Survey Says: Fewer Americans Using Mental Health Professionals to Manage Stress

Talk Therapy Is Proven Treatment for Stress; Find a Licensed California Marriage and Family Therapist at

Nov 09, 2009, 08:00 ET from California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Results of a recent survey reveal that, despite an increase in stress, fewer Americans use therapy as a way to manage it.

The results of the annual "Stress in America" survey by the American Psychological Association, released last week, found that while 85 percent of Americans say their stress level has remained the same or increased in the past year, just 4 percent of people use therapy as a way to combat that stress. This reflects a decrease in therapy usage related to stress. In 2008, 7 percent of people said they saw a mental health professional to manage their stress.

In fact, Americans are more likely to eat (28%), smoke (14%), shop (15%) or watch TV (36%) than see a therapist as a stress management technique.

"We need to make Americans aware that seeing a mental health professional such as a Marriage and Family Therapist is a wise, effective way to manage stress that's getting in the way of daily life," said Patsy Pinkney-Phillips, Ph.D., president of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Board and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. "If you're experiencing high levels of stress, talk therapy can help you get through it."

Therapists are trained to help individuals manage stress-related topics including finances, work, relationships, divorce, children and many other issues. In 2010, federal mental health parity will take effect, providing more comprehensive coverage for many seeking mental health treatment through a health plan. Individuals should contact their human resources manager or health plan administrator to see how their coverage for mental health services is affected, and consider adding a Marriage and Family Therapist to their total health care team.

To find a licensed California-based Marriage and Family Therapist in your area, visit, a free service offered by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.


The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) is a professional organization representing the state's leading licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. CAMFT provides as a resource for individuals looking for marriage and family therapists located in California. Marriage and Family Therapists treat a comprehensive range of issues including depression, anxiety, phobias/fears, elder and child issues, relationship issues, post-traumatic stress and severe mental illness. For more information, visit or

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SOURCE California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists