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All Therapists Are Muggles

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Even vampire ladies need an ear sometimes.
Dr. Fuller: Why don't you tell me how you're feeling?
Sam: I'm fine. I mean, okay, a little depressed, I guess.
Dr. Fuller: All right — any idea why?
Sam: Probably because I started the Apocalypse.
[Doctor smiles weakly, then picks up his phone]

Sometimes, characters need therapy to cope with what's happened to them, but the events they would need to talk about are part of some Big Secret that would sound delusional to outsiders. Unfortunately, there are no therapists who aren't outsiders. This trope can be used as a way to avert There Are No Therapists but still "keep" the emotional stakes.

To make matters worse, the character can't or won't creatively edit his story. Maybe to add insult to injury, the author finishes an adventure by winding back time so only this character remembers what happened, or has him followed by a shadowy government agency charged with enforcing the Masquerade.

Not a single therapist in the world is "in the know". Especially weird if you consider that if, say, vampires are real, in such a world vampire-related traumas should be at least slightly more common. Or, even worse, they ARE in the know, but are running interference for the Powers That Be, and will proceed to gaslight you into convincing yourself that you are completely delusional.

You could try to get the help you need anyway, but your Muggle therapist will probably get quite the wrong idea. Cue men in white coats wrestling you into a straitjacket.

You might even end up turning your therapist mad by revealing the secret or by covering it up again when you're done.

Options remaining: Go Ax-Crazy, join The Dark Side, die at your own hand or another's, take the blue pill, or be Killed to Uphold the Masquerade.

Probably the best way to use a therapist is by telling him about your friend or couching the real problem in a metaphor, but of course, this can lead to the therapist Dramatically Missing the Point.

Sister trope of There Are No Therapists. Compare with Cassandra Truth and You Have to Believe Me!. May be caused by the Masquerade, The World Is Not Ready, or the Weirdness Censor.

Interestingly, this trope is—at least sometimes—averted in Real Life. The US government actually retains a nonzero number of therapists specifically cleared to be "in the know" and treat various spies, soldiers, and other people who operate in—shall we say—special lines of work.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Black★Rock Shooter, one of the major catalysts for the problems is the fact that the therapist is not a muggle.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth's second half opens with the girls' families being deeply concerned over the sudden depression each has developed ever since an ordinary field trip to Tokyo Tower. There's no way Hikaru, Umi, or Fuu can actually say that they were taken to another world and killed two people.

    Comic Books 
  • Averted in Marvel Comics for gamma-irradiated psychologist Doc Samson, who apparently all the supers in the world consult with their problemsnote . Except not lately, because Doc Samson has been evil, dead, or both. Another example is Dr. Kafka, psychiatrist at Ravencroft, the prison for insane super-villains in Spider-Man.

    Other Marvel Comics therapists, however, play with this trope, since they were apparently mad to begin with or themselves went crazy from learning their clients' secrets. Moonstone from Thunderbolts is more likely to deliberately make your problems worse for her own fun and profit than to try to help you. Then, in Spider-Man, the third character to adopt the Green Goblin identity was Bart Hamilton, originally the therapist for Norman Osborn's son Harry and took over Harry's villainy.
  • In another Marvel aversion, Silk regularly visits Dr. Marie Porter, a therapist who specifically treats heroes and other people with superpowers. Marie was recommended to Silk by Mister Fantastic, who admitted that he'd also visited her about his own anxiety problems. Throughout Silk's comic run, Marie is one of the few characters who is confident that Silk can get her life together.
  • Zatanna: Subverted in Zatanna (2010), when Zatanna attends a group therapy session for people who have experienced supernatural occurrences. It gets double-subverted when it's revealed her therapist is actually a demon that is connected to the Big Bad (though the comic was canceled before the sub-plot went anywhere).
  • Love and Capes averts this trope with Doc Karma, who serves as their psychiatrist and doctor.
  • Black Canary and Green Arrow attempt therapy as civilians using euphemisms to discuss superhero-related stuff. While arguing Oliver accidentally says "deaths" instead of "ice-cream" and startles the therapist. They visit another therapist under their secret identities but that doesn't work either because they aren't being 100% honest with their therapist.
  • Averted in PS238: Nurse Newby isn't just The Medic with Healing Hands, she's also a therapist who runs a support group for depowered metahumans.
  • One Batman story has Arkham's therapist work with the inmates (including one white-collar criminal who thought it was smart to get himself declared insane and locked up in Arkham rather than prison). Unfortunately, it turns out she's not a muggle but was at one point killed and replaced by a supervillain specializing in, well, Kill and Replace.
  • In the 2019 Vampirella series, after being involved in a plane crash that kills one of her friends, Vampirella starts visiting a therapist to deal with her issues. Naturally, the guy doesn't believe that she's an alien vampire or that other supernatural creatures exist. He's so committed to being The Scully that even shoving a horde of zombies in his face sends him into instant denial mode.
  • Averted by Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink, who — as the title indicates — is a therapist who specializes in treating super-heroes, villains, and anyone in-between.

