right? But, you'll find that when things get really stressful or when something happens that may trigger, like an abuse flashback or something, that the urge to self harm will come back. Just like our eating disorder, our depression, our anxiety… when we get really stressed out or our anxiety gets really high or we have a trigger that we don't come in contact with that often, that urge will come back. But the thing that's different, and will change as we recover more is that we will feel more like we can watch the urge float by like it's on a cloud… it floats by, we don't have to act on it. The urge isn't so strong that we feel like we have to do it; it's like it comes back and we notice it… if that makes sense. And there'll come a point in your life where that never happens anymore. But sometimes you can get those thoughts back, and it doesn't mean that you're not recovered and that doesn't mean that it's always going to be there it's just a process and it takes time, and I promise you the more that we work at this, and the longer we fight those urges and the harder we work, that the more quickly it will go away. Okay? And if any of you have experience with this that you'd like to share , as always, leave your comments below. Let's help one another, right? Okay, Question #2 – Is it normal for abusers to not admit the abuse? My parents were abusing me for years, but they're refusing any of it to my therapist, and they don't want to get involved in my recovery. It makes me feel like I'm crazy and a liar. It's very common. Oftentimes, especially if they are people who are close to you and in your life – like parents or siblings – they have either #1 blocked it out themselves because it was a really horrible, stressful thing that they did and they just can't even … they don't know why they did it and their guilt is so palpable that they have blocked it. Or #2 They refuse to take any ownership over it because they don't want to admit that they've done wrong. They don't want all the repercussions that come along with it. They're usually embarrassed and shame-filled, as they should be, right? It's very common, and they'll often-times try to road block us from getting help and stop us from recovery, and they'll try to get in the way of everything because by us getting help, that means that they're going to have to admit to wrong-doing – and someone else is going to hear that they're not perfect parents and that they actually did things that were really harmful. So, know that it's not you – you're not alone – often abusers pretend that this never happened. Because it's easier to live there, if you think about it To live in that "this never happened, I don't know what they're talking about" kind of space. But what that does, is it can damage us more. What I'm encouraging you to do, is not let it, and fight back against their voices. You don't have to yell at them, you don't have to fight with them, but know in your heart what happened. And maybe have a mantra you tell yourself when they say things like that, like "yeah, say whatever you want to say, you can pretend like it didn't exist, but I know it did", or whatever you need to say because they'll do this as a way to protect themselves. But you know what? We have to protect ourselves because they're actually the problem. Okay? Question #3 – Can you study psychology/become a therapist when you have a mental illness? Or do you have to be recovered? You can definitely study anything you want in school. You can do whatever. That's the great thing about school … you can do a lot of self-exploration you can try different classes and do different things. But becoming a therapist or becoming a mental health professional does require you to be recovered. Not all walks of that will require it, like when I worked in the hospitals with schizophrenics/bipolar – people who were long term care, they didn't ask anything about that. However, in the eating disorder clinic they DEFINITELY do. They ask about your history, if you've had an eating disorder, if you did how long have you been recovered, what kind of treatment did you get… they'll ask all sorts of questions. And I know that the places that I worked at required that you be recovered for numerous years and everybody's different so I would definitely look into getting yourself help, because the truth of it is that we have to help ourselves before we can even consider helping other people. And I've always been a believer in that there are two types of therapists. There are therapists who get into therapy to get therapy for themselves. They get into the realm to learn more about themselves. Which is actually not that good for our patients. And then there's people who get into therapy to be a therapist, and help other people. And the difference between the two is the ones who are becoming therapists to help others have already worked on their 'stuff'. We work on it, it's a constant battle. I go to therapy myself, I'm always trying to better myself, better understand my situation and where I'm coming from, how I've navigated my life thus far, etc. So, make sure that you're taking care of yourself so that when you get into this practice you're actually there to just help other people. Okay? Does that make sense? If you have other questions about that, you can let me know, because I get this question a lot. Question #4 – Is it necessary to tell my teachers and boss about my disorders? I hate getting any type of sympathy, but sometimes they get really concerned and I just want to tell them "I'm already getting help, so chill out!" [Sorry I'm getting really warm – we're having a heatwave here in California] It's not necessary for you to tell them. Who we tell is at our discretion, so if you feel like telling your teachers and your boss is going to help you in the long run and help you in your recovery process then by all means tell them But, as far as they're concerned, it's none of their business. And they can't even ask. It's actually against the law – in California at least – for your boss to ask anything like that because that's your personal life. So, if you feel that it would help, and you want to tell them you can tell them. But, if you feel like it's just them being nosey and trying to get in your business, then don't tell them. I would take some time and think about it, think about who – if one of them you feel one way and the other you feel the other way – then maybe just tell one. Or whatever. But make sure it's all around you and your recovery and what's best for your process. Because it's up to us and our discretion who we tell – not everybody has to know. Okay? Now, the Journal Topic today… and this is because I've signed up four some things with one of my girlfriends… we're going to donate some of our time in San Francisco soon, and it made me think about giving back and also I got some amazing gifts I have them right over here… I got some wonderful cards, and then I got this cool (and really hilarious and adorable) horse… I mean, look at all this stuff. And look at all the time it took to write all these little….I love all this stuff you guys There's so much stuff… I posted all the pictures on Instagram. So if you want to see more of my goodies check out my Instagram katimorton1 But, things like that – doing things for others and letting people know how important they are to us – I am a big fan of sending my girlfriends and people in my life cards, just randomly, just because. Everybody knows how wonderful it is to receive mail, right? I love receiving mail. So, what have you done lately to help reach out and spread the love or share – even working at a soup kitchen – those are the things that I've signed up for in San Francisco. We're going to help build houses and work at a soup kitchen, and just ways you can give back. Because I find when I do that, I get so much more out of it myself. And these can even be small things like when we're around in our daily life, letting someone go in front of us or being kind and "paying it forward" in a way I guess. So, what's something you can do this week, where you feel like you're paying it forward or you're giving back? And then I want you to journal about how it felt to do it and what you got out of it, because sometimes if we're feeling down this can really help pull us out. And I think it will really help. It's something I really love to do, and I know that I have to make a point of signing up for stuff so that I'll do it – because we get so busy, right? So let's make some time this week to do something for others and notice how you feel afterwards. Okay? I love you all, tomorrow's Wednesday, and I'll be on YouTube as well as my website so you can go under "Community", "Forums", "Q&A for Videos" Oh! And before I forget! If any of you have been like "hey I've been clicking on the Self-Harm Workbook and I keep downloading the Eating Disorder Workbook", that's because the Self-Harm Work book isn't out yet because I'm fighting with the website, like I said. So know that when it does come out, I will let you know, I will tweet it, I will do whatever don't feel like you're going to miss out. Okay? See you tomorrow! Bye! Subtitles by the community


