“There are many misconceptions about what therapy is, and I thought this would be a true public service for Lori and Guy to talk with callers about various issues,” Couric says.
“I knew listeners could see themselves in those roles and de-stigmatize the whole idea of therapy with a more conversational format… and I think people are much more comfortable talking about really difficult issues on a podcast.”
While diving into topics ranging from self-induced stress to family estrangement, Gottlieb and Winch foster conversations that are raw and intimate but also comfortable. In the process, they make therapy appear approachable and help destigmatize it.
“Therapy isn’t just for someone with a huge mental health crisis. It’s really a conversation to help you navigate your daily life more easily,” Gottlieb clarifies, adding that most of their listeners are “just everyday people who related to the show.”
“The podcast just feels like conversations, and that’s really important. It makes therapy accessible. It gives people ways to have conversations in their own lives that they don’t know how to have.”
Though the pandemic brought the issues discussed in “Dear Therapists” to the forefront, in its second season (out Tuesday) the therapists hope to hone in on the importance of emotional health.
“Once the pandemic is over, people won’t snap back into levels of previous mental health,” Winch says. “The anxiety of reintegrating will manifest; we’ll have to return to the office again. There are going to be a lot of emotional health challenges regardless of COVID.”
What can listeners look forward to? Expect candid conversations about Instagram infidelity, sibling relationships and more relatable topics that will allow people to “reflect and be awake and alive, not just sleepwalk through life.”
“It’s really resonating with a lot of people, and that’s really gratifying,” Couric says. “I think I was right about mental health being the next big frontier for exploration.”