©2019 by Lisa Chatham Psychotherapy.

Millennials (Generation Y) and iGen (Generation Z)

 

Rates of depression, anxiety, suicide and self-harm are at, or near, all-time highs for teenagers and young adults across the United States. To rub salt in the wound, Colorado, which is generally regarded as one of the happiest states to reside in, is home to a teen suicide rate that is twice as high as the national average (17.6 suicides per every 100,000 teenagers in Colorado, as compared to the national average of 8.9 suicides per every 100,000)*.

 

To state the obvious, this is a deeply concerning trend. Typical approaches and solutions to the crisis are ineffective. Parents and schools are increasingly preoccupied with the well-being and emotional states of their children, but the efforts that this concern leads to only seem to exacerbate, rather than alleviate, emotional fragility.

 

Instead of breeding resilience and self-confidence, the aim of many well-intentioned adults is to protect kids (children, teenagers and college students) from any trigger that could be distressing. This effort to shelter our youth from suffering paradoxically makes them more prone to the very suffering we were hoping to avoid.

 

The result is a generation (or two generations, as it were) that is less prepared for the trials and tribulations of adulthood, less resilient, quicker to take offense, increasingly emotionally fragile and persistently underachieving.

 

Who I Work With

 

I work with teens and young adults who are stricken by anxiety and depression and exhibit a persistent and crippling failure to launch.

 

This failure to launch takes many forms. Most claim that they want to be somewhere else, doing something noteworthy, making something of themselves. Some don’t make such claims. They seem content with a life of resignation. I work with both.

 

It is easier to not launch. It is easier to not make a rocket ship and send it to the moon. It is easier to shut-down and wall-off. To turn away from the world, the pressures of society and the anxieties that those pressures induce.

 

To wake up takes courage. To get up takes courage. To take a stand takes courage.

 

I specialize in working with Millennials (Generation Y) and iGen’ers (Generation Z) who experience a lack of success in their lives. This includes those who still live with their parents, don’t have jobs (or at least not jobs that they want) and are stricken by depression and anxiety.

 

In my experience, these individuals genuinely do want more, but they have not had the life experiences that have taught them they are capable of attaining more. 

 

Many view these generations as entitled and lazy. I do not. I see them as lacking in self-confidence and courage. They need support and adequate challenge to begin to build the resilience and self-efficacy required to experience success as an adult.

 

I have been working with millennials for a handful of years now. I know how to connect with them. They trust me. I have seen inspiring change take place as a result of our work together. I am fully confident that each individual I work with is capable of much more than they realize.

Myths and Reality

 

A frequent critique of Generation Y and Generation Z is that they are lazy, entitled, narcissistic, self-centered and have unrealistic expectations with regards to what they think they deserve. 

 

This critique fails to understand the processes at work beneath such symptomatology.

 

Members of these generations were not met with the requisite challenge in their formative years to give them evidence of their capacity for perseverance in the face of adversity. 

 

It might look like they ‘expect’ things to be easy, but this is actually evidence that they don’t have confidence in their ability to go out, confront a challenge and overcome it.

 

They don’t, in reality, expect things to be easy. But they don’t think that they are capable of getting what is hard. So they simply hope that things will be easy. What looks like laziness and entitlement is actually deeply rooted feelings of unworthiness and lack of confidence.

MILLENNIALS

The Solution


I work with members of Generation Y/Z (and their families) to generate the self-confidence, resilience, healthy self-entitlement and necessary self-assertiveness to go out into the world and make something of themselves.


This is difficult and oftentimes painful work. It involves recalibrating an operating system that is out-of-sync, ineffective and damaging. 


These individuals need support and adequate challenge to begin to build the resilience required to experience success as an adult. 


I support my clients as they go down the path of experiencing themselves as increasingly strong and capable. This requires a fundamental shift in their storyline. The transformation doesn’t happen overnight. But it does happen.