    Fan Works 
  • Played with in Bird, as the personnel at Alchemilla are all, technically, PRT staff. As such there are no parahumans among them... Except for the Protectorate squad that helps out with security.
  • Lampshaded regularly in the Harry Potter fandom to explain why the many characters with serious issues and traumatic backgrounds can't get therapy.
    • Oh God, Not Again! mentions that Cho Chang only got better after years of therapy, and she needed to edit her story because all therapists are Muggles.
    • Discussed in Reparations. Draco Malfoy is a therapist in the drug rehab wing of St Mungo's and argues that wizards have to have their own rehab because if wizards only had Muggle therapists and groups, they would have to edit magic out of their accounts and that would sabotage the process and doom the patient to failure.
    • Invoked in The Confectionary Chronicles; while Hermione has been associating with Loki (AKA Gabriel of Supernatural) and his family since she essentially became his High Priestess while pledging her worship to him, her grief over her older sister's suicide and later events such as being captured by Odin eventually hamper her ability to interact with others her age. As a result, Loki's son Fenris suggests therapy, identifying a shapeshifter in America who works as a therapist who he feels may be able to help Hermione despite her unconventional circumstances.
    • The Housekeeper:
      Aaron: Don't joke about what you went through.
      Harry: I have to. The magical world doesn't have psychologists or psychiatrists. Just a mental ward in St. Mungo's.
    • Reconstructed in The Perils of Innocence when a facility for mentally troubled children treats the muggleborn witches and wizards admitted as any other non-neurotypical child. By showing the children that their condition (having magic) isn't something to be ashamed of, and helping them work through the negative side effects (uncontrolled magic) with patience and compassion.
  • Child of the Storm averts this, with Charles Xavier, who functions as a therapist, and it's mentioned that one of his former students, Dani Moonstar (Doctor Moonstar, rather), is also serving as one. Xavier is the one who's usually recommended, partly because while he isn't the only one, there aren't many others, and he's the best (and taught the next best). This is a pretty natural side-effect of decades of being a telepath and therefore having an excellent understanding of the human mind, even when he isn't actively reading someone's thoughts. Also, Harry doesn't actually know about any others for a while.
  • Lampshaded in the author's notes of Windows of the Soul, a My-HiME fanfic that deals with Shizuru's lingering guilt over her actions late in the series and the implications they have for her relationship with Natsuki.
    "Sometimes I wonder whether it would be easier if I just had Shizuru see a psychologist. The problem being, how does she say "I have a huge guilt complex over killing scores of people with my summoned demon named after the legendary Kiyohime" without being put in an asylum? Perhaps the First District has specialised psychologists. Oh, wait. She blew them up. That's what she's guilty about."
  • There is a crossover of Supernatural and Bones called The Dead Man in the Lab by Sameuspegasus where the main characters of the latter are clued in to the workings of the former. Cas, being even more protective of Dean than usual, insists that Sweet 'fix' Dean. Mood Whiplash sets in as Cas goes from ineffectually saying "You will fix him now!" to stating "You will fix him NOW." All while Sweets and everybody else is desperately trying to acclimate themselves to the idea of angels and the apocalypse. Sweets keeps desperately hoping his phone will go off in the middle of his improvised "therapy" sessions and let him off the hook. The story hits the trope straight on, as well, with the line: "Sweets was going to need serious psychotherapy after this. Only there was no-one who could give it to him."
  • Discussed in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) fic "The Girl Next Door", when April muses that curing her father of his current mutation has become more important as he's the only psychologist who will understand everything going on in her life and can help her deal with recent events, which include her being betrayed to the Foot by her new neighbour, nearly being raped by the Shredder, and having to watch Michaelangelo take a near-fatal stab wound trying to save her (her neighbour was Tang Mei, Tang Shen's presumed-dead sister, who initially panicked and assumed that April was with the Foot herself).
  • In "The Turn", after the Mighty Ducks (apart from Tanya) are taken as hosts by the Yeerks (Animorphs), a chain of events lead to Tanya suggesting that the Animorphs approach the Chee about getting therapy, on the reasoning that at least one Chee must be a licensed therapist of some sort. They are even able to take it a step further by finding a Chee who is already "undercover" with the Yeerks, allowing Tom in particular to assume that the Chee therapist is encouraging Jake and his friends to join the Sharing when in reality she is genuinely helping them. The group ultimately all find the benefits of this arrangement, ranging from Tanya facing her own fears about telling some of her past secrets to her new team to helping Rachel recognise that she's a Blood Knight in the sense that she enjoys fighting but just in the sense that she likes knowing she's making a difference.
  • Had to be taken into account when someone was attacked by a magical monster in "Roll the Bones" by Vathara: "'Set up appointment for Wolf with the department shrink,' he noted down. Thought a second. 'Check morgue audio-tape log. Make sure shrink knows he was not hallucinating.'"
  • The reason R!Syaoran refuses therapy offered by the hospital for his PTSD caused by his torture in Shatterheart is that he doesn't want to be seen as crazy and have to explain dimension-travel.
  • In Just a Child, Kanna has to lie about her past and family to a therapist she sees, since the therapist does not know about dragons.
  • Thoroughly explored and discussed in the Good Omens fic Demonology and the Tri-Phasic Model of Trauma where Crowley sees a human therapist named Aubrey Thyme and initially tries to avoid telling her that he's a demon and the original Serpent of Eden whose trauma stems from both that and almost losing his angelic partner during the almost-Apocalypse. When their therapy sessions hit a wall due to Aubrey not knowing the full story and thinking that Crowley is just lying unnecessarily to her, Crowley decides to tell her the whole truth which she needs a long time and a lot of soul-searching to come to terms with.
  • Starfall (Star vs. the Forces of Evil): Earth psychiatrists understandably think Marco has had a psychotic break when he insists he was dating a magical princess from another dimension that no one else remembers. It doesn't take Marco long to learn how to fake taking his meds and just tell them what they want to hear. When he comes back from Mewni briefly, they think he's had a relapse, and when his parents call to explain, the doctors assume he was using hallucinogenic drugs after all, and that his parents got in his stash. Then Star shows up, briefly tries to explain, and uses magic when that doesn't work.
    The doctor sat in a destroyed office. The door had been ripped from the frame by a large neon green primate. The office lights had been smashed. Flying anglerfish provided the only illumination. Seated at the desk, the doctor completed notes in Marco's file.
    When the file was closed, the magically summoned beings disappeared. The office was now dark. The doctor opened a desk drawer and withdrew a bottle of scotch.
  • In the Resurgence Series, Edward needs to visit a standard human therapist to try and cope with his grief after Bella's apparent death, which leads to him meeting the amnesic 'Gabriel Grey'.
  • Hivefled: When Gamzee gets help (over voice chat), he edits his story heavily, claiming to be a human named Gaspar. When he admits he's been lying and that he's an alien, the assumption is that he's delusional and hallucinating.
  • The Traitorous Soldier: Following the events of Prickly Pair, the gems have Steven meet with a therapist, which Garnet saw as the best option. While it has helped Steven calm down with the exception of a few outbursts, talking about the events of Steven's life has given the therapist trauma.
  • Yesterday Upon The Stair: All children are given basic therapy to deal with their Quirks; however, since Izuku couldn't prove that what he was seeing was real, he was registered as Quirkless, and was never given official therapy. He did however get some therapy... from a dead doctor who didn't know he was dead. Despite that obstacle, said doctor was actually a big help because he asked Izuku "What do these ghosts want from you?" That's what made Izuku realize he wasn't facing invisible monsters, but rather people that only he could help.
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: In Part 2 of "What if all the yeerks suddenly died?", Rachel becomes increasingly violent after losing her outlet of guerrilla warfare against alien invaders, and eventually takes Chapman up on his offer of a therapist (who was also a former Controller, so she'd at least know Rachel wasn't crazy).
  • Intentionally averted in the Wayward Children / Infinity Train crossover Job Interview. While the "door" that Grace Monroe went through is different than the doors that Eleanor West's wards went through, her time on the Infinity Train and her own struggles and atonement had given her experience to help understand the students.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim: Lampshaded in Season 2 Episode 13, when Viera notes how Team Save Earth probably need to see a therapist after all the things they've dealt with, only for Dib to bitterly point out how, given the sort of stuff they deal with, said therapist would just have them shipped off to the crazy house.
  • Hours 'Verse: Averted. After her timeline is destroyed, Hamuko goes to Maki for therapy sessions. She also talks to Maya about it, due to her having faced a similar experience. Later as part of his rehabilitation deal, Akechi also visits Maki.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Dr. Neuman in The Mask doesn't believe that the mask could have any supernatural properties. When Stanley tries to demonstrate, nothing happens. He angrily declares it must only work at night, which doesn't do much to convince the therapist. The continuation has him meet the protagonist as well and still thinks there's some kind of delusion going on.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • Subverted in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by 'the Professor', who is quite willing to accept that something impossible happened to them. (The book version eventually explains why.)
      The Professor: Well, if she's not mad, and she's not lying, then... logically... she must be telling the truth.
    • In Prince Caspian, Peter and his siblings lived into adulthood in Narnia, a Magical Land inside a wardrobe, and now are stuck in a world that treats them as children so despite having problems like getting into fights and struggling to relate to other people, trying to explain those issues to a Muggle therapist would probably get them sectioned.
  • Subverted in Blade: Trinity, where a famous psychologist goes on record on TV that Blade is crazy... but it's revealed that he's a Familiar to the ruling vampires.
  • Subverted in The Forgotten. Dr. Munce not only knows about the alien beings using Telly as a Guinea pig, he's working for them.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street:
    • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors:
      • Subverted with Dr. Neil Gordon. He's one of the therapists trying to help the Freddy-plagued kids and while skeptical at first, he's actually willing to admit the possibility that they and Nancy are faced with a supernatural threat.
      • Played straight with Dr. Elizabeth Simms. She, unfortunately, assumes they're delusional and has one of them sedated: the worst possible outcome of this trope, under the circumstances.
    • Inverted in Freddy vs. Jason: The mental hospital staff in Springwood know damn well that Freddy is for real and use Hypnocil and fraudulent institutionalization of witnesses to ensure that Freddy's potential victims remain Muggles. That way, the dream-stalking killer can't gain strength from their fear. All of that changes once Jason shows up and gives everyone a reason to fear again.
  • Terminator: Dr. Silberman, the police psychiatrist in The Terminator and the hospital administrator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, isn't for one moment going to take stories of time-traveling killer androids seriously. But as he's continually exposed to the truth, by Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, he's starting to crack — briefly trying to counsel one witness to the two robots' fight about how sometimes "we" think we see things that are impossible, but it's just stress altering the memory. He's visibly struggling with the situation and his own repression of what he saw in the first two movies when Arnold shows up again and he all but messes his pants in terror.
  • In a deleted scene of The Incredible Hulk (2008), Bruce tries to explain his condition to therapist Leonard Samson, but all he can safely say is that "there are aspects of my personality that I can't control." Samson mistakes it for just anger management problems but does perceive that Bruce is holding part of the info back and is annoyed that he does so.
  • Defied in The Rage: Carrie 2. School psychologist Sue Snell, having survived the first film, is the first person to realize that Rachel has Psychic Powers, and makes a special effort to try and talk her through her issues. Everybody else only finds out about Rachel's powers much too late.
  • When Phil Conners of Groundhog Day attempts to seek help, people think that his claims that he's trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop are just insanity and he winds up in the office of the town's only psychologist. The doctor, of course, is no help, saying that Phil's issues are pretty far outside his usual cases ("I have an alcoholic now!", he says proudly), and that he'd like for Phil to come back the next day for another session; Phil simply covers his face with a pillow and punches it.
    Doctor: "...Is that not good?"
    Phil: *hits pillow again*
  • A mundane variant occurs in the film Confessions of a Hitman: the title character attempts to confess his many crimes to a priest, but the priest, thinking he is delusional, refuses him absolution and recommends therapy instead.
  • Played with in Donnie Darko. Dr. Thurman initially characterizes Donnie's visions as "daylight hallucinations" but eventually comes to believe that they're genuine.
  • In Spider-Man 2, Peter tries to indirectly broach the subject of his increasingly enervated powers during a doctor's check-up by claiming to have had a dream that he was Spider-Man losing his powers. But he quickly figures this might be too suspicious, so he changes the story to it being a friend's dream about being Spider-Man. Peter is still able to convey enough about the situation to get some concrete advice from the doctor — namely, that perhaps "being Spider-Man" (figuratively speaking from the doctor's perspective) isn't so good for his well-being.
  • In Stranger Than Fiction, Harold goes to a psychologist to help deal with the voice in his head that has told him he's going to die. Not surprisingly, she diagnoses him with schizophrenia and recommends medication.
  • The Dead Center takes place an emergency psych ward, and portrays it much more realistically than most horror movies. Early on, Dr. Forrester thinks his patient has some kind of catatonia or dissociative amnesia. But once he gets John Doe into a trance, interviews him, and a couple of people die, he figures out that it's Demonic Possession fairly quickly.
  • Candyman: Helen is committed to a mental hospital after the spirit of Candyman possesses her body to frame her for several murders. She runs into this problem when she tries to prove the existence of Candyman to her psychiatrist without appearing insane... only for the psychiatrist to be promptly murdered in front of her by the summoned Candyman so he can frame her again!

