Survey finds fewer Americans use therapy to manage stress

Results of a recent survey reveal that, despite an increase in stress, fewer Americans use therapy as a way to manage it.

The results of the annual "Stress in America" survey by the American Psychological Association, released last week, found that while 85 percent of Americans say their stress level has remained the same or increased in the past year, just 4 percent of people use therapy as a way to combat that stress. This reflects a decrease in therapy usage related to stress. In 2008, 7 percent of people said they saw a mental health professional to manage their stress.

In fact, Americans are more likely to eat (28%), smoke (14%), shop (15%) or watch TV (36%) than see a therapist as a stress management technique.

"We need to make Americans aware that seeing a mental health professional such as a Marriage and Family Therapist is a wise, effective way to manage stress that's getting in the way of daily life," said Patsy Pinkney-Phillips, Ph.D., president of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Board and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. "If you're experiencing high levels of stress, talk therapy can help you get through it."

Therapists are trained to help individuals manage stress-related topics including finances, work, relationships, divorce, children and many other issues. In 2010, federal mental health parity will take effect, providing more comprehensive coverage for many seeking mental health treatment through a health plan. Individuals should contact their human resources manager or health plan administrator to see how their coverage for mental health services is affected, and consider adding a Marriage and Family Therapist to their total health care team.

To find a licensed California-based Marriage and Family Therapist in your area, visit, a free service offered by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

SOURCE California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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