Millennials and Therapy: A Professional Weighs In 

Breana Lewis is a Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist for International Therapy Solutions 

Photo courtesy of Breana Lewis

 

The issue of mental health has increasingly become a more acceptable and widespread conversation in recent years. Particularly amongst millennials, therapy and seeking counseling has become the positive step forward in healing old traumas and bandaging wounds of the past.  Mental health is now becoming a serious topic across demographics and financial status and is being pushed as a top priority when considering overall health.  

 

Breana Lewis is a Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist for International Therapy Solutions which focuses on treatment for all demographics. A mental health professional who also happens to be a millennial, believes the acceptance of therapy and therapeutic services by millennials is thanks in part to their search for personal growth.  

 

“I believe millennial adults seeking therapy has spiked over the past years because they want to develop a stronger understanding of self-awareness and improvement, practice more self-care and gain personal growth,” says Lewis. “With this generation, many millennials have experienced more traumas and face more life complications and stressors than previous eras. Prior, life was simpler. All you had to do was work at a company for many years, buy a home and start a family. With this generation, it’s not that simple.” 

 

In Black communities, mental health and therapy are taboo topics. Falling under the misconception that Black families do not seek therapy, millennials are pushing the envelope and forcing a new conversation.  

 

“Black Americans are becoming more educated and aware of what mental health is and how it affects their daily lives. There have been many programs, organizations, self-care movements, mind, body and sound and soul awareness programs, workshops, seminars, and even a month dedicated to mental health. This was all created to educate individuals on the importance of mental health, therapy and gaining personal growth and self-improvement within themselves,” says Lewis. “Therapy has become much more normalized even for the African American communities and people are realizing the benefits, growth, and overall wellness psychotherapy has.” 

  

While millennials press their way to an improved mental status, therapists are looking to break stigmas surrounding mental health services. Starting with the misconception of mental illness, therapists are hoping to dispel the myth there needs to be an issue to seek assistance.  

 

“Individuals believe they need a mental health issue or medical diagnosis to seek therapy. In reality, nothing has to be wrong with you, and a life-changing or traumatic event doesn’t need to occur to go to therapy. Therapy could be a form of self-care or simply because you enjoy talking to someone other than a family or friend without any judgments,” says Lewis.  

 

For some, the perception of therapy and mental health are enough to keep them from seeking help that could potentially be life changing. With costs being a major deterrent, many across all age populations do not seek therapy out of fear of affordability.  

 

“Many people are uncomfortable seeking therapy because they are afraid of what their friends and family may think of them. They may lack knowledge about what therapy is, unsure of the cost, scared they won’t find the ‘right therapist’ and simply in denial that they could benefit from therapy,” says Lewis. 

 

For those looking to seek assistance, but nervous of the journey, this mental health professional encourages trying it with an open mind and a dedication to growth. Having the opportunity to express buried thoughts and emotions to an impartial party can be the first steps to healing and steering clear from doubters of the process.  

 

“It’s not easy starting the therapy journey and everyone is at different stages of their own self-growth. I would say the first step is accepting the fact you are interested in seeking counseling. Don’t try to think of a reason why you need it, just go for it and maybe that reason will come throughout the sessions with your therapist,” says Lewis. “Seek counseling for yourself and not for others.” 

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