  • Vorkosigan Saga: In Shards of Honor, Cordelia literally couldn't tell the Escobaran or Betan therapists the truth about what happened to her while in Barrayaran captivity, since that could set off a civil war on Barrayar. They end up thinking she's been suborned, causing her to run away to escape the "therapy" they're offering, which only makes it look worse.
  • In The Stepford Wives, Joanna, at the request of her husband Walter, sees a therapist from out of town and shares with her about the suspicions she's having about the women of Stepford and how all her friends suddenly became domesticated fembots eerily similar to the ones at Disneyland and her fears about what would happen to her. The therapist merely thinks that Joanna is unconsciously unhappy in her role as a homemaker, the Holiday season is too stressful, she isn't used to suburban life as opposed to city life, and that Stepford just happens to attract that sort of person.
  • Defied in the Laura Caxton series, as people are aware that vampires are real but characters can't visit therapists for more standard reasons, such as Laura being either busy at work or on the run from the law and Simon Arkeley running out of money to pay his bills after his father became a vampire, turned his sister, and then they both tried to turn or kill Simon.
  • In New Moon, when Bella's erratic behavior after Edward leaves her borders on clinical depression, Charlie tries to get Bella to see a therapist. She refuses, claiming that she couldn't tell a therapist about how the Cullens were vampires and that she'd decided that therapy wouldn't work if she wasn't 100% truthful.
  • Animorphs: The need for secrecy prevents any of the characters in this from seeking help (as they can never be sure who is or isn't an enemy operative that is searching for them), but the psychological ramifications of being in the sort of fight they're in are explored. The Animorphs have very interesting nightmares and will do so for the rest of their lives.
    • Cassie tries to act as a sort-of therapeutic substitute, but her success is limited. And in one case, Jake blows her off and gives Marco a verbal Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! to snap him out of a funk.
    • In one book, Marco lampshades the impossibilities of telling a professional therapist about their problems:
      Hello, Doctor Freud? My dad's thinking about remarrying. See, he thinks my mom is dead, but she's not. She's actually a slave to an alien race trying to take over the planet. And did I mention that I'm fighting this alien invasion myself? That I do it by turning into animals? Say what? What size straitjacket do I wear?
    • Note that the stress of his dad remarrying after a long widowage isn't the normal version- Marco knows his mother is still very much alive, and the current host body of Visser One, and this is causing him to have morphing troubles. Specifically, morphing into two animals at the same time. Good luck finding a therapist for that particular issue.
  • Subverted in Young Wizards. Nita is assigned to see the school counselor after her mother dies of cancer. At first she assumes the counselor is a muggle, but then he says some things that make her wonder. Finally she comes right out and asks him. It turns out he isn't a wizard, but he's in on the secret and even gets the main cast out of school during Wizards at War so that they're free to prevent the end of the universe.
  • Subverted in the Magic Realism novel Prince Ombra. Bentley's psychiatrist, Dr. Kreistein, happens to be extremely well-versed in mythology and realizes that Bentley is the current reincarnation of several heroes of legend, including King Arthur and Susano. Dr. Kreistein becomes Bentley's lifelong friend and advisor, aiding him in his destiny to save the world from Prince Ombra, the very source of evil and insanity.
  • Played with in Monster Hunter International. There are therapists who know about monsters. Two of them. But the people who follow up on monster attacks don't say, "These are the therapists to go to." They say, "Never tell anyone. They'll think you're crazy. And then we'll kill you, just to make sure." As many real-life psychologists have found, this makes the resulting PTSD much worse.
  • Averted in Mercedes Lackey's Music To My Sorrow, where we are told that Eric has found a therapist who knows that magic and elves are real.
  • The protagonist's therapist in the Stephen King short story "The Boogeyman" is a horrific inversion; he's actually the titular boogeyman who killed the protagonist's children, and it's implied will now kill him as well.
  • Averted in Jim C. Hines' Magic Ex Libris series: Nidhi Shah, while she's a Muggle in the sense that she doesn't have magic, is in on the Masquerade and is specifically employed as a psychiatrist to the Porters. There certainly isn't any shortage of work for her to do.
  • In the strategy guide to X-Wing Series, it tells the story of the protagonist, Keyan Farlander, as a young pilot for the Rebel Alliance who is Force-Sensitive, but has no teacher, and is learning on instinct alone. He keeps having disturbing visions as the Dark Side is tempting him. He tries to go to the sickbay to ask for help and to figure out what is happening to him, but the medical droid tries to have him grounded on psychiatric grounds when he tries to explain what's happening to him. He has to use a Jedi Mind Trick on the Flight Surgeon to stay on flight status.
  • In Foucault's Pendulum, main character Causabon shows up at the office of psychiatrist Doctor Wagner, a minor character from earlier. He recites the story of the book, which concerns secret alchemical brotherhoods, ancient conspiracies, and a plot to control the earth's magnetic field. Wagner's only response is to tell him he's insane. In Wagner's defense, by that point Causabon is an extremely Unreliable Narrator and, after spending so much time immersed in esoteric manuscripts and dealing with delusional cults, probably is crazy. Probably.
  • Carry On discusses this with Baz: his stepmom says that he's used to being discreet about his condition, so he could probably see a muggle therapist. Baz rejects this idea immediately. The ending averts this. Simon has Skype therapy sessions with one of the few magickal psychologists in the world and says they really help. Rainbow Rowell apparently got very fed up with the idea that Chosen Ones can't get PTSD treatment.
  • In book 1 of The Demonata, Grubbs ends up in a mental hospital after seeing the demon Lord Loss and his minions slaughtering his family. The staff does the best they can for him, but they take his repeated claims that demons killed his family as him being unable/unwilling to discuss whatever more realistic tragedy he witnessed. After his uncle Dervish finds him, confirms the demons were real, and advises Grubbs to change his story to something similar but believable (specifically that a madman broke into the house and killed everyone), Grubbs is able to respond positively to treatment.
    • This is subverted in book 3: after a particularly traumatic experience in the demon realm, Dervish is put in touch with a psychiatrist who already knows about the existence of demons and magic, meaning that he can be completely honest about what happened. However, whatever he went through was so horrifying that the psychiatrist was scared off after two sessions.
  • In The Ship Who..., it's not that there's any kind of masquerade, but rather that shellpeople are functionally a Human Subspecies with some different needs and ways of looking at the world than ordinary "softpeople", though this doesn't present an insurmountable barrier. Carialle survived a traumatic experience before The Ship Who Won that left her in extensive therapy for two years. Part of this was art therapy. That particular therapist asked her to make self-portraits and expected them to be human-shaped. Carialle, as Wetware CPU removed from her nearly destroyed ship-body, instead painted spaceships with some human features.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Dalinar's ardents end up with the custody of a madman who believes he is Talenel'Elin, one of the ten Heralds of the Almighty, and spends all his time staring at a wall while repeating a speech about how the people need to prepare for the coming Desolation. He of course actually is Taln, driven insane after being abandoned by the other Heralds to suffer the tortures alone for over four and a half thousand years. His mental state isn't helped by the fact that local psychological treatment is still in its infancy; standard practice is pretty much to just leave him alone in a dark room and hope he gets better. In Oathbringer, Dalinar finally realizes who he is, and by the end of the book he has custody of him again (in addition to Shalash, another Herald, who is insane in a different direction).
  • Played with in Super Powereds. Given the Training from Hell and the harsh life all Heroes go through, it makes sense they'd need therapy at some point. However, very few therapists are qualified to handle their issues, especially since the Heroes also have to be able to open up fully, including revealing their secret identities. For the students at Lander, this is handled by Dr. Moran, among her other responsibilities. In book 4, Mary decides that she doesn't want to be a Hero, so she drops out of the HCP and decides to complete her degree in psychology in order to become a certified therapist for Heroes. Given her telepathy and HCP experiences, this would give her unparalleled insight into Hero lives.
  • Subverted in Touch (2017). Dr. Natalie Sharpe is a government-employed magical therapist. The protagonist, James, is sent to her after being raped specifically because magic runs in his family and his parents realize that the incident might cause a Traumatic Superpower Awakening. He doesn't learn any of this for a while, however, even after his Flight and wind powers manifest.
  • In Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, Leonard gets sent to a child psychiatrist, who is obviously incompetent and insists Leonard has mental conditions he doesn't have. Leonard decides to exploit this to get out of school, and tells him the complete truth about his supernatural adventures learning mind-control. The shrink doesn't believe him but later on is introduced to a Venusian who confirms everything Leonard said. Being faced with the reality of Leonard's "delusions", the shrink proceeds to lose his mind and go crazy.
  • Subverted in Card Force Infection. Fletcher wants to talk to the school counselor about his issues, and while he's waiting he works himself up into a frenzy trying to figure out how he's going to gloss over the infection and the devil and all that — only for Mrs. Waldemer to reveal that the Akimoto family has looped her in on the whole thing, specifically so the Peppermint Knights have someone to talk to.
  • Averted in Team Human. Since vampires live openly in this setting, there's a special group of therapists who deal with vampiric issues. Anna's father worked there, which factors into the mystery subplot of the book. People who want to transition are legally required to have three counseling sessions before they get approved.
  • In Harry Potter, the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy prevents wizards from revealing the existence of the Wizarding World to Muggles, even to seek out therapy. Many characters, including Harry, could benefit from therapy, but the only mental care St. Mungo's Hospital seems to offer is the Janus Thickey Ward for permanent residents.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Doctor Who, Amy is twice sent to therapy when others find out what she's experienced and can't believe it's real: in "The Eleventh Hour" because of her tales of the Raggedy Doctor, and in "The Big Bang" where all the stars have gone out and young Amy is one of few people in the world who remember them.
  • Titans (2018). In "Lazarus", Bruce Wayne advises that Jason Todd see Doctor Leslie Thompkins; a psychiatrist who knows his Secret Identity and so can give effective counselling. After a rocky start, things appear to be going well, but a misunderstanding causes Jason to think that she's betrayed him, driving him into the arms of Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow (ironically one of her former students).
  • In Torchwood, Suzie exploits this trope as part of a plan for her own resurrection. Under cover of talking through her work-related issues, she attends a support group regularly armed with the drug that Torchwood uses to maintain the Masquerade. To her colleagues, this initially appears to be a reasonable solution to the lack of therapists who know about Torchwood and aliens but they soon piece together that she was actually using the drug and the support group sessions to secretly turn her confidant into an Ax-Crazy serial killer and living backdoor to the Torchwood security system.
  • In Being Human (UK), Annie was abused by her fiancĂ©, forced to watch him be romantic with his new girlfriend (who was also Annie's old friend), and then found out that he murdered her. Unfortunately, Annie is dead and thus would have a bit of trouble making an appointment.
  • Pretty much all the hunters in Supernatural have deep-seated psychological issues which go unaddressed apart from the occasional psychologically convenient monster-induced dreamscape. The reason they can't seek aid is nicely demonstrated by the episode "Sam, Interrupted", where they do go to a therapist and try to explain their problems. Shortly after they start into why they have these issues they get committed. (Fortunately, it was all part of a Cassandra Gambit.) While in the mental hospital, Dean finds a female therapist who has the knack of zeroing in on Dean's issues. However she turns out to be a hallucination. Dean is so disturbed by this he declares the only way to deal with their issues is to bury them. And he does, via sex and booze till the inevitable Heroic BSoD later on in the season.
  • Out of This World (1987): Evie goes to therapy and brings her mom and dad, or at least, the glowing crystal through which her alien dad communicates. The therapist is very much a muggle but believes them and they appeal to doctor/patient confidentiality to keep their secret safe.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy sees a counselor in "Beauty and the Beasts" who has no idea about vampires and the like, though he turns out to be a pretty good counselor anyway, and figures out what her problem essentially is minus the supernatural elements. Then he gets killed by the Monster of the Week, like Buffy's last good teacher.
    • Inverted a bit, however, in season 7, where Buffy herself becomes a counselor at the rebuilt Sunnydale High School. Buffy will sometimes tell when students are having supernatural problems even when the students are muggles, though it's implied her counselling skills in general need some work.
