In the ever-evolving dating world, a new toxic trend is emerging: ‘Thera-posing.’ This term describes someone in a dating context overusing or inappropriately applying therapy language, despite not being a mental health professional. It’s becoming a common issue, recognized through social media and personal anecdotes.
Eva Gallagher, the resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, sheds light on this trend. She acknowledges the importance of therapy in self-improvement and communication. In fact, a study by Plenty of Fish found that 77% of singles see self-improvement benefits, including therapy, extending to various life aspects, including dating. However, Gallagher warns about the misuse of therapy speak, noting that overusing clinical terms or mislabeling behaviors can be problematic.
Thera-posing becomes a red flag when individuals use their limited therapy experience to inaccurately diagnose or provide solutions to others’ problems. For example, a person might incorrectly label someone’s boss as a narcissist based on a single complaint, offering misguided advice without the qualifications to do so. This kind of behavior can be harmful and misleading.
Gallagher points out that the influx of therapy language in pop culture and social media has led to its misuse in personal relationships. People often adopt this terminology to define their own experiences or interpret the behaviors of those they’re dating, without the expertise to do so accurately.
While therapy can be invaluable for personal growth and building healthy relationships, it’s crucial to remember that using professional terminology requires the knowledge and training of a licensed therapist. Misapplying this language can lead to misunderstandings and potentially toxic dynamics in dating situations.