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Why We Could All Benefit from a Little Therapy

By Published On: May 6th, 2024

The month of May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been observed since 1949 and provides the opportunity to raise awareness, combat stigma, and promote mental health resources. 

The way we view mental health, and therapy in particular, has changed dramatically in recent years and a lot of that has to do with the stigma decreasing from generation to generation. 

A recent study from the American Psychological Association found that members of Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) are more likely to report mental health concerns than any other generation. 

The study found that 91 percent of Gen Z adults said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, such as feeling sad or depressed (58 percent) or lacking interest, motivation, or energy (55 percent). Only half of all Gen Zs feel like they do enough to manage their stress. 

With this increase in perceived stress, the study also found that younger adults are more likely to seek mental health care, such as therapy and counseling, than their older counterparts. 

The study found that 37 percent of Gen Z and 35 percent of millennials have received treatment or therapy from a mental health professional, whereas only 26 percent of Gen X, 22 percent of baby boomers, and 15 of older adults (categorized as older than the baby boomer generation), have sought therapy or mental health counseling of some sort. 

How Do I Know If I Need Therapy? 

One of the stigmas attached to therapy is that it is only beneficial for those who have serious mental health issues or disorders. According to the Health Core Clinic, this is not true. “Therapy can be beneficial for anyone, regardless of the severity of their issues. It can help people improve their mental and emotional well-being, set and achieve personal goals, and build resilience.”

Health Core Clinic cites many benefits of therapy including: 

  • Decreasing the risk of mental health issues by understanding and addressing underlying issues 
  • Improving ability to communicate effectively and strengthen relationships with loved ones 
  • Managing symptoms of various mental health issues, including anxiety and depression 
  • Improving and understanding relationships with others, including partners, family members, and friends
  • Increasing self-awareness and self esteem 
  • Learning new coping strategies to manage difficult situations, stress, and emotions 
  • Improving productivity in personal and professional lives 
  • Understanding and managing specific issues, such as addiction, trauma, or grief

How Do I Find a Therapist? 

Finding a therapist can be surprisingly difficult, especially when you factor in elements like insurance coverage and availability. If searching “therapists near me” isn’t providing you with any success, here are a few other ways to find a therapist that’s right for you. 

  • Utilize an online directory – such as this one from Psychology Today – to search for a therapist, counselor, support group, or treatment center in your area based on location and insurance coverage. 
  • Ask for a referral from your primary care physician or healthcare provider
  • Ask friends and family if they know of any therapists or counselors that they would personally recommend 
  • Check directly with your insurance company to see if they have a list of in-network therapists that they recommend 
  • Know what you’re looking for. Are you looking for a mental health counselor or a psychologist? Are you looking for in-person or online appointments? What kind of treatment are you seeking? Many therapists specialize in certain areas, such as couples therapy, young adult or family counseling 
  • Find a therapist that’s the right fit for you. Make sure you feel comfortable talking to them and being honest because that’s the whole reason you’re there. If you don’t feel like you can talk to them, you won’t reap any of the benefits of therapy. 

Regardless of what you’ve got going on in your life, talking to a trained mental health professional who has an outside, unbiased perspective of the situation can be beneficial for exploring your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Therapy can also provide you with coping techniques to better manage daily stressors and situations in the future. 

*Disclaimer: All medical claims made in this article are information provided by the subject. The information is general in nature and not specifically meant for any particular individual. You should always seek out medical assistance from a medical professional based on your individual needs and circumstances.