Dr Alex George: 'Everyone should have therapy'

·3-min read
Dr Alex George now speaks as a mental health advocate, specifically around young men. (Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
Dr Alex George is a former 'Love Island' contestant (Getty Images for Global Citizen)

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Dr Alex George believes everyone should have therapy sessions, saying people should think of it like 'speed dating' if they don't find the right therapist first time.

The 31-year-old, who rose to fame in Love Island's 2018 series, is now the government's Youth Mental Health Ambassador and campaigns strongly for people to look after their mental health.

Speaking to Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time, George said finding the right therapist 'can change your life', also opening up about how important therapy had been for him after his younger brother died by suicide in 2020.

He said: "I've had a few different therapists and I say to people: 'Think of it like speed dating a little bit', you've got to meet a few different people to find the right person for you.

"The other thing I would say as well is don't think that you're looking for a friend."

WATCH: Dr Alex George on not letting Dyslexia hold him back; protecting mental health and the the loss of his brother

Similar to looking for the right GP for each patient, he said finding the right professional relationship with a therapist was important, and that it needed to be someone who could 'genuinely help you work through things'

George was working as an A&E doctor when Love Island producers got in touch with him to ask him to audition for the show.

Georgia Steele (left), Samira Mighty (centre) and Dr Alex George (right) attending the Love Island Live photocall at the ExCel, London.
Georgia Steele (left), Samira Mighty (centre) and Dr Alex George (right) attending the Love Island Live photocall at the ExCel, London. (PA)

While he said some in the medical field at the time weren't convinced it was the right thing for a doctor to do, he now says having a high profile allows him to be in different spaces and spread messages about good health.

The two things he often heard held people back were worrying they might not be 'bad enough' for therapy and they 'think they're going to be dissected, judged and pulled apart'.

Listen to the full episode to hear Dr Alex talk about how he was finally persuaded to go into the Love Island villa and his new book to promote better children's mental health

He explained: "I actually genuinely believe, I'm very well aware that this would be a privilege, I believe everyone should have therapy sessions.

"Every single person could benefit from thinking a little bit about how they process and how they deal with things. I think would be brilliant for everyone to experience."

George said you get back what you put into therapy, adding:"Any good therapist will not be picking you apart. That's just really not what therapists are designed to do."

Read more: Laura Whitmore 'wasn't allowed' to ask 'Love Island' contestants if they were okay

But he added that the balance was a fine one between finding a therapist you get on with, and one that will actually have a 'therapeutic effect'.

"Sometimes people go with a therapist, and they really get on with them. But it doesn't actually help them break down the issues. There's a fine balance to find," he said.

For confidential emotional support contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org

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