What’s in a Name: Why we chose The Shrink Space
The term ‘shrink’ or ‘headshrinker’ has historically signified feelings of uncertainty, mystery and suspicion associated with the professions of psychiatry and psychology. “Shrink” has been used in both positive and negative contexts including: as a term of endearment, a way of undermining the work of a mental health provider, or a communication of feeling analyzed. Rather than ignore these negative associations and allow the stigma to perpetuate, we chose to reclaim ‘shrink’ to regain control of the name and destigmatize the process of seeking treatment for mental health concerns.
Shrink is a term often used about us, but not by us. Similar to terms like queer and suffragette, that were once used derisively and since reclaimed by members of such disparaged groups, we are hoping to reappropriate this term to create a sense of pride and power in our work as mental health professionals.
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