    • Played with in "Conversations With Dead People", when a newly arisen vampire turns out to have a psychology degree, and be an old passing acquaintance of Buffy's, he and Buffy have a very long chat - while he is a self-admitted Card-Carrying Villain, he's also totally Affably Evil (his exact words: "Buffy, I'm here to kill you, not judge you."), and seems genuinely more interested in detangling her issues than actually trying to kill her. Although, aside from knowing that vampires exist (and only because he is one), he gives no indication of knowing anything else supernatural exists.
    • The comic book continuation has Xander start seeing a "Dr. Mike" in season 10 due to trauma and anger issues. It actually works fantastically well for those things (it helps that we're now in The Unmasqued World) to the point of Xander being to help his friends with similar advice, but when Xander's issue involves the potential ghost of an ex that may or may not be real (it's complicated) Dr. Mike's advice proves disastrous since it fails to take the potential ghost's feelings into account.
  • In Blindspot, while the situation is not explicitly 'supernatural', protagonist Jane Doe has to deal with issues such as complete amnesia caused by a unique drug and the discovery that her pre-amnesia self was a ruthless terrorist. Later in the series, her psychiatrist Doctor Borden is revealed to be a mole for the organization that Jane 'originally' worked for and was basically manipulating her treatment to go along with their plan, but after Jane recovers her old memories, she is forced to go to Borden for help putting them in perspective because every other therapist she consults requires too much background information to properly diagnose her mental state.
  • In Red Dwarf, after the original crew is brought back to life, Kryten is sent to a counsellor. The counsellor, having been brought back from the dead and being unaware of the passage of millions of years, assumes Kryten is crazy for believing himself to be constructed in (what is from this counsellor's perspective) the future. Though maintaining a cheerful disposition as he hears about his good fortune at not being dead anymore, he repeatedly requests Kryten confirm that his chair is still securely screwed down.
  • In Sliders, all the sliders need therapy, given that they (usually permanently) leave one universe for another every couple of days and the experience isn't always pleasant. Hell, the original sliders' home Earth is now in the hands of a bloodthirsty humanoid race with a taste for human eyeballs. Only one episode involves a visit to a shrink, and that one involves Rembrandt needing to vent his doubts about whether Professor Arturo is "their" Arturo. The shrink thinks that Rembrandt is completely nuts and calls a mental hospital to commit him. After witnessing a slide, he himself suffers a breakdown and is taken away.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, John Connor and Cameron both see a therapist as part of a plot to kidnap a terminator's daughter. The psychiatrist quickly diagnoses the teenaged John with something like shell shock because he checks the exits like a combat veteran and he wonders if Cameron is autistic. John has real problems but he can't be honest with the therapist about them. Naturally, the therapist correctly identifies him as a liar.
  • Subverted in Teen Wolf: when Stiles sees the school counselor, he glosses over the werewolf part of his problems — completely unaware that she knows exactly what's going on.
  • Subverted in Chuck: when Chuck is sent to a therapist by the CIA, he spends quite a bit of time trying to talk about his problems without mentioning classified information until the therapist mentions that yes, he was fully briefed because he was a CIA therapist whose entire job is treating people whose problems are highly classified.
  • In GARO, Kaoru regularly sees a therapist, though she glosses over the whole "being hunted by demons" aspect of her life and focuses on her job-related troubles. Subverted when we find out that her therapist is actually the Big Bad, and that he has been using his position in order to monitor her so that he may eventually use her as a host-body for the queen of the Horrors.
  • Played with in Awake (2012): while neither therapist actually believes Britten is traveling to another world in his dreams, Lee thinks that indulging in his "dreams" are bad for his mental health, while Evans thinks they may be useful as a coping and problem-solving tool.
  • Played with in Once Upon a Time. The town's only therapist, Dr. Hopper, isn't a muggle. He's Jiminy Cricket. However, like everyone else in Storybrooke he has amnesia and doesn't know this, so he tries to help Henry but doesn't believe what he says about the curse. At least, not at first. After the curse is broken, he continues to act as a therapist, most notably to Regina. It doesn't work very well, but not because he's ignorant about the nature of the universe.
  • Ned of Pushing Daisies could probably use some professional help, what with his abandonment issues, anxiety problems, and fears of both physical contact and emotional intimacy... but since all of these difficulties are tied up closely with his ability to bring things Back from the Dead, a secret he is too terrified to ever voluntarily reveal, he doesn't get it. Of course, since one of the major arcs of the show is him gradually loosening up and making human connections, he's better off than he could be.
  • Subverted in Stargate Atlantis. The expedition has a staff psychologist. Generally, she deals with fairly normal issues that don't differ too much because of their science fiction cause, but then there was the time that Dr. McKay had another person's mind trapped in his head, and they shared control of the body. She acknowledged that this wasn't exactly something she was trained in, but that it was clear that both of them would need some psychiatric attention, so they did the best they could.
  • Subverted in Haven, where Dr. Claire Callahan reveals that she specializes in treating Troubled people.
  • This trope is actually the reason why Constantine (2014) starts with John Constantine as a self-admitted patient in a mental hospital. He knew that the doctors there wouldn't believe in demons and black magic, and after years of shouldering the guilt of watching a little girl get dragged down to Hell by a demon he himself summoned, he hoped that they could make him believe it was all a delusion, too.
  • In Roswell, Max is sent to a therapist by the beginning of season 2. Since he had just endured torture a couple of months ago due to his alien status, it's quite likely his behavior had been erratic enough during summertime for his parents to notice something was wrong. Needless to say, he can't tell the doctor anything beyond, "it's just teenage stuff".
  • One episode of Charmed (1998) has Piper and Leo going to see a marriage guidance counselor. They have to use a lot of euphemisms or at least pretend that what they're saying are euphemisms ("When you say she shattered you, that's..?"/"Metaphorically speaking") but fortunately the therapist is easy-going enough to take it all in his stride and give them some decent advice.
    • The next time they need counselling, they actually seek out a magical being so they can avoid that issue. Unfortunately, the only option seem to be a soothsayer who actually works as a gardener. His method is offering vague advice then instigating a "Freaky Friday" Flip so that they walk a mile in each other's shoes. It doesn't go particularly better than the Muggle counselor.
      Soothsayer: How many times a day do you have sex?
      Piper: A day? What, are you crazy? [to Leo] No wonder you wanted to see him.
    • When Paige seeks marriage counselling from Coop, a Cupid whose area of expertise is literally all things romance, his method is essentially the same as the soothsayer (only he puts Paige and Henry's consciousness into a shared body, rather than switching them), which seems to indicate that the magical world really doesn't have any real system of therapy.
  • Averted in Birds of Prey (2002); Helena only believes that her therapist Dr. Harleen Quinzel is this. In reality, not only is Dr. Quinzel entirely privy to Helena's world of metahumans, she is actively using their therapy sessions to do reconnaissance work against Helena to help her get her revenge against Gotham and the heroes protecting it.
  • Averted in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: May's psychiatrist ex-husband knows all about S.H.I.E.L.D., does psychological profiles of agents and "gifted" individuals, and in fact, part of Coulson's unexplained absences were appointments with him.
  • Daredevil (2015): Matt Murdock regularly goes to Father Lantom for spiritual and moral advice. Father Lantom catches on that Matt's situation is unique in the first episode when Matt comes in for confessional to atone for what he's about to do while leaving the details vague. That vagueness continues throughout the first season as Matt constantly brings up the nature of justice versus revenge and whether killing Wilson Fisk is any better than letting Fisk continue to harm others. By the end of the season, Father Lantom is able to fill in enough gaps to realize that Matt is the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
  • Early in Iron Fist (2017), Danny Rand has just about convinced his therapist that he is, in fact, the long-lost heir to the Rand Corporation. He loses them when he starts on about K'un Lun in the Realm of Heaven and being the Immortal Iron Fist. That said doesn't completely dismiss the possibility until Danny is unable to demonstrate the superpower he claims to have — a delusional belief in having superpowers being a recognized phenomenon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Person of Interest: Root has some serious psychological issues, mostly based around her misanthropy. Her therapist correctly identifies her misanthropy and lethal intent, but also believes she has delusions of grandeur paired with a persecution complex. Actually, she thinks she's been chosen by her god for a higher purpose because an omniscient AI really has chosen her as its "analogue interface", and she thinks someone is coming to kill her because they really are. When she escapes using extremely detailed knowledge her god is whispering in her ear, including nonlethally taking out the government assassin assaulting the hospital, he's clearly ready to believe. For added irony, Root herself was impersonating a therapist when she first appeared in the series and was the first character to deduce the existence of The Machine on her own.
    • In season 3, there is a flashback to Finch making use of therapy to treat his survivor's guilt for not having prevented Nathan's death at the ferry bombing. Of course, Finch faked his death at the occasion, so he can't open up about the real circumstances and tells a more roundabout version — to which the therapist replies that it reminds him of the survivors of the ferry bombing.
    • Reese also deals with one of these in season four. In his cover identity as a detective, he is given a department mandated psych evaluation. Unlike most cases, Iris almost instantly sees that he is lying and is actually almost entirely correct about his issues, zeroing in on his Chronic Hero Syndrome.
  • Subverted in Hemlock Grove. When Roman tells his uncle Norman (a clinical psychiatrist) the truth about the werewolf terrorizing the town, he asks his uncle if he's going to call for the men in white coats. Norman chooses to believe him, given all the bizarre stuff he's already witnessed.
  • The Flash (2014): Played for Laughs in season 4. Various characters go to Dr. Finkel for psychiatric help, without really bothering to explain any of the weird stuff going on in their lives. Finkel is very confused when Iris complains that her husband (who is sitting right there) died without talking to her, then runs off after getting a text. Later, Cecile and Joe go to Finkel due to their problems caused by Cecile's new mind-reading powers, and Finkel doesn't understand why Cecile keeps complaining about things Joe is thinking before he has a chance to say anything.
  • Lucifer (2016): Dr. Linda Martin is Lucifer's therapist, and has her hands full trying to help him while dealing with his 'elaborate metaphors' and 'roleplay' about being the Devil and associating with demons and angels and being targeted by God, instead of just sticking to who he 'really' is. The trope is subverted when he eventually reveals his true face and, after being terrified for a while, she carries on treating him. For several seasons, she's the only mortal on the cast with full 'inside knowledge', making this something of an Inverted Trope.
  • Jennifer Melfi on The Sopranos starts out as a non-supernatural version, in which "Muggle" means "somebody not involved with The Mafia", as Tony Soprano initially tells her that he's a waste management consultant. That said, she quickly figures out that he's a mob boss, and is eventually targeted by some of Tony's associates and rivals, who fear that he may have let her in on any number of secrets and that she'll break doctor/patient confidentiality and go to the police.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • A non-fantastical variant occurs with Jesse, who is forced to kill an unarmed man in cold-blood to ensure both his and Walt's continued survival. He spends much of Season 3 horrified by his actions, but he has no one to talk to about it because it would mean confessing to being a murderous drug dealer. The best he can do is say he relapsed and put down a "problem dog" at his drug addict rehabilitation group therapy sessions, but it's clearly insufficient to his needs.
    • This issue also befalls Marie in Season 5, when she finally discovers that Walt is a violent drug kingpin and Walt's wife Skyler (her sister) has been going along with it and protecting his secret for several months. She admits to having intense homicidal thoughts about an unnamed "family friend" in vague terms to her therapist, but she doesn't go as far to name who or for what specific reason when he presses her for details.
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier quietly subverts this trope by having John Walker's (and Bucky's) therapist be a military veteran.
  • In Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2024), Jane and John try marriage counseling, but believing they're computer programmers rather than secret agents for a mysterious and sinister company results in the counselor making a number of inaccurate conclusions. Notably she uses them choosing to remain together and seek counseling when they could just walk away as evidence of how much they care about each other, when in truth the company has a Resignations Not Accepted policy and it's ambiguous whether their offer to "replace" John was to have him reassigned or murdered.

