if there is a person prince harry he is not going to break ties with him, he is his therapist.
in his new memories that tell it all, “Spare”, the Duke of Sussex portrays his therapist as one of the few people truly on his side.
Harry writes that his therapist was the first person he called. After a verbal fight with her older brother, Prince William, she turned physical. (William broke into Harry’s house at Kensington Palace and tagged Harry’s wife, Megan Markle, “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”, according to the youngest prince.)
Instead of Markle, it was the therapist that the Duke of Sussex approached: “Thank God he responded. I apologized for the intrusion, told him I didn’t know who else to call. he writes. “I told him that I had a fight with Willy, he threw me to the ground. I looked down and told him my shirt was torn, my necklace was broken.”
Curiously, prince william ― the person who receives most of Harry’s wrath in “Spare” ― was the family member who initially recommended Harry try therapy. Years later, Harry says that William has changed his tune and once feared that his younger brother I was being “brainwashed” for therapy.
Given the prominence therapy seems to have in the Duke of Sussex’s life, it’s easy to wonder if his sessions have fueled his you need to share your “truth” about the royal family.
According to his description, the book is written with “raw, unflinching honesty,” and it’s certainly not an exaggeration: the fight between him and William may be one of the most explosive details, but Harry voices his grievances about just about everyone in the family. . .
call William his “beloved brother” and simultaneously his “archenemy”, hellbent on making sure his brother felt the order of succession deeply as he grew up.
He accuses his stepmother, Camila Parker Bowles (now the queen consort) of leaked stories over him and William and turning his room at Clarence House in her closet as soon as she moved in. (“I tried not to care. But especially the first time I saw it, I cared,” the 38-year-old Duke of Sussex wrote.)
His father King Carlos III, he says, he was wearing a “Sorry” Teddy Bear around with him like an adult and begged his children to reconcile at the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip, in 2021 (“Please, boys, don’t make my later years a pittance,” Charles reportedly said).
Sister-in-law Catherine, Princess of Walesis largely painted as cold and wary of Markle — the queen-to-be brought Markle to tears days before the Sussexes’ 2018 wedding (Harry shares texts to prove it) and “faced” when the “Suits” actor asked him borrow some lip gloss at an event (It was an “American thing,” says the Duke of Sussex of the request.)
Why tell the whole truth, even about the smallest possible details? Harry says that ultimately it is in his best interest to peace and hold people “accountable”.
“I don’t think we can have peace with my family unless the truth is out there.” the Duke of Sussex told ABC’s Michael Strahan.
Despite the cold shoulder he and Markle have received from the rest of the royal family, Harry has repeatedly said that he hopes for a reconciliation.
“The ball is very much in his court,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview earlier this month.
“Meghan and I keep saying we’ll openly apologize for anything we’ve done wrong, but every time we ask that question, no one tells us the details or anything,” she said. “There has to be a constructive conversation, one that can happen in private and not leak out.”
But is Harry’s months-long reveal world tour really conducive to compromise and peace?
To answer that question, we took the lead from the prince and sought out some therapeutic advice. Here’s what family therapists think about Harry’s experience with therapy and how his very public disclosures about his family square with his desire for reconciliation.
What therapists think about Harry’s therapy
Going to therapy has clearly been a haven for Harry ever since he and Markle they strayed from their roles as senior members of the royal family in January 2020.
In 2021, the Duke of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey who had been in therapy for approximately five years and spoke positively of his experience, especially EDMRa type of therapy that involves making eye movements from side to side while recalling a traumatic incident or memory.
The therapy helped him process the grief and anger he felt after the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, he said, and strengthened his relationship with Markle. (He restarted therapy at the behest of his wife after he became a “carelessly angry” at her during a “cruel” fighthe writes.)
“Therapy has equipped me to be able to take on anything,” he said. “I knew that if I didn’t get therapy and fix myself, I was going to lose this woman that I could see myself spending the rest of my life with.”
becky honeA marriage and family therapist and host of the “Call Your Mom” channel on YouTube, she believes that counseling has been very helpful for Harry.
“I’ve seen his interviews and I’m listening to his book, and the way Harry talks about his life is thoughtful and obviously has been processed in a healthy way,” he told HuffPost.
Although Harry’s seemingly endless admissions have irritated both the palace and some of the public, Whetstone doesn’t see anything particularly wrong with his behaviour.
“I don’t see Harry settling the score, but telling his side of his story, for better or worse, take it or leave it,” he said. “I think that when a family is dysfunctional, the only way to change the system is to shake it up, to do something different that might be drastic.”
The resulting crisis “can motivate a family to face their problems,” Whetstone added. “As a therapist, Harry’s story resonates with me. It is believable.
Sarah Spencer NortheyA marriage and family therapist in Washington, DC, said the Sussexes’ departure from the royal family makes a lot of sense if they were in therapy.
“I think therapy should never be in the service of helping people adjust to a life they find oppressive,” she told HuffPost. “It was a great move to get away from the system Harry was raised in and a therapeutic move given the damage the system caused on a deep and personal level.”
Is a royal family reconciliation possible?
If family members still support and enable the systems that hurt you, there’s not much more you can do in terms of a full reconciliation, Northey said.
rhona raskinA family therapist and advice columnist, he’s also unsure if a family outreach is possible, given the public nature of Harry’s complaints.
“This scenario is very difficult to reverse,” he said. “There are crowds of people supporting Harry’s point of view, siding with him, and other crowds booing him from the other side. Now it is a complex problem that seeks to be solved by a committee of millions.
Unlike the other therapists interviewed in this article, Raskin has questions about the Duke of Sussex’s therapist and whether he is over-reliant on his advice.
“A therapist is not an accessory or a babysitter; you shouldn’t have one on speed dial for ongoing advice whenever there’s a problem,” he said. “The job of a therapist is to get the client to leave him.”
If the counselor has done their job, therapy helps clients discover strengths and patterns, as well as recognize new coping skills for any new drama ahead.
“The therapist’s first job is to provide security,” he said. “I don’t think there is any safety for anyone in this actual clothing broadcast.”
jennifer chappell marshA marriage and family therapist in San Diego, he believes it is possible for the royal family to patch things up, but Harry and Meghan need to be flexible with their expectations about reconciliation.
“There are different forms of reconciliation,” he said. “Ideal reconciliation occurs when an injured party can clearly name their pain experience, have that pain heard, validated, and actionable redress made.”
Sometimes, however, “reconciliation means accepting that true repair is not possible and, in turn, you can love from a distance.”
However it plays out, it’s understandable why the public is so deeply interested in the British royal family. Knotty Family Drama and Harry’s current campaign to tell the truth. (Since its release on Tuesday, “Spare” has become the best-selling nonfiction book in history.)
“Many aspects of ‘Spare’ are relatable to many people,” he said. meg roll, psychologist and author of “Tiny Traumas”. “There is the element of sibling rivalry (the physical altercation with a brother), betrayal and trauma with various family members, moral damage (guilt for his silence about his father’s affair) and being diminished as the youngest member of the family”.
Arroll also understands why some find telling it all unproductive and a bit of “woe is me” coming from a prince.
“I think what people find difficult is the feeling that Harry’s privilege should somehow negate these emotional wounds, but this is not the case, nor is it a compassionate stance,” he said. “He is human, after all.”
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