  1. You could eat a sandwich and watch YouTube or make a hat. Man Airplane is a funny movie. Oh sorry I shouldn’t be here. “I guess I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue”, that’s a quote from Airplane. Teehee

  2. I really like her personality she gives off such a comforting and cheerful persona and other therapists are harder to talk to sometimes.

  3. This is a late comment on this video because it was a while ago that it was uploaded but I would like to write this comment anyway.

    In Sweden (at least it was like this when I was around 12-13 years old), you are not allowed to become a therapist/psychiatrist/working professionally with mental health if you have or have had any kind of mental health issues/illnesses, except for mild anxiety. To study Psychology at university/college you HAVE to take a mental health test and send in papers of your medical history when you apply or right before end exams to be able to graduate and receive a degree of any kind. As I am no longer living in Sweden I could be wrong and they might have changed the criteria over recent years.

    I love your videos and I hope everyone has a great day.

  4. I do have a question relating to #3. You said there’s two types of people, those who go into psychology to learn about themselves and those who do it to learn about and help others and I just wonder if it’s okay if it’s a mix of both or if that is still not healthy? Thanks in advance if you do answer Kati! You’ve been a huge help in me figuring out my future career goals!

  5. I got a scholarship to study mental health. I'm scared I'll be triggered given I struggle with my mental health myself but hopefully it will all work out.

