When Trying to Be Helpful Is a Mental Trap

A therapist explains how solving other people’s problems can become an unhealthy form of stress relief

Kathleen Smith
Forge

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Photo: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

Pretty much everyone’s heard that famous Mr. Rogers quote: “Look for the helpers.” But when you’re a therapist, you quickly learn that the helpers are not always what they appear to be.

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Kathleen Smith
Forge

Kathleen Smith is a therapist and author of the books Everything Isn’t Terrible and True to You. She writes about anxiety, relationships, and Bowen theory.