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

(SAN DIEGO) 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."