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Why Therapists Avoid Using the Word ‘Toxic’

Labeling others can stunt your own growth

Illustration: Malte Mueller/Getty Images

OOne of my most important rules as a therapist: Ignore all adjectives. When one of my clients says someone in their life is selfish, or cold, or hot-tempered, it doesn’t tell me much about the problem. Adjectives aren’t facts.

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Kathleen Smith

Kathleen Smith

5.4K Followers

Kathleen Smith is a therapist and author of the book Everything Isn’t Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down.