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How's this for a subversion:
There are therapists, but they're offscreen. Thus any therapy the characters recieve occurs offscreen too. Whether such therapy works or not is up for debate.
Based on the Discussion I'll ask here first if these qualify as examples:
Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Joe sees his parents gunned down, is taken from everything he knows, and ten years later burns for revenge. Meanwhile, Ken is obsessed with his father/the memory thereof, to the point that he leaves the team without permission (this is a sort-of military/official unit, not a vigilante team) to pursue a reported sighting, and the results on the plotline nearly get the world taken over by the bad guy/destroyed. No sign of a therapist. (Not telling Ken his father was alive and on a secret mission could fall under the Starship Troopers book line of 'you can't tell what you don't know'.) The original anime series was in 1972, and it was supposed to be set in the future.
(G-Force:Guardians of Space never mentions any kind of therapist, and the closest Battle of the Planets seems to get is some of Zark's natterings. Correct me if I'm wrong.)
Logan's War: Bound by Honor. The boy sees his parents and little sister killed by mob hitmen, and only escapes by hiding in the shadows and the approaching sirens causing the two to leave. He grows up, tailoring his life and training towards getting revenge. Movie released in 1998, set in the present day. (His uncle/guardian doesn't get him into therapy. Particularly ridiculous since Logan was an Army Ranger for a while.)
Danny Phantom cartoon series had one therapist/school counselor that I remember. She turned out to be a ghost that kept up a young appearance by feeding off negative emotions from the teenager. (G-Rated succubus?) Modern day at least.
I rejected Skeleton Warriors. It starts out in a high-tech society and all, but that collapses pretty darn fast once the Big Bad moves, so unless a therapist made it out to the rebels, ain't happening.
Page is in need of major pruning. It seems people have used it to list every crazy character in existence, followed (or not) by a token explanation as why they couldn't get therapy.
In addition, probably half the text on this page is natter.
Cut all of the following as completely off topic. The page could use a brush through to consolidate the rambley conversations if I don't get a chance to do it myself.
It seems to me that one of the major category of justified cases for this trope would be any fantasy or historical fiction set before the advent of psychology.
Although it could be argued that, within the limits of mankind's knowledge at the time, many clergy would have fulfilled this role. This would vary from religion to religion and culture to culture of course...
-Draco "I really should 'get known' one of these days" Dei
Good point. As a counterpoint, in many fantasy settings, clerics are shown to be effective therapists, albeit with a dash of Crystal Dragon Jesus thrown in to boot. (See Mercedes Lackey's Velgarth (Heralds of Valdemar and other series in that world.)
Also, it literally takes seconds to Get Known. There's no email validation, just enter a username and password and it bakes you a cookie. YOU GET FREE COOKIES! * Of the internet variety.
Hush. No pushing the Get Known agenda. I for one fully endorse Anonymity.
Okay, there are a lot of Aversions listed as Subversions. Someone wanna go through it while I nod off to bed and work and try to get away from my crippling TVT Ropes addiction?
I've worked on it. It seems that a lot of tropers are listing things here when they should go into tropes for incompetent therapists, crazy therapists (we should have a trope for that), or evil therapists.
If therapists are shown to exist and the protagonist is shown to refuse to use them, then it shouldn't count as this, either.
Unless it is outright stated / demonstrated that there are therapists in their continuity, nor equivalent, then it shouldn't count as this trope either.
Surely the simpler explanation in 90% of cases is that whether they exist or not, the character simply doesn't consider professional external influence to be a viable solution.
It might be that such a thing never occurred to them as possible. It might be that they don't trust anyone paid to prod at private thoughts. It might be that they don't believe it would help even if they tried it. It might simply be that they believe in solving their own problems, and displacing that responsibility would be a sign of weakness.
Just on a personal level, all but the first of those ring true for me.
The notion that because people have these issues that therapists don't exist in their continuity says a lot about the general awareness of psychological issues in meatspace, not to mention the ineffectual nature of therapists.
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How well does it match the trope?