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Prince Harry opens up about therapy in candid new interview – all the details

The Duke of Sussex has been in therapy since childhood

prince harry therapy
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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Prince Harry has long been open about being in therapy, but this week revealed he sees a big difference in the attitude to therapy between the UK and his new home in California.

MORE: Royals speak out about private therapy: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, James Middleton, more

Speaking on the Masters of Scale podcast, Harry agreed with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, who said: "As a born and raised Californian, 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," to which Prince Harry wholeheartedly agreed.

WATCH: Official trailer for Prince Harry and Oprah's mental health series

"You're absolutely right, Reid, about the cultural differences, they're immense," the Duke of Sussex 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.'"

MORE: Prince Harry's biggest revelations from mental health series The Me You Can't See

READ: Prince Harry reveals argument with Meghan Markle led him to seek therapy

Despite his beliefs about the UK's attitude to therapy, Prince Harry has rarely shied away from talking openly about seeking help.

He has publicly discussed his experience in several interviews, including on journalist Bryony Gordon's podcast, Mad World in 2017. "I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and all sorts of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle," he said.

harry bryony podcast© Photo: Instagram

Harry spoke about his mental health with journalist Bryony Gordon

He went on to add that losing his mother led to him "shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years", and it was only at the age of 28, spurred on by elder brother Prince William, that he decided to see a therapist.

MORE: Prince Harry says people quitting their jobs to put mental health first should be 'celebrated'

"The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that you're part of quite a big club," he said. "I can't encourage people enough to just have the conversation because you will be surprised firstly, how much support you get and secondly, how many people are literally longing for you to come out."

prince harry and meghan invictus games© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan Markle encouraged Prince Harry to attend therapy

It seems Harry often needs encouragement to seek therapy, as he has since shared that it was advice from his wife Meghan Markle that spurred him on to seek further help.

On his TV show with Oprah Winfrey, The Me You Can't See, Harry revealed: "I saw GPs. I saw doctors. I saw therapists. I saw alternative therapists. I saw all sorts of people, but it was meeting and being with Meghan. I knew that if I didn’t do the therapy and fix myself, that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with."

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Meghan and Harry spoke to Oprah about their mental health

"When [Meghan] said, 'I think you need to see someone,' it was in reaction to an argument that we had. And in that argument, not knowing about it, I reverted back to 12-year-old Harry. The moment I started therapy, it was probably within my second session, my therapist turned around to me and said, 'That sounds like you're reverting to 12-year-old Harry'.

"I felt somewhat ashamed and defensive. Like, 'How dare you? You're calling me a child.' And she goes, 'No, I'm not calling you a child. I'm expressing sympathy and empathy for you for what happened to you when you were a child. You never processed it. You were never allowed to talk about it and all of a sudden now it's coming up in different ways as projection'.

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"That was the start of a learning journey for me. I became aware that I'd been living in a bubble within this family, within this institution and I was sort of almost trapped in a thought process or a mindset."

On The Me You Can't See, Harry also shared he'd tried out EMDR therapy, known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy.

prince harry meghan markle smiling© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry has a more American approach to therapy since moving to LA

EMDR involves tapping your hands on your body, or moving your eyes from side to side while replaying the traumatic event in your mind.

Remembering the event at the same time as doing something mundane creates a new default for that memory, which helps our brains deal with trauma.

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