Growing up as part of Gen Z, mental health has always been a prominent factor in my education. It has always been drilled into our heads that if we need help we should go to therapy and “get better.” But “getting better” isn’t that easy, and isn’t always necessary.
Therapy can come in many different, with many different outcomes. For me, therapy didn’t really work out, and I walked away feeling even worse than when I started, but for my best friend, therapy changed his life for the better.
It is very important to identify why you’re going to therapy, and what brought you to the point of going. For many, myself included, being forced to attend therapy makes an individual less likely to attend willingly, and that unwillingness is what contributes to the failure of the service provided. When a person attends therapy sessions upon their own free will, they are less likely to view attending sessions as a chore, and more likely to take what is being discussed to heart. An individual who does not want to go to therapy, in the same vein, is not as willing to put the effort into sessions in order to come to a solution.
There are also many different reasons to go to therapy, the majority of the time people go to hopefully improve their own mental health, other times people go to fix their relationships, or to better themselves for others.
So, is therapy always the best option? Well, it would really have to depend on a person. As with anything else, what works for one person, may not work for another, and that is perfectly okay. Just like the same workout routine will not yield the same results for two different people, neither will two mental health solutions, and there are plenty of options outside of therapy.
For some people, therapy isn’t about being helped, it’s about finding resources that teach you how to help yourself. Many therapists focus on helping their clients come up with solutions to their problems that they can implement outside of their individual sessions, such as breathing exercises or even phrases/verses to help in times of stress.
Gen Z is 27% more likely than any other generation to report their mental health as poor or fair, and Gen
Z is far more likely to be open about their mental health struggles than any other generation (American Psychological Association).
Even when going willingly, one of the most difficult things about therapy is finding a therapist you can trust and rely on. It is important to build a relationship so they can give you the proper care and come up with a treatment plan that is specific to your personal needs and issues.
There are hundreds of resources online and even within the university that can help you find the right therapist for you and your needs. With the ever improving digital age, therapy resources can even be completely over the internet, over video calls. However, just like classes over Zoom do not work for everyone, virtual therapy sessions may hold the same effect on an individual, and both may work best for another person. It is very important to find what form works best for you.
Again, therapy may not be for everyone, for me personally, I found that meditation and just actively working to improve my environment worked better for me than therapy ever did. Some people may find the same solution after going to therapy and working out a similar plan. Therapy isn’t for everyone, and that is okay.
You will be okay.