  • Subverted in The Bright Sessions. The therapist is a muggle but knows more about what's going on than her patients. Additionally, her patient, Caleb, decides to use his ability to detect others' feelings to work in therapy or social work.
  • Discussed in episode 9 of Sequinox. When Jake wonders if Yuki's tried therapy for everything they went through in the first arc, Alan asks him how she's supposed to tell a therapist that she and her friends died, came back, and are kind of demi-gods.
  • The Magnus Archives has Melanie eventually set up with a therapist in Season 4. While the therapist is picked out by the Institute, however, they aren't fully aware of the scope of their activities, so she has to leave it at "I'm in a bad contract situation working for someplace pretty awful." To her horror, her therapist thinks she works for the Tories.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Both Old World of Darkness and New World of Darkness use this a lot:
    • Vampires in either setting can't see a shrink without breaking The Masquerade unless they are extraordinarily careful, nor can they take antidepressants because drugs don't affect the undead, so insane vampires (and eventually, they're all at least slightly insane) are screwed.
    • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, psychological trauma and Garou-specific depression (Harano) are natural result of fighting the Wyrm. Because of the Veil, however, seeing a therapist would be out of the question unless s/he was Garou or kinfolk. That said, the setting does have a number of counselors amongst the tribes dedicated to helping people break through Harano, and even has Garou-oriented psychiatric facilities like the Valkenburg Foundation (dedicated to treating Lunatics, Garou who experienced a psychic break during the First Change and have little control over their transformations).
    • In Mage: The Ascension Tradition mages could work out psychological issues through their Avatar, usually during a Seeking. The science-oriented Technocracy greatly values therapy, psychology, and psychiatry, but it's also exploited by the New World Order faction to indoctrinate the other factions to keep them in line. Part of the reason the Void Engineers have such autonomy compared to other Conventions is their own psychiatric branch, ostensibly specialized in dealing with the abomination of outer space, that also removes NWO programming from its own agents.
    • One of the parts of the tightrope act of Changeling: The Dreaming is that the Kithain often undergo Chrysalis at a young age, split their time between their mortal lives and changeling lives, and spend a lot of their time interacting with chimerical creatures that no one else can see - which often leaves parents suspicious and psychiatrists suspecting delusion. More than one changeling has been "treated" back into dormancy. On the other hand, outright embracing your fae nature and leaving all of mortal life behind means you're going to go into Bedlam (that is, actually go crazy).
      • Further complicating matters is that earlier editions had the main face of the therapeutic approach to changelings be Anton Stark, a Dauntain who wanted to get the changeling condition recognized as a proper mental disorder and led the charge to have "unruly children" treated back to "normal." By the time of the 20th Anniversary Edition, however, Stark's prominence in psychiatry is walked back radically: He's been laughed out of the profession for his bullshit theories, but still poses a threat to changelings because he's started selling his acts to the kinds of parents who think you can cure autism via chelation therapy.
    • Hunter: The Vigil: most Hunters avoid therapists because of, y'know, the inherent risks of telling someone that you're stressed because you spent all of last night hunting a werewolf with a shotgun and a two-by-four.
    • Invoked, played straight and defied in Changeling: The Lost. Having a psychotherapist who isn't a changeling (or at least Ensorcelled) does give a penalty to therapy rolls, but there's an entire Prestige Class based around the idea of changelings becoming therapists to help out their own kind.
  • This is why most Call of Cthulhu characters who don't end up dead get committed. note 
  • Averted in Eclipse Phase for Firewall agents, who have access to therapists in on the masquerade. Though people who aren't in Firewall and suffer Stress from witnessing Exsurgent activity, particularly asyncs aren't so lucky, but at least the standard Muse most people have in their Mesh Inserts has a 60 (on a d100) in Psychology.
  • Unknown Armies has rules for psychiatric trauma and care for characters exposed to the various horrors of the occult world. However, good luck getting a therapist to believe you when you try to talk about your problems - and a therapist in the know probably has some serious damage of their own.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The problem is less the "Muggle" part (psychic powers and horrible things from the Warp are known to exist, though the exact degree of knowledge depends on the local level of control (and Lawful Stupid) by the Inquisition, Ecclesiarchy and Munitorum), and more the "therapist" (the Imperium has a very simple solution to people mouthing off about said horrible things from the Warp). The Imperial Guard is mentioned to have chaplains who the troops go to after a mission goes wrong (in order to sneak xenos diplomats out safely, they had to murder a picket line of allied Planetary Defense Forces), and Damnation Crusade has Gerhart go see his company's Chaplain when he and his brothers believe his head is getting a bit swollen.

