teenager getting therapy happy

Mental Health Is a Trending Topic. What Does This Mean for Therapists?

As COVID-19 swept across the world in 2020, millions of people collectively felt stress, grief, loneliness, and uncertainty, contributing to what many experts call a mental health crisis. In 2020, 1 out of every 6 Americans went to a therapist for the first time. Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 30% of Americans have seen a therapist to help cope.

After nearly two years of pandemic living, mental health professionals across the board are experiencing a demand for therapy that is like nothing they have experienced before. 

In many ways, this means there has been tremendous progress in reducing the taboo around mental health. People are talking openly about their mental health and breaking down barriers. But what does this evolving environment mean for therapists?

The landscape of therapy is changing. Keep up with the growing demand with Ravel Mental Health.

Adapting to Shifting Demographics

It’s well-known that the number of clients seeking care is on the rise. As talking about mental health becomes more accepted, the demographics of clientele have begun to shift. Therapists today need to be skilled in working with clients from different ages groups, genders, and ethnic backgrounds.

According to a 2021 survey conducted by ValuePengiun, those most likely to seek mental health were:

  • Victims of layoffs or furloughs
  • Gen Zers
  • Millennials
  • Men

Therapy for Victims of Layoffs and Furloughs

Many people have navigated layoffs and furloughs, and businesses have closed their doors or cut services due to the ongoing pandemic. Approximately 46% of people who have sought therapy during the pandemic have done so due to being laid off. The loss of a job can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. People often experience anxiety, shock, anger, fear, and shame.

Clients struggling with the loss of a job can benefit from seeing a mental health professional who can help them navigate these emotions and learn methods to cope with anxiety or depression.

Therapists can be better prepared for this new surge of clientele by becoming more familiar with the practices of vocational psychology or borrowing principles from the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy technique.

Therapy for Younger Generations

Gen Z – or those between the ages of 9 and 24 – have grown up in a very different world than previous generations. Specific to this topic, Gen Z has grown up in a world where the stigma around using mental health services has lessened. As a result, they are the most likely age group to have sought therapy in the past two years, with 39% saying they have seen a therapist during the pandemic.

Millennials aren’t far behind. Thirty-seven percent of millennials – those between the ages of 25 and 40 – have sought help from a therapist during the pandemic.

One reason for this increase in younger people seeking mental help is celebrities who have publicly discussed their struggles with mental health issues in recent years. Social media has also helped normalize mental illness and remove any lingering stigma around seeking support. This shift has created a “coolness” around seeking care amongst young people.

It has become increasingly important for therapists to market their practices to millennials and Gen Zers. Therapists who are concise, authentic, and inclusive are factors that these age groups prioritize when choosing a provider. Having a modern online presence, such as a clean, responsive website or a professional social media presence, is another factor therapists should consider when reaching this demographic.

Therapy for Men

Historically, men have been much more resistant to seeking professional mental health help than women. But 47% of men say the pandemic has caused them to be more willing to seek out mental health help than in the past. In fact, men (34%) were more likely to see a therapist during the pandemic than women (24%).

Providing therapy to men can be difficult due to their feelings of weakness or uncertainty, which can make it difficult for them to open up about their experiences. Therapists can start by helping men understand that many other men face mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Further, it helps to understand that many men are uncomfortable with the format of “talk therapy,” so it’s important to create a safe atmosphere during treatment.

Adapting to the World of Technology

Online therapy and text therapy are just the tips of the iceberg. Technology is constantly creating new opportunities and challenges in the lives of patients and practitioners alike.

Social Media

Many Americans, especially Gen Zers and millennials, use social media apps such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram as a mental health resource.  And it has become increasingly common for therapists and regular people to share mental health advice on these platforms.

Some therapists have even become influencers – called ‘therapist influencers’ – using platforms like TikTok to spark conversations about emotional wellness with hundreds of thousands of followers.

The positive side of social media therapy is that it has played a major role in normalizing mental health issues, making it easier for people to choose to get professional help. The downside is that some people may think this can act as a substitute for professional help, but in reality, it is not a replacement for actual therapy with a registered professional.

Social media can be a great way for therapists to go where the need is and partake in destigmatizing mental health issues. However, if using social media to provide help, consider setting boundaries by using disclaimers such as “TikTok is not therapy” or “No DMs.”

Mobile Apps

There are billions of mobile healthcare apps available. Many of these are mental healthcare apps specifically centered around helping people with conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD, or insomnia. Some apps are based on positive psychology and have been shown to improve individuals’ well-being, but many apps make these claims without any scientific evaluation.

Some therapists may wonder if these apps will replace in-person sessions with clients, but that doesn’t tend to be the case. Typically, people use apps as supplements to therapy sessions, which is good news since a lot of therapy happens after the client leaves the session.

Therapists can consider vetting popular mental health apps to find ones based on scientific evidence and recommend them to clients based on their specific needs.

Lack of Privacy

The downside to having an online presence means clients can, and likely will, search their therapist online. A simple search on Google or Facebook can turn up moderate amounts of information, but therapists need to be prepared that some clients may go deeper.

Intrusive online searches can turn up results that reveal highly personal information, including the therapists’ address, divorce records, criminal history, financial records, presence on dating sites, sexual orientation, political activities, and family members.

It’s accepted that a practice’s ratings will be prominently displayed on Google or Yelp in this modern world. Beyond this, though, therapists should conduct Google searches of their own names to see what will show up when a client does the same. Signing up for Google alerts is another way to keep track of this information.

Also, remember that anything posted online – social networking sites, online dating sites, public blogs, etc. – can be found and read by clients. When clients have personal information about their therapists, it can significantly shift the power differential. Keep this in mind when using your personal or professional digital presences to post online.

Adapting to the Need

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted more people to seek help. Why then do so many clients find themselves on the frustrating end of a long string of phone calls when trying to book mental health services?

Online booking platforms like Ravel Mental Health make it easier for clients and providers alike when it comes to appointments. Ravel Mental Health helps clients search for a therapist in their area and see their availability immediately, making it easier than ever for clients to commit to a therapy session.

Technology will continue to evolve the way providers deliver mental health care. Ravel Mental Health can help.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top