Top Millennial Problems for Therapists
Extra, extra! Read all about the top Millennial problems for therapists!
Do Millennials require better communication for sex, or would most Millennials rather just be on their cell phone than sharing intimacy?
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In case you weren’t aware, Millennials are a very pro-therapy, growth and self-exploration generation. It wasn’t too long ago that people reported shame or embarrassment when seeing a therapist. However, I have witnessed countless clients over the last 10 years pick up their phone during a session and say, “let me call you back, because I am in therapy right now.”
Millennials have helped normalize therapy in the public sphere! I can’t even remember feeling a stigma when I decided I wanted to go to therapy as a career.
Therapy is no longer only for people that are “mentally broken.” It’s now recognized for the enormous benefits it provides in helping people work through issues, manage relationships, and try to better themselves. This change is incredibly positive!
Millennials take pride in getting outside help when they need it. Depression, anxiety, and trauma are not things people must struggle with alone anymore.
As more people see therapists and discuss their mental health issues online, we see recurring themes across the country that surround intimacy and romantic relationships.
This commonality is likely tied to changes all of us have witnessed with regard to how we connect and communicate. The more we become culturally competent and aware of how others are living, the more we realize how similar we all are.
Millennials’ openness around their treatment can benefit everyone willing to learn from their experiences.
Here are some of the top Millennial problems for therapists, particularly when it comes to intimacy:
- Technology and the Lack of Intimacy
It’s a crazy statistic, but it’s true. Jean M. Twenge’s article in The Archives of Sexual Behavior, reports that “Millennials are more likely to report having no sexual partners as adults (15%) compared to GenX’ers born in the 1960s and 1970s (6%).” That’s right, Millennials have less sex and fewer sexual partners than in previous generations.
Why the decline in sexual encounters? A lot of people point fingers at the advent of technology and how it affects the way we socialize. Decades ago, people interacted almost solely in person.
People went out to mingle at bars, restaurants, and sporting events. They spent time in close proximity to each other. The odds of intimate physical connections were higher, because more contacts were being made.
Millennials do a significant amount of interacting digitally.
Whether it’s texting, commenting and liking on social media, or even playing online video games, Millennials interact with each other much more, but not always in person.
People today can get social satisfaction out of spending time online together without the hassle of going out. Of course, the way we communicate isn’t the same.
One of the commonly discussed topics between Millennials and their therapists is the lack of intimacy in their relationships.
Millennials report feeling less connected to the world around them. Even though they have plenty of people to text, they feel they lack close friendships, and even dating is often regarded as a superficial interaction.
- Mismatching Sex Drives Between Couples
Even though Millennials are having less sex than past generations, open modern attitudes around sex have made people more comfortable addressing differences in sex drive.
In the past, sexually incompatible partners were more likely to have struggled in silence with physical intimacy issues. Gender roles were more restricted, and in general, there was limited freedom of expression around sex drives.
Today, sexual compatibility is recognized as a vital component of a healthy relationship.
Millennial women are less inclined than their female predecessors to be sexually unfulfilled, and men report wanting deep physical connections with their partners.
Even though differences in the sexual drive between partners is more readily discussed, it’s still not an easy issue.
Many Millennial relationships struggle under the weight of expectations in the bedroom. With the help of their therapists, Millennials are learning to navigate the sensitive waters of sexual expectations where collaboration, creativity, and curiosity are of utmost importance.
- The Strain of Media Expectations on Relationships
We’ve already touched on how digital communications are affecting Millennial intimacy. Another effect of us always being connected these days is that we’re constantly exposed to media input.
Psychologists and therapists still don’t know the extent to which media exposure affects our thoughts and attitudes. What we do know, though, is that it changes how we look at relationships.
Think about it…Millennials grew up watching romantic comedies where love and intimacy were fun, constantly exciting, and always worked out in the end. The result is that many Millennials feel like their real relationships don’t match up to their ideals of what they should be.
The prevalence of pornography has had a huge influence on Millennial sexual relationships. It’s changed the way many view things like consent, sexual power dynamics, and even what constitutes as appropriate sexual etiquette.
Therapists report that Millennials often say they feel some level of disappointment in their romantic relationships. They constantly want more. Millennials are perpetually looking for a deeper connection, which often leads to constant let down and frustrated partnerships.
They can, however, utilize therapy to develop more realistic expectations of themselves and the people they date.
- The Paradox of Choice
It’s easy for people on the outside to tell Millennials they’ve got it easy. They’re constantly told that barriers to dating are much lower today, that there is a more open exchange of ideas around sex and love, and that no one has to settle. What Millennials encounter, though, is the Paradox of Choice.
Barry Schwartz, the author of “The Paradox of Choice: My More is Less” explains that an abundance of choice often leads to disappointment. Millennials, who have more choice than ever before obsess over which choice to make. They can be frozen by fear of making the wrong decision.
This paradox has a huge impact on our intimate relationships. How can you fully commit yourself to someone if you’re always wondering if there’s someone better out there waiting for you?
As a result, Millennials turn to their therapists for help. Therapists speak often with Millennials who have a hard time with commitment and developing deep connections with partners. It’s important to develop an understanding of needs to help make decision making easier.
Every generation has to deal with unique circumstances of their time. Millennials are no different, and the generations to follow will have to face new challenges too.
Be grateful for the openness and acceptance of growth and self-improvement through therapy. The more we seek answers, the more likely we are to get them.
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Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems.
LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.
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