Why Are So Many Millennials in Therapy? Our Event with the BACP
Welldoing.org recently co-produced an event with the BACP titled Working With Millennials
The event sought to address why Millennials are coming to therapy
Perfectionism, self-criticism, a lack of certainty and hope for the future are all reasons for therapy discussed at the event – if you are similarly struggling, find your therapist here
Welldoing.org were delighted when the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) got in touch suggesting that we work together on an event. The sold-out event was titled Working with Millennials – a day to address why Millennials are flocking to therapy, and the importance of therapists and counsellors staying up-to-date with relevant issues and the cultural implications of being part of this generation.
We chose to focus on this pertinent age group because Millennials are very evident on welldoing.org. A large proportion – perhaps even the majority – of the clients looking for therapists on welldoing.org are in this age range — 23 to 38. Our Personalised Matching Service is also, interestingly, mostly used by Millennials.
To the outside world Millennials may appear confident and successful, but so many seem to struggle and reach out for help. And perhaps it's no surprise. We have seen more social change in the last 50 years than any time before. Millennials were the first generation to experience the move into the digital world, the first to pay for their higher education; the likelihood of owning a home and the sense of security that this represents is much lower than for previous generations; whilst opportunity is broader, competition in work and other fields is cripplingly intense. Leading psychotherapist and author of This Too Shall Pass, Julia Samuel MBE, explained at the event, "The old rules that held things together are gone. People are desperate for a steadying environment, for certainty." This is, perhaps, one of the key things that therapists can offer to support Millennials in a time of flux.
Millennials also seek therapy with less fear of stigma than previous generations. Journalist Roisin Dervish-O'Kane, 28, who opened our event in conversation with welldoing.org founder Louise Chunn, spoke of her experience of therapy and how it helped at a time when a series of stressful events had created a perfect storm for anxiety and depression. She cited social media, loneliness, and the pressure of 'branding' yourself as key reasons why Millennials may find a therapist.
Our event was sold-out and attendees – mostly older than our topic of conversation - were eager to understand what the world is like for Millennials and how they can best support their Millennial clients. Speakers and audience alike offered insights into how therapists market themselves online, how/if they use social media, how to keep boundaries between therapist and Millennial client in a way that supports the therapy process, but also how they might offer more flexibility to Millennial clients who – many with flexible working hours and changing monthly salaries - may need a different approach than the traditional once-weekly, same-place, same-time that has previously characterised the therapy relationship.
Other powerful speakers included Sally Brown, welldoing.org psychotherapist and recently appointed editor of Therapy Today, who spoke of the relationship between parents and their Millennial adult children. Emily Hilton and Julia Bueno, both welldoing.org therapists, who held an insightful conversation as a Millennial therapist and Gen X therapist, sharing the pros and cons of being close in age to your clients. Dr Meg-John Barker, LGBTQ+ educator and author, spoke on the explosion in gender, sexual, and relationship diversity especially amongst Millennials and Gen Z. Psychotherapist Eva Kurz spoke on the devastating impact of perfectionism and the importance of fostering self-compassion.
We had a brilliant day and have had great feedback so far. A huge thank you to all our speakers and those who attended. All the sessions were recorded and will be made available on the Welldoing Learning Hub in due course.