I was having a conversation with someone who we'll refer to as a "friend of a friend" whose child (a middle schooler) was a sort-of-witness to a sexual assault. I say sort-of-witness because the child didn't see the assault; she was approached after the fact by the victim who told her all about the incident--in all its grisly details. The child of this "friend of a friend" was smart and reported the assault, but because the assault happened between some of the child's friends things have gotten ugly. Anyway, my "friend of a friend's" child was deeply disturbed by what happened and has been having nightmares that are intense enough to keep her awake and never seems to feel safe. In the course of events it was suggested that this child should see a therapist to help her process the whole sordid event. The "friend of a friend" was not happy with that suggestion. The "friend of a friend" believes that if word got out the child was in therapy there would be a lot of negative consequences. Basically this friend believes that sending her child to therapy would be worse for her than the fear and nightmares that have been bothering the child for more than a month.
Now, I want to be clear: I'm NOT criticizing this person for choosing to avoid therapy. Everyone has to make choices for their own families as they see fit. All my information is second hand, so I'm NOT judging.
What I am wondering is this: does therapy still have that kind of stigma for most people? I thought that as a culture Americans were over therapists as modern incarnation of snake oil sellers and therapy as something only for weirdos. Am I wrong about that?
And another question: is it different among LDS? In our cultural subset are we NOT over it?