Why are people looking to become therapists as a result of the pandemic?

Considering a career change can be a daunting one, especially during such uncertain economic times. However, it appears that there is one profession that has seen a drastic interest surge in both those wanting to transfer into the sector and those requiring their services.

How to become a therapist” and other related terms are seeing an increase in search engines across the United States. With so many businesses and individuals struggling financially and mentally during this time, Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) analysed a recent study that looked into US mental health research about COVID-19 to find out exactly why this sudden surge has occurred.

Increased Demand For Mental Health Aid

It’s no secret that mental health has been impacted across the globe due to the pandemic. Concern over the spread of the virus and grief for those who have been lost are an obvious contender for diminished mental health, however, there is far more affecting us.

Financial trouble is something most of us have experienced within our lifetimes at one point or another but many are facing this at an unprecedented level. With redundancies hitting a high and those who are self-employed unable to generate the same kind of revenue they need for basic living, emotions are high and the job market is harder than ever to break.

Money worries often lead to poor mental health as it can impact almost every element of our daily life.

Other factors that have led to the public seeking professional help are the high levels of loneliness, social isolation, and simply the rising feeling of uncertainty and being unable to control what is happening.

Search interest peaked during key moments in this year’s COVID timeline, from the announcement of a national emergency in March to the US leaving the global health collective, there were direct correlations between these events and more people seeking therapy.

It hasn’t been an easy year and other events have caused a surge in mental health issues, such as the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter Protests leading to many struggling to cope with the current situation in the country.

Changing Ways Therapists Are Operating

While therapists and other mental health professionals are certainly essential workers, sessions are changing and adapting to allow them to provide a service that still keeps all parties safe.

With the use of video calling software, an essential part of the ‘new normal,’ healthcare professionals are now able to offer their skills online and from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Not only is this keeping everyone safe, but it also means that clients are not prevented from seeing the most qualified professionals help with their issues due to location.

However, with such an increase in those wanting professional help, there isn’t always room to accommodate everybody who needs to see a therapist.

Mental Health apps have seen a rise in popularity in 2020, Headspace Calm and Better Help have seen an increase in reviews alone of 100% compared to 2019, according to data from RTT. While these apps should never be considered a replacement for therapy, they are considered to be a great alternative while awaiting professional help or as a supplement alongside sessions, especially for those who need regular sessions a few times a week but their therapists are unable to accommodate this demand.

More People Becoming a Therapist

Overall, there has been a 10x increase in search for those wanting to know “how to be a therapist” or “how to become a psychotherapist,” based on our estimates.

For these individuals, there are many reasons as to why this has seen an increase in interest. With many having lost their jobs this year, seeking this new avenue, one that is seeing huge demand and no sign of the industry struggling, becoming a therapist can certainly seem like a safe and secure career path.

But it isn’t just those who have lost their jobs who are looking for a career change. The pandemic and having to stay at home gave us a lot of time to think about what we want in life. Many see a career in mental health aid as a rewarding one and those who were unsatisfied in their roles often seek change in something more rewarding, such as therapy.

But it isn’t just the want to actually become a therapist. Many people have seen loved ones struggle this year and professional help may not be available for financial or circumstantial reasons.

While an amateur is certainly no replacement for a professional, there is no harm in trying to locate resources for help and advice on how to deal with someone who has mental health issues. Many of these search terms bring up free and paid-for books, case studies, and white papers which can allow individuals to find the correct advice on how to help their friends and family in the short-term.

Are you or anybody you know struggling with mental health at this time? Seek help sooner rather than later and always remember there is no shame in reaching out, you’ll be thankful you did in the long-run.

(Photo: Self-Supplied / RTT)
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