Prince Harry Claims People in California and the U.K. Have Different Views on Therapy

Prince Harry has been advocating for mental health and is even a chief impact officer of the mental health startup BetterUp. He recently talked about therapy and the differences in the way therapy is viewed in the U.K. and in California.

Prince Harry looking on while wearing a blue jacket
Prince Harry | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince Harry has talked about going to therapy

Harry grew up in one of the most famous families in the world. He also dealt with the death of his mother at a young age. The Duke of Sussex has shared that therapy is one way he cares for his mental health in his tumultuous life.

In the 2021 docuseries The Me You Can’t See, Harry shared that his wife, Meghan Markle, encouraged him to seek therapy.

“It was meeting and being with Meghan, I knew that if I didn’t do therapy and fix myself, that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with,” he admitted.

However, according to biographer Angela Levin, Harry previously told her that the person who got him to consider therapy was his brother, Prince William. Another royal author, Katie Nicholl, also backed up this claim that William suggested therapy to Harry before Meghan did.

Prince Harry says therapy is viewed differently in California and the U.K.

Harry recently appeared on the podcast Masters of Scale with BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux. 

In one part of the episode, host Reid Hoffman said, “As a born and raised Californian myself, we would tell jokes. ‘Hey, my therapist will talk to your therapist,’ as a way of building a connection. I’m aware that that is a very Californian perspective.”

Harry has been living in Montecito since 2020, and he agreed that people in California are more receptive to therapy. The duke compared his experience in The Golden State to that in his home country.

“You’re absolutely right, Reid, about the cultural differences. They’re immense,” he said. “You talk about it here in California, ‘I’ll get my therapist to call your therapist.’ Whereas in the U.K. it’s like, ‘Therapist? What therapist? Whose therapist? I don’t have a therapist. No, I definitely don’t. I’ve never spoken to a therapist.’”

Other royals are promoting mental health conversations in the U.K.

While Harry is promoting mental health in California, other royals are promoting it in the U.K. For example, in 2016, Prince William and Kate Middleton launched a mental health initiative called Heads Together. The couple has since been trying to start conversations about mental health among children and adults.

William and Kate also lead by example. They have opened up to the public about some difficulties they have faced, such as William’s time working as an air ambulance pilot and the toll it took on him. Kate has also admitted to dealing with challenges as a mother.

Additionally, William has shared that he wants his children to grow up understanding their emotions, which he believes will help them navigate various difficulties in life.

“Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings,” William told Calm Magazine in 2017. He added, “Emotional intelligence is key for us all to deal with the complexities of life and relationships.”

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