January 14, 2020
It’s an increasingly challenging time to thrive in the world, and therapists hear it all.
These Are The Most Common Issues People Discuss In Therapy
They listen to the most personal internal conflicts, and they also counsel clients on broader, more common issues, like political anxiety, that plague a ton of people. Especially in this era, when global problems seem to weigh heavily on all of us personally, it’s sometimes important to remember that we’re not alone.Below, therapists, psychologists and counsellors tell HuffPost what their patients were struggling with most in 2019. Did you feel it, too?Comparing your life to someone else’s on social media“The most common thing people brought up this year was a fear of not being who they think they are supposed to be, and the imposter syndrome. Because people are so used to seeing ‘the success of others’ on social media, they perceive others to be the real deal and question their own skills. It really revolves around our feeling of inadequacy; social media has made comparison and contrast the new norm.” ― Karla Ivankovich, clinical counsellor at North Shore Counseling in Northbrook, Illinois
“This year, many of my clients were dealing with impostor syndrome and perfectionism. I think a huge factor in why these concerns are predominating in people’s lives is the amount of exposure we have to everyone’s ‘highlight reel’ through social media and the web. By highlight reel, I mean the peak moments with none of the difficulties or failures shown. Impostor syndrome and perfectionism come up a lot for people who are high-functioning and were used to being at the top of their class or group but now find themselves not measuring up to what they see online.” ― Heidi Cox, licensed clinical psychologist in New York CityDealing with online dating“Relational dynamics have shifted in the wake of online dating. The ubiquity of matches creates a consumer mentality and leads people to experience dissatisfaction with their options. This is a demonstration of the psychological process called ‘over choice.’ The more choices we have, the more difficult it is to choose and the less satisfied we are with our decisions.
“Ghosting is rampant, as well, and it often leads people to feel rejected and disappointed even when they haven’t done anything wrong. Often clients personalise when someone doesn’t reply even in instances where it has nothing to do with them.” ― Brooke Sprowl, clinical director and owner of My LA Therapy in Los Angeles Setting boundaries in relationships“The most common issue clients have brought into our sessions this year has been difficulty maintaining and enforcing boundaries in their relationships. Relationships with others require balance between your needs and theirs; however, poor boundaries and care taking are the comfortable norm, so it takes a while to develop a healthy equilibrium that ensures respect and love.” ― Averry Cox, therapist based in Seattle
“Often, I saw clients having difficulty saying no to other people. They tell me that they don’t want family or friends disappointed in them, even if it’s at the expense of their energy. I see this as a struggle because they’ve walked on eggshells for most of their life in order to please those nearest to them, and aren’t sure how to assert themselves. So, assertiveness training has been helpful as a good starting point.” ― Jacob Kountz, associate marriage and family therapist at Kern Wellness Counseling in Bakersfield, CaliforniaLiving with symptoms caused by work burnout“Anxiety, worry, stress and insomnia around work is one of the most frequent difficulties I hear.  People are struggling with pressure around work success and its impact on self-worth, as well as balancing work with relationships and self-care. Work has really become the end all, be all for us, consuming so much of our time and identity that there is little room for much else. This creates a context in which the ups and downs of work are deeply impactful on emotions and self-esteem.” ― Rebekah Montgomery, clinical psychologist in private practice in Washington, D.C.Issues with sex and pleasure“I saw more men coming in to discuss their decreased sexual desire and open up about the stress, emotional challenges and vulnerable parts of their emotional worlds and how it pertains to their sexual interest and performance. We are slowly creating more space which allows men to feel more comfortable opening up about parts of themselves that don’t fall within that more traditionally narrow idea of masculinity.
