Italy

Why It's Hard to Find An English Speaking Therapist in Italy

Italy is Amazing, But You Still Need A Therapist

Residing in Italy can offer expats a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The extended summer days filled with the pleasures of wine, cuisine, and gentle sunlight, as well as the winter moments spent skiing in the Alps, might provide some relief for mental health concerns. But it is far from perfect and therapists remain indispensable. However, finding an English speaking therapist in Italy can be virtually impossible. 

Possible Cultural Reasons for A Scarcity of English Speaking Therapists in Italy

Expat Counseling in Venice

Interestingly, according to the European Association of Panic Attacks, 70% of Italians consider psychotherapy completely useless. In Italian culture, if you’re physically healthy, you can work on mental health by yourself. Maybe friends and family can help out, but psychologists are useful only in case of madness. A large percentage of people consider therapists (psychologists) charlatans who steal money from gullible people in a tough situation. 

Italian people often feel anxious about the possibility of discovering something dark and frightening about themselves. They label those who need psychological support as crazy or “not strong enough.” If they were to start therapy, the label would then apply to them.  A frequent reaction to this unconscious label of fragility in Italy is, “I can get the same support from my friends (and/or colleagues), who know me even better than a psychologist.”

Working with an online therapist is better than talking to friends

Of course having a strong social support network is excellent for your mental health.  However, there are very clear benefits to working with a therapist.

  1. Professional Expertise: Therapists are trained professionals with extensive education and experience in psychology and mental health. They possess specialized knowledge and techniques to guide you through various challenges, offering evidence-based strategies for managing emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

  2. Objective Perspective: Therapists offer an impartial viewpoint. While friends may have your best interests at heart, they might also be influenced by personal biases or emotions. Therapists provide a neutral space to explore your feelings without judgment, offering insights that friends might miss.

  3. Confidentiality: Therapists are bound by ethical and legal standards to maintain confidentiality. You can speak openly without worrying about your information being shared, which might not be the case when discussing sensitive matters with friends.

  4. Structured Approach: Therapy sessions are structured and goal-oriented. Therapists help you set specific objectives and work towards achieving them. While friends might listen empathetically, therapists provide guidance to help you make tangible progress.

  5. Specialized Techniques: Therapists use a range of therapeutic techniques tailored to your needs, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, or psychoanalysis. These approaches are designed to target specific issues and facilitate personal growth.

  6. Unbiased Support: Friends might offer advice based on their own experiences or perspectives, which might not always be suitable for your situation. Therapists provide unbiased support and help you explore multiple viewpoints to make informed decisions.

  7. Boundaries: Discussing certain topics with friends can strain relationships or lead to discomfort. Therapists are trained to handle difficult conversations and ensure that you have a safe space to express yourself.

  8. Effective Coping Strategies: Therapists equip you with tools to manage stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges. These skills can have lasting effects on your well-being and overall quality of life.

  9. Long-Term Benefits: Therapy is focused on personal growth and lasting change. While friends provide support, therapists guide you in developing skills that promote resilience and emotional well-being over time.

Apricity's Therapists Are Ready if You Are

If you are ready to work with a therapist at Apricity Expat Therapy, we’re ready for you!  All of our therapists are experienced, licensed and native English speakers.