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
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Vanessa Hudgens' Flirty Date Night With MLB Player Cole Tucker | E! News
November 23, 2020
L8TJCNrX698
5 Biggest BTS Bombshells From "Esquire" Interview | E! News
November 23, 2020
pcgBX9iwd4c
Ariana Grande's "Positions" Tribute to Mac Miller | E! News
November 23, 2020
7e1eJucj3Ao
Kamala, Jill Should Pick American Designer For Inaugural Ball Dress, Michael Costello Says
November 22, 2020
cGsraoPqUzM
Dr. Dre, Nick Cannon Host Feed Your City Event in Compton
November 22, 2020
HsGVY3l-e58
Will Smith, Original Aunt Viv Showed Huge Growth, Aunt Viv No. 2 Says | TMZ
November 20, 2020
spKQUtM_vic
'Real Housewives of Salt Lake City' star Lisa Barlow shows off her closet | Page Six Celebrity News
November 23, 2020
elf1lbgQVe8
Megyn Kelly pulls sons from ‘woke’ UWS school over anti-white letter | Page Six Celebrity News
November 19, 2020
BxZig5MdOKs
Brad Pitt spends hours delivering meals to LA housing project | Page Six Celebrity News
November 19, 2020
Ngvzf-T3u6w
PinkSweat$ - Live from My Den
November 20, 2020
1UUzo53kpbY
'Saved By the Bell' Stars Show How Well They Know the Sitcom
November 18, 2020
3GLE5nZshtU
John Boyega Talks 'Small Axe' and Black Lives Matter Protests
November 17, 2020
0uEMSLoFXDE
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
24
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group Stage
F.C.Tokyo - Shanghai Shenhua
24
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group Stage
Beijing Guoan - Melbourne Victory
23
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Southampton
23
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Real Betis
23
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Crystal Palace
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - AC Milan
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Arsenal
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Torino
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Parma
22
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Koln - Union Berlin
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Valencia
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - West Ham United
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Genoa
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Granada CF - Real Valladolid
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Sassuolo
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Real Sociedad
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Sampdoria - Bologna
22
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
SC Freiburg - Mainz
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Eibar - Getafe
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Everton
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - Benevento
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Barcelona
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Manchester City
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - Werder Bremen
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hertha Berlin - Borussia Dortmund
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Chelsea
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - West Bromwich Albion
21
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Cagliari
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Real Madrid
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Schalke - Wolfsburg
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hoffenheim - Stuttgart
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - Augsburg
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Eintracht Frankfurt - RB Leipzig
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Huddersfield
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Brighton
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Derby County
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Watford
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Rotherham
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Luton - Blackburn
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Barnsley - Nottingham Forest
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Wycombe Wanderers - Brentford
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Preston NE - Sheffield Wednesday
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Cardiff City
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Norwich City
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Celta Vigo
21
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Spezia - Atalanta
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
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.