  • Israeli playwright Anat Gov's Oh, God is about God getting therapy. His therapist is naturally incredulous at first, but when she finds out who He is she is initially furious at him for everything he's done to humanity. Then it turns out he came to therapy because he was losing his powers, and it turns out that the reason for that is that he's racked with guilt over his abuse of Job. At the end of the play, she points out the huge strides he's made in accepting responsibility and trying to atone for what he did to humanity: when he kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, he spent time and effort making clothes for them, and much later, when he realises how horrible he was to Job, he starts giving up his power altogether.

    Video Games 
  • Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh:
    • As his hallucinations steadily increase and more people end up dead, Curtis starts to visit a therapist, Dr. Harburg, to talk about his many, many issues. However, Harburg is not in on the conspiracy and thinks that Curtis is just a paranoid schizophrenic, right up until the Hecatomb melts her to death.
    • Averted by Harburg's colleague Dr. Marek, who knows for a fact that aliens exist and is in league with Paul Allen Warner.
  • Zig-zagged in Control. On the outside, Jesse saw a therapist to help her deal with the events of her life back in Ordinary before the events of the game, though it's unclear whether said therapist was this trope, or an FBC plant deliberately playing dumb. The FBC having recordings of their sessions may be evidence of the latter, but given that they are a shadowy government agency who has been spying on Jesse for most of her life, it's not a stretch to believe they could have secretly recorded the sessions without the therapist's knowledge either. Meanwhile, the FBC's Research Sector actually has an entire Parapsychology department, whose Astralnaut program is one of the few ways the FBC has to research the Astral Plane directly.