  6. I thinks the human mind is the most interesting thing and I really want to study it and when I completely learn to manage my ADHD and Anxiety I can help other people do that same thing from personal experience, and that’s why I want to experience wya more then the average person

  7. I was told by my own therapist, that most psychologists and psychiatrists have narcissism. I’ve encountered 2 psychiatrists who fit that bill. Along with many family physicians. It’s a huge ego trip to be able to control another persons frame of mind, or spout off what’s wrong with the person and give a “diagnosis.” I do not trust any physician including therapists or psychiatrists unless I feel sincerity or empathy. If I get cold, judgement or feel narcissism in any capacity they’re fired!

  8. I want to be a therapist one day, and I have social anxiety disorder (Possibly Aspergers Syndrome as well). Thankfully I'm only 18 and hopefully during college I will grow as a person. I'm already taking psych classes and just love it! And like you said it takes a lot of years and effort, but being a therapist is my dream! Your vidoes are also very insightful about psychology! 🙂

  9. Not admitting abuse – denial – oh yes, people do that. For a person to change they would first have to admit that they made a mistake (a wrong) and then try to change that behavior – a challenging process. So typical of people, who don't want to admit problems. But victims (targets of abuse) may also not admit abuse. To admit that behavior from a loved one is aggressive and/or abusive, means to admit that there is a problem and admitting that there is a problem is painful. Really painful. Our father is narcissistic (I think NPD) – he is perfectionistic to a fault and began criticizing my brother at a really young age. My brother harbors much anger toward dad but he will NOT ADMIT that it is abuse – he has signs of having been abused as a child – problems with attention, for a few years he got in with a bad crown and almost ended up in jail. Now is live is more stable, job, wife, child – decent citizen BUT he has all this anger that comes out in passive-aggressive subtle ways and sometimes he blows his top. BUT he will not admit that dad's bahavior toward us is pathologic or abuse and he won't admit that dad is pathologic. He acts like he wants to pretend that dad and our family is rather normal and his wife is similar – wont admit and problems. Denial.

  10. I know a girl with serious mental health issues who wants to be a psychologist and i would definitely not want any help from her

  11. I self harmed for about two years, and I haven't done so again in 3 years. The thoughts to come to my mind, but as Katie said, I just observe them, it's not that hard to resist the urge. It was when I first tried to stop, but now they just kind of pop up and I'm like oh, that's not a good idea, and then the thought goes away.

  12. Someone I had met with mental health issues told me she was studying to be a psychologist and I didn't think it was a good idea. I have them and got into nursing though. I think being in the mental hospital taught me patience, empathy, and generosity. I agreed with a lot of what you said. Time heals all wounds.

  13. I'm a therapist with depression. I try not to let my personal issues affect my work. Right now I work as a crisis counselor and my job is very stressful, so it can be hard at times.

  14. First off katie Morton, ur a smsrt person and wonderful psychiatrist, however, for the sake of honesty, i was offended that "and Jesus there were alot of questions", I'm saying this because, as a Christian Jesus isn't a curse word he's my lord and savior

  15. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this video… it gives me hope 🙂 I recovered for self harm, I used to cut and run myself downhill into pine trees or scrape or scratch off my skin, I have scars, but they show me that I have had a past and can move on. I still admit to less than self harm, but more like self "healing" like helping my back muscles relax with a hammer. It's a god feeling to not have to hide my issues under my clothes. I also went through 11 years of abuse from family and have, just for my own safety, have disowned that part of my family. It was LIBERATING, not that it's the answer by any means, but my abusers KNOW they are being talked about and they have backed off.
    ON A SIDE NOTE: I prefer a therapist who has "been there" or "done that" and knows what the experience is like. I don;t like being assigned someone straight out of college with their "nothing ever happened to me" attitude. It's a persona preference, but I really do like someone who knows the darkness or pain I'm trying to recover from. I prefer older therapists as well, they seem to have more life experience. Yet again, just my preference, but to me, it does help!

  16. Can anyone telle me where the term 'kinions' came from as a way to describe fans, and what the genesis if the sending Kati gifts/stuff for giveaways? I've been watching for about a week and not knowing these things is driving me nuts.

