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Americans Feel Good About Counseling

Written by David Kinnaman, February 27, 2018

BARNA Research Releases in Culture & Media

Millions of Americans face mental illness each year, according to NAMI. Yet the stigma surrounding mental health is acutely felt—even in the Church, which has at times struggled in its messaging on the issue. This is despite the fact that, according to new Barna data, Americans by far have positive experiences with counseling—a practice that helps them heal from trauma, facilitate mental health, build strong relationships and change destructive patterns of thinking. In a new study, Barna wanted to know just how many American adults are engaging in counseling and how they feel about the practice. You can also read more about this topic in our Q&A with Jamie Tworkowski, founder of To Write Love on Her Arms. Both are part of a larger study on counseling featured in the new book Barna Trends 2018.

Most Americans Are Open to Counseling Overall, four in 10 American adults (42%) have seen a counselor at some point in their lives. Thirteen percent say they are currently seeing a counselor or therapist, while more than a quarter (28%) says they’ve seen a counselor or therapist in the past. Another third (36%) says they’re at least open to it, although almost one in four (23%) says they would never see a counselor. By all measures, Millennials and Gen X have more interest in counseling than Boomers and Elders. One-fifth of Millennials (21%) and 16 percent of Gen X are currently engaged in therapy. By comparison, only 8 percent of Boomers and 1 percent of Elders are presently working with a counselor or therapist. Generally, Boomers and Elders are far less open to the experience. While just 15 percent of Millennials and 18 percent of Gen X say they never would go to counseling, 30 percent of Boomers and 34 percent of Elders feel this way.

Familiarity with counseling (or lack thereof) seems to run in one’s family. The responses are very similar when Barna asked if anyone in their immediate family has seen a counselor: “yes, currently” (17%), “yes, but not anymore” (26%), “not currently, but they would be open to it” (29%) or “no, they never would” (28%). In addition, the answers adults gave about themselves were mostly likely to be the answers they gave for their family members. For instance, 65 percent of those who say they currently see a counselor claim the same for their family member. This is also true of those who would never see a counselor, 73 percent of whom say the same about their family member.

Again, younger adults are more likely to say... [ CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ]


[CURATED CONTENT: Written by David Kinnaman, February 27, 2018 - originally published on the BARNA website: (]













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