Permission has several uses, but somewhere around the 1990s it became common to hear it in the context of therapy sessions as in "you need to give yourself permission to..." do this or that. When did this happen?

  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the history of psychotherapy, not English. Jul 16, 2014 at 13:45
  • 1
    That's ridiculous. It's about the history of that particular slang term, when it became popular. Great question!
    – Fattie
    Jul 16, 2014 at 14:56
  • There is an entire lexicon of therapy language which merges into mainstream conversation.
    – WS2
    Jul 16, 2014 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


It would appear to have started taking off circa 1970—surprise, surprise. See NGram for “give myself/yourself/herself/himself permission.”

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