Point of View

Point of View

The Angry Therapist: Transparency as a Therapeutic Tool

By Ryan Howes

July/August 2021

How transparent are you willing to be?

For many therapists, the draw of therapy is semivoyeuristic: we can look into the most intimate areas of our clients’ lives while remaining relatively safe in our clinical bubble. We’re there to empathize and facilitate healing, but our own shadows and skeletons remain hidden behind the blank slate.

John Kim, aka “The Angry Therapist,” has developed his practice, several books, and a massive social media following based on the opposite principle: candidness. Kim believes that a therapist’s own vulnerability helps clients feel comfortable enough to bare their own souls—and he practices what he preaches. He’s publicly chronicled his journey through divorce, career change, and internal struggles with his own mental health issues through his blog, social media channels (attracting more than 177,000 Instagram followers), and popular books, like I Used to be a Miserable F*ck and, most recently, Single On Purpose.

Kim’s unconventional therapy and coaching style feed a loyal fanbase of primarily millennials through his writing, workshops, online courses, and recently developed educational support groups. And no, he isn’t always angry. In his words, “It’s my way of saying I’m human.”

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Ryan Howes: You began practicing…

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