  17. Just come across this video tonight. I have recurring depressive episodes (on my recovery journey but it is a journey. Still have episodes). I am studying to be a mental health nurse and the amazing feedback I've had from patients, carers, staff members and my tutor/lectures, has shown that I am more than capable to become a great mental health professional (I am from Scotland and even though it does happen, mental illness discrimination is becoming less and less tolerated, actually illegal if proven to have occurred. I have no clue what discrimination law is like in the US. I'm only speaking for what I know about Scotland). Recovery is definitely complex with mental disorder and as long as someone is self aware enough about where they are with their illness, takes time off when necessary (perhaps when their illness is acute), and seeks help, then people with mental illness absolutely CAN be great mental health professionals. I feel just like how it should be with anyone studying to become a mental health professional (mental disorder or no mental disorder), the personality is one of the main factors. And yes, I've got a friend with a personality disorder who is also becoming a great nurse, and I myself have a few traits of BPD. In fact, I previously admitted myself into hospital a few years ago just for nurses to observe my symptoms for a mood stabiliser I opted to try, and the nurses who opened up to me about having lived experience of mental illness were by far the best nurses (more empathetic, person-centred nature). I think this is a shame as it is quite discouraging for people who could potentially be amazing mental health professionals, and it isn't exactly acting as an agent of hope, which a lack of can potentially be further detrimental to someone's mental health. Hopefully, if this is based in the US, then there is a development in preventing discrimination now since this video was uploaded.

  18. I'm so glad to hear they have requirements for people to be recovered before becoming professionals. No one in their right mind would ever want someone who is mentally unstable with mental health issues as a therapist. We should as a society screen and weed out those people who don't fit the profile of someone fit to serve so I'm glad they require people to be recovered

  19. My recovery experience with self harm is like Katy said. I realized "oh I wanna cut myself, this feeling sucks etc" and it would pass. the interesting thing is I don't have those thoughts any more, now I can see Go by like a cloud the feelings that were underneath that like "oh I'm feeling very upset , and my heart is racing, after __ happened". Training to see your feelings pass through You helps You learn to see all The good ones too, like "I'm feeling so warm and fuzzy after someone was Nice to me" or "i am so lucky and grateful for the love/food/education/pleasent moment I just recieved"

  20. I can't be a therapist. I was diagnosed with ptsd. Even if I was an ace at psychology I couldn't be a licensed therapist.

  21. I have a lot of issues with my father, and his side of the family. He was abusive, and so was his family. But recently ive been thinking about how she might have sexually abused me. Is it possible to totally block that out? Because at the time we were still on good terms. We aren't know because I have realized the abuse! So i guess im wondering really if me realizing the abuse could have trigger the blocked memory of sexual abuse?? #katieFAQ

  22. What is dysfunction, positive adaptation within the context of your external environment, culture…the history of gynecology in the western world is a horror show…but Pinel is the man Nevada!!! What happened in Guantanamo has sent shockwaves in an insidious way through much of the psychological research and much of it was due to the fog of war? It is important. Sociology is so important!!! Misdiagnosis and stigma is important…my mother worked at the VA 30 years and people can be petty.

  23. I struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts and my career path will be therapy because i want to help people who are like me because i understand

  24. Well, im taking a psychology degree and sometimes i feel like I won’t be a good therapist because i have anxiety, i used to go to a therapist and i got better so i stopped going
    Sometimes i feel anxious around people but yeah i hope i can overcome this

  25. I have social anxiety and I graduated medical school. I am thinking of being a psychiatrist, how can I know if it is a good choice?

  26. Hi!
    I suffered from a strong OCD for full 4 years and I thought that it would never go away, but then I changed my therapist and got a new one who helped me to solve all my problems! I just needed some „pushs“ into the right direction and everything worked out quite fine for me in the end! You have to be persistent and take small steps in the beginning! It was hard as hell for me to get rid of my OCD because it took me so long to find the right form of therapy, but if you stay strong you‘ll achieve absolutely anything you want!
    My goal was to dump my OCD before my austrian Matura (it‘s like an SAT Test, A-Levels, italian Maturità, call it whatever you want) and I accomplished it! Now I‘m a „cured“ 18 year old boy from the alps! 😂 The video is great because it really sums up all the issues that come up in the healing process!

    Sorry if I made any grammatic or spelling mistakes, english is unfortunately not my mother tongue!

    Wish you all the best! Greetings from Austria!

  27. Thank you for mentioning that you work with a therapist, too! Good that you're taking good care of yourself so you are better able to provide good care for your patients.

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