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3 Reasons Millennials Avoid Therapy

It was a sunny, yet cold, Monday morning in Chicago. I sat in my regular coffee shop, sipping a favorite blend of Ipsento Coffee while beginning my work week. The space was flooded with young professionals hydrating on caffeine, with their eyes focused on the Mac screens in front of them. This concept fascinates me as I, myself, partake in the cultural rituals characterizing this generation of emerging adults, called Millennials.

Referring to individuals born between the early-1980’s through mid-1990’s, Millennials are a sizable generation currently infiltrating the workplace, creating societal changes based on their strong values and holding differing opinions from the generations before. We hold a river flowing with fresh ideas, abruptly interjected by a dam built of anxiety.

Nicknamed the “anxious generation” by the New York Post, 25 to 35-year-olds are experiencing a higher level of anxiety than their predecessors. Our values hold to living with authenticity, meaning and balance. Yet we are also experiencing heightened symptoms of excessive worry, racing and unwanted thoughts, fatigue, restlessness, nausea, irritability and insomnia, just to name a few. And the stigma of mental health and seeking psychological services still stands as a stronghold in society, even in our younger, more “woke” generation.

Where strong values meet high anxiety symptoms, what’s holding us Millennials back from seeking counseling? As I’ve explored this phenomenon, I have come across some key factors inhibiting Millennials from getting help.

Here are 3 things that cause Millennials to shy away from counseling:

1. Lack of a Clear Why: The zeal of a Millennial who has fully bought into a cause is insurmountable. On the contrary, if that same Millennial does not believe in or understand a vision, they can often be stubborn or apathetic. To create a deeper level of understanding of counseling, it’s important to outline the “why."

2. I'm Not "Crazy": Treating individuals with severe mental health diagnoses is certainly part of clinician’s job, many counselor’s caseloads are filled with clients who want to achieve a higher level of wellness. At Starks Therapy Group, the clinician’s goal is to create a safe space where individuals or families can experience the growth, healing and change. Before the first session beings, clients have the opportunity to explore their unique goals for therapy. Those goals may or may not include addressing a history of diagnosable depression, anxiety or other mental health concern.

3. I Have Too Much Going On: Life is busy; of this, we are certain. This state of overwhelm is very real, and its exactly why we need a place to step back, reflect and get some meaningful feedback. A common misperception of counseling is that counseling will take weekly sessions for months or years at a time. This is not necessarily the case now given various brief treatment modalities and avenues for virtual counseling. Clients can work together with their counselor to find a treatment plan that meets their needs, based on the counselor’s recommendation. For the busy Millennial, it's important to keep in mind that there are several service options that may meet the needs specific to the individual.

Dear “Anxious Generation” of Millennials,

You’re passionate. And you bring a fresh take to the world today. These anxious symptoms you're feeling do not need to be your norm. Let’s create a culture where it’s okay to feel and be vulnerable. Let’s create a culture where we are not okay with anxiety and depression characterizing our generation. Let's live our values around authenticity and self-awareness.

Let’s change the world.

Kristen Bauer, LPC is a therapist at Vitality Counseling. She specializes in treating adolescents and young adults in overcoming emotional and behavioral issues, specific to anxiety, depression, sports performance, relational conflict, and self-esteem building.

DISCLAIMER: The sole purpose of this post is to keep individuals informed of Starks Therapy Group's events, provide useful information related to mental health issues and provide thoughtful content related to self care and mental health. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any mental illness. This post is not monitored daily and is used for information sharing only. If you wish to communicate directly with someone at Starks Therapy Group, please call 708-689-3055. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.

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