“On the flip side, I also saw more women hoping to increase their desire and sexual pleasure. Instead of wondering, ‘What’s wrong with my low libido?’ they wanted to maximise their sexual pleasure. An increased attention on the ‘orgasm gap’ has helped move women’s sexual pleasure from the background to the forefront.” ― Sarah Hunter Murray, therapist and author of “Not Always in the Mood”Experiencing loss or uncertainty in some capacity“One of the biggest diagnoses were adjustment disorders. In the past, major causes for this have been issues such as divorce, death of a family member and loss of job. However, the cause has somewhat shifted. Many people are now having trouble adjusting due to the cultural changes within our society, which has caused feelings of instability, and political issues both domestic and worldwide, which has brought about feelings of uncertainty in regards to the future.” ― Christopher Ryan Jones, clinical psychologist and sex therapist serving clients nationwideManaging fear of mass shootings or other violent trauma“Many people came to therapy because they struggled with current events and handling how to process what’s happening in the world ― from shootings to politics. Also, many people came to therapy realising they were suffering from PTSD watching the news or not dealing with past traumas. There was a fear of ending up on social media and feeling embarrassed, fear of dying or getting hurt due to the mass shootings. And social anxiety of acceptance among others is at an all-time high.” ― Patrice N. Douglas, owner of Empire Counseling & Consultation in New York, California and TexasGender dynamics in relationships“Another common presenting problem this year is this: heterosexual couples in which the wife is out-earning or outperforming the husband [at work]. There is nothing inherently problematic or wrong about this situation, but because it challenges the heteronormative script, it can trigger feelings of shame in the husband and resentment in the wife.” ― Alexandra Solomon, clinical psychologist and author of “Taking Sexy Back”Dealing with triggering reports about sexual assault“With the Brett Kavanaugh hearings at the end of last year and the release of ‘Surviving R. Kelley’ at the beginning of this year, many of my patients with sexual abuse and sexual assault histories found themselves triggered. When conversations about sexual assault become part of the public discourse, it’s harder to turn the switch on and off.” ― Heather Z. Lyons, licensed psychologist and owner of the Baltimore Therapy GroupAnxiety over being in public spaces“Among the most common presenting struggles we have seen this year is anxiety. However, this year has been unique in that we are seeing anxiety around school safety and gun safety much more frequently. Anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder and [obsessive-compulsive disorder] have involved intrusive thoughts and worries about these issues, as undoubtedly influenced by the increased occurrence of and awareness of mass shooting, including those that have taken place in schools and in other public places.” ― Marla W. Deibler, licensed clinical psychologist and executive director at The Center for Emotional Health of Greater PhiladelphiaNavigating anxiety and depression at the same time“Unfortunately, the trend in skyrocketing anxiety and depression rates appears to continue. Most of the clients I see struggle with either of these two issues, and many times both.
The research is beginning to show that depression may be caused by inflammation of the brain, and studies are linking anxiety, depression and pain together in brain structures. This means that depression and anxiety may not be distinct disorders but two sides of the same inflamed coin. Research shows that disconnection from three key aspects of our lives drives anxiety and depression: ourselves, others and nature. Reconnecting to these three aspects is, I think, the best way to decrease stress and increase wellbeing.” ― Liz Shuler, licensed professional counselor at Inner Evolution Counseling, an online service
Responses lightly edited for length and clarity.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Israel at War

Israel has entered its fourth week of war against Hamas after the group infiltrated the country on October 7.

Israel conducted its most intense ground operation in Gaza overnight, attacking about 150 underground targets, according to IDF.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Media
Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
READ MORE
Watch It
Timothée Chalamet Addresses Date Night With Kylie Jenner at Beyoncé’s Concert | E! News
December 20, 2023
B3z63vdSZ6Q
How Cher REALLY Feels About Kelly Clarkson’s Cover of Her Song | E! News
December 20, 2023
kf7fwJHnaxU
Ryan Gosling Drops NEW Holiday Version of ‘I’m Just Ken' | E! News
December 20, 2023
FsBATnrFv6w
The Top 10 TV Shows of All Time | Variety
December 20, 2023
mwZnVmsQNAs
Ava DuVernay & Michael Mann l Directors on Directors
December 19, 2023
qBRTngfdqZ8
Ari Aster & Yorgos Lanthimos l Directors on Directors
December 18, 2023
BXYD3UISwCs
2023's Top TMZ Sports Interviews: Shaq, Gronk, Tyson, Derulo & More! | TMZ Sports Full Ep - 12/25/23
December 20, 2023
LuSEtAJ1Dms
Aaron Rodgers' Season Over and Lakers' Unique Banner Celebration! | TMZ Sports Full Ep - 12/19/23
December 20, 2023
_SZM5laBY1I
#SelenaGomez is standing by her man, #BennyBlanco, amid backlash from fans over their relationship
December 20, 2023
3OAOi6VvLnQ
Inside Brad Pitt’s whirlwind 60th birthday weekend with Ines de Ramon: Romantic Paris to festive LA
December 20, 2023
o9clvkwWVPI
Inside Brad Pitt’s whirlwind 60th birthday weekend with Ines de Ramon: Romantic Paris to festive LA
December 20, 2023
inNYH5LILUM
When Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce would likely get engaged, according to NFL WAG Hannah Ann Sluss
December 20, 2023
kFWOyZlTJFc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
Latest Events
02
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Alaves
02
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Rayo Vallecano
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Newcastle United
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Rotherham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Cardiff City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Coventry
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - West Bromwich Albion
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Ipswich Town
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Hull City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Southampton
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Leicester City - Huddersfield
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Millwall
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Plymouth - Watford
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Leeds - Birmingham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Sunderland - Preston NE
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Bournemouth
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Arsenal
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Roma
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Nottingham Forest - Manchester United
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Luton - Chelsea
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Sheffield United
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Sassuolo
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Brentford
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Everton
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Salernitana
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Burnley
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Lecce
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Bologna
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Empoli
29
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Inter Milan
29
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Monza
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Tottenham Hotspur
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Crystal Palace
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester City
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Aston Villa
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Liverpool
24
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Chelsea
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Arsenal
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Napoli
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Everton
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Manchester United
23
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Lecce
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Frosinone - Juventus
22
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Salernitana - AC Milan
21
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Real Madrid
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.