Prince Harry reveals therapy 'opened my eyes' after 'shutting down' emotions for 20 years

The Duke of Sussex spoke candidly about how therapy and coaching have changed his life at a summit in San Francisco on Wednesday

Prince Harry reveals therapy 'opened my eyes' after 'shutting down' emotions for 20 years
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Harry has revealed that therapy helped him find his 'value', admitting he thought there was 'only one way to live' before seeking mental health treatment at the age of 28. 

  • Prince Harry has spoken candidly about therapy at a conference in San Francisco, revealing that the mental health treatment helped him 'burst' out of his bubble for the first time in 28 years. 
  • The Duke of Sussex attended the Masters of Scale summit on Wednesday in the capacity of BetterUp's chief impact officer and participated in a panel discussion about his own experiences of personal transformation. 
  • In other royal news, Prince Harry’s ‘optimist’ response to the Queen’s death revealed by Meghan Markle.

Prince Harry hailed the benefits of therapy during his latest public appearance, crediting the mental health tool for helping him 'burst' out of his bubble for the first time in 28 years. 

Speaking at a San Francisco conference on Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex didn't hold back when it came to sharing his own experience with mental health treatment. 

"The moment I started doing therapy, it opened my eyes," he revealed during a panel discussion with the CEO of BetterUp, Alexi Robichaux, at the inaugural Masters of Scale Summit. 

The 38-year-old, who was announced as the chief impact officer of the US mental health coaching firm last year, went on to explain that he had been "moving through life thinking there was only one way to live" before seeking professional treatment. 

The insight is far from the first time that the duke has talked openly about his experience with mental health, with Prince Harry exploring ‘unresolved trauma’ alongside Oprah in his 2021 documentary, The Me You Can't See. His wife, Meghan Markle, has also discussed her psychological struggles in the past, revealing that she battled suicidal thoughts when she was pregnant with the couple's son, Archie Mountbatten Windsor, in 2019. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walks behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

"Therapy burst that bubble," Harry said at the summit, adding that "coaching" burst his "next bubble." 

"All of a sudden I realized that now I have perspective and a great understanding of my value. I regained confidence that I never thought I had." 

Harry then told the audience, "I have a coach. I wish I had two," according to Financial Times journalist David Lee. 

The duke also reportedly said that he had never heard the words 'therapy' or 'coaching' while serving in the British military or working as a senior royal, despite experiencing ongoing mental health struggles following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. It wasn't until he was 28, and 'close to a complete breakdown', that he decided to seek professional help. 

"I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” he told Bryony Morgan in an interview for her podcast, Mad World, in 2017. 

"I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.