    Web Comics 
  • Averted in Angel Down, Samuel mentions that the Seraphim Order employs therapists and suggests that Ariel make an appointment with one at the beginning of chapter 2.
  • In the third chapter of morphE, Tyler gets to call his sister who works at a behavioral health clinic. He desperately wishes to tell her that he has awakened to magical powers and has been kidnapped by someone who wishes to train him up in their use. Unfortunately, he cannot and must instead pretend that he is in mental care after failing a suicide attempt. She begins to assert that she should be present and has his case file, unable to lie anymore Tyler hangs up.
  • Downplayed in El Goonish Shive: Susan notes that she might be able to get a therapist who isn't a muggle, but she isn't comfortable enough with what that would entail to actually look into the idea, and normal therapists aren't an option because they'd probably assume she's delusional.
    Susan: [...] Someone like me would probably be considered delusional by any therapist not specifically trained by the secret shadow agents of the government who keep magic and aliens secret.
  • This was abused by the government in A Girl and Her Fed. Because their cyborg program was intended to brainwash the agents and keep them mentally unstable, in order to properly use them as weapons, it was ensured that none of them would receive any psychological treatment other than exceedingly overmedicating them. Once the project was made public, one of the first things that OACET did was make sure that every one of them received substantial therapy.
  • When Sydney starts seeing an on-base therapist in Grrl Power, she worries a bit about the therapist being cleared to "know" about superheros (there are a few 'ordinary' people in the group, as well). The therapist points out that she really needs the clearance necessary to treat people still in the military- some of them are still active service members.
  • Played for Drama in Chapter 71 of Joe vs. Elan School, when Joe goes to see a therapist about his Elan School PTSD. Because Elan's cultish methodology is so intense and surreal — which its founder Jay Cirri had undoubtedly designed to invoke Cassandra Truth for any outsiders — Joe's therapist visibly shows more and more signs of being in over her head as he tries to explain it all to her, and refers him to a psychiatrist. Joe walks away from the experience realizing the frustration of accurately defining his Elan experience in ways that regular people can understand.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, the fantastic is a regular part of everyday life, but there's an Extra-Strength Masquerade in place, with most of the populace in varying degrees of denial to it.
    • One character has to quickly claim that she was being metaphorical after her therapist hits the violent lunatic button.
    • A girl who spent years as a victim of Demonic Possession is dismissed as a psychotic, delusional, schizophrenic. Since the surrounding "help" is less than useless, she decides that she has no choice but to treat her trauma herself by tackling the problem head on and becoming a demon hunter.

