Bad Therapy
By Abigail Shrier
Sentinel, 320 pages, $30

Forty-two percent of Gen-Zers suffer from a mental illness. Less than half of them state that their mental health is OK, and a staggering 40 percent claim that they have seen a therapist to receive treatment. To address these problems, massive investments are being made in promoting therapy. In her new book, Abigail Shrier—a writer who gained fame for questioning the received narrative on so-called rapid-onset gender dysphoria—powerfully challenges the conventional wisdom on mental health. She argues that its constant expansion is responsible for encouraging young people to feel unwell in the first place.

The author contends that the psychological malaise afflicting Gen Z is iatrogenic. Iatrogenesis refers to the “phenomenon of a healer harming a patient in the course of treatment,” as she explains. Hence the title of her book, Bad Therapy. Yet by the end of her book, it becomes evident that such harms aren’t reducible to the intervention of individual healers, but to the influence of a broader therapeutic culture that unwittingly incites people to feel ill.

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