12: Rachel Wright Thinks You Should See A Therapist
Interview with Rachel Wright
KORU: Dayana Pereira and Colin Kirts
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Many performers experience anxiety, depression, or both. Justin sits down with licensed psychotherapist Rachel Wright to discuss mental health, being vulnerable, and acting sexy.
Rachel Wright is a licensed psychotherapist, educator, speaker, writer, and the co-founder of the Wright Wellness Center. Connect with Rachel on Instagram at @thewright_rachel.

Welcome to the twelfth episode of Audition Secrets!

Assess yourself
Justin sits down with Rachel Wright, the co-founder of the Wright Wellness Center, and his first ever guest who is a therapist. Even better, Rachel has a theatrical background, so she’s “one of us!”

Rachel and Justin unpack some of the common experiences among artists in her therapy sessions — starting with anxiety. Rachel tells us that anxiety, like anything in life, is on a spectrum, but the first thing we must do when experiencing anxiety is to ask ourselves if it’s actually stress or fear. A simple example: fear is panicking when encountering a bear on a hike, anxiety is not going on the hike for fear that a bear might attack you. Similarly, stress at the audition is probably fear, because the event is happening, whereas anxiety is not showing up to the audition at all.

Talk it out
They discuss how anxiety can often manifest in creative people and young people — and how social media may be making it worse. Rachel believes that more we can talk about it, especially in the theatre community, the more normalized getting support can be. The cite The Prom’s Caitlin Kinnunen as a wonderfully vocal proponent of mental health awareness.

Well, excited and scared
Rachel offers some techniques to help manage anxiety. She believes finding a therapist is a great option for almost everyone, and rather than waiting until “the shit hits the fan” to come into a session and catch a stranger up when you’re at your most vulnerable, you can establish a relationship with someone who is already there when struggles manifest. Different things work for different people: meditation, exercise, medication (consult a doctor, please)!
The two discuss how some of the best actors they know are in therapy, and how it seems to allow them a nuanced understanding of and access into their own (and thus, their characters’) psyches.

Young and depressed
You can feel depressed without being diagnosed with depression, but all in all, depression is when nothing sounds good to you anymore, when the things that you typically would love are uninteresting. The great way to mitigate these feelings: talk with someone you trust. Tell them what’s going on for you. Apps like Talkspace and Better Help can offer some viable, short-term, direct digital access to therapy. In-person therapy is great, and 50% of therapy’s success is based on the therapist-patient relationship.

I’ll be there for you?
Rachel discusses some cultural examples of good and bad communication in relationships — ones that get passed down and messaged to young people, calling Friends to mind and discerning the health of Chandler and Monica’s relationship. But Justin posits, and Rachel confirms, that conflict has the potential to actually bring people closer.

Bringing sexy back
Rachel, a sex therapist, finishes off the episode by highlighting some of the striking similarities between theatrical performance and sexual performance, and what’s at the essence of both.

People, Places & Things mentioned in this episode:
Wright Wellness Center https://wrightwellnesscenter.com/

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