    Web Original 
  • Averted by the SCP Foundation. Not only does the Foundation employ a bunch of therapists who are in on the Masquerade, but in instances where saving lives involves being Necessarily Evil, regular counselling sessions are mandatory. However, there might still arise situations where none of the available therapists have a high enough security clearance level to be authorized to listen to your particular problems. They also have a Memory-Wiping Crew on hand for especially disturbing duties.
  • Played with in Worm. Due to a the lack of a Masquerade, Government-sanctioned superheroes can (and in some cases, are required to) receive therapy from muggles who know all about their super-powered activities. However heroes can still find themselves out of luck if their base's commander thinks Therapy Is for the Weak. Additionally for therapists rotate on a weekly basis, officially to prevent therapists from taking advantage of clients, as well as for general confidentiality reasons. Of course not giving patients the ability to build trust with any one therapist also means it tends to be much less effective.
    • Of course the series also features Memetic Badass Doctor Jessica Yamada who has no powers and never participates in any direct conflict of any kind, but still manages to have an enormous positive impact on basically every character who gets a chance to speak to her. She even manages not only to talk one of the settings most powerful superhumans down from going on a killing rampage, but actually convinces them to become a hero instead. And Sequel Series Ward shows that said character is still actively working as a hero years later.
  • Glowfic subverts this:
    • Aether decides to continue her therapy course because the peal clearly needs one.
    • Boots actually gets her magical therapy degree and averts the Miriel plot by installing a behavior block and even helps the Maitimos who have gone through Angband be less suicidal and generally offers therapy to everyone who needs it, which is a lot of people.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in Batman: The Animated SeriesHarley Quinn began as the Joker's therapist at Arkham but of course soon demonstrates the Go Mad from the Revelation option of this trope and becomes a supervillain herself. Now, she is his right-hand woman (and an occasional guest back at Arkham). The character, created for the animated series, became so popular that she has been retconned into the comic book universe.
  • In Invader Zim episode "Vindicated!",Dib is sent to the school guidance counselor, Mr. Dwicky, and immediately tells him that he's trying to stop Zim from taking over the Earth. Dwicky appears to believe him... but is actually playing along in the hope of getting Dib to reveal his "real" problem. Dwicky does learn that Dib is telling the truth, but winds up leaving the planet with the evidence that Dib gathered.
  • Played for Laughs in the Rick and Morty episode "Pickle Rick"—There's not really any Masquerade in this setting, so the family is free to tell their therapist, Dr. Wong, all about the insane nonsense that Rick brings into their lives. (This includes Rick showing up at the end of the session, transformed into a pickle and covered with blood and feces.) Dr. Wong takes this all completely stoically while giving insightful analysis of everyone's psychology, which Rick, of course, completely ignores.
  • The Mask: Dr Neuman continues to meet Stanley, on multiple occasions, and not only get caught in the messes the Mask creates but actually ends up wearing it in one episode and becomes a insane and psychotic but polite madman who causes enormous chaos believing that there is a disorder called Ipkissa Maskosis, puts anyone he sees in wedgie straitjackets, then teams up with Pretorius because he believes that his plan is the only way to get rid of the disorder Ipkissa Maskosis once and for all, then tries to kill Stanley when he sees him trying to prevent that plan, then gets defeated as Stanley tells him his zipper is open which Masked Dr Neuman looks at it then Milo bites his bottoms which Masked Dr Neuman then tries to kill the dog but accidentally electrifies himself which causes him to explode into fireworks then falls to the ground which causes the mask to go off his face which even though Dr Neuman should wonder how he ended up in a different location considering he was in his home when he put the mask on, he still believes that Ipkiss is crazy.
  • Young Justice (2010) averts this. After the scarring events of "Failsafe", the Team get some much-needed therapy with Black Canary. Later seasons establish that all members of the Team, the Outsiders and the Justice League need to make mandatory check-ins with her at least once a year.