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Therapy Treatment & Counseling for Caregivers

Therapy Treatment & Counseling for Caregivers

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Statistics on Mental Health & Caregivers

  • Recent data indicates that unpaid or informal caregivers provide 80% of long-term care in the United States. Of these, 61% are women, the majority are middle age, and 59% are employed.1
  • According to research, 75% of caregivers under substantial stress are women.
  • Compared to non-caregivers in the same age range, caregivers between the ages of 66 and 96 who suffer stress had a 63% higher chance of dying within four years.
  • Between 2015 and 2017, 29.8% of adults in Tennessee who are 45 or older reported providing care to a friend or family member.2
  • Nine hundred sixteen caregivers of older people took part in an online cross-sectional study on the prevalence of anxiety, depression, and sleep issues from March 1 to March 31, 2020. Anxiety, depression, and sleep issues all had prevalence rates of 46.8%, 29.8%, and 10.8%. 28.7% of the participants, or about 263 people, had two or more mental health issues.3
  • Stressed caregivers may experience weaker immune systems and spend more days ill than non-caregivers.4
  • Women who provide care are more likely than men to have symptoms of anxiety and depression.5
  • Nearly half of mental health caregivers say the person they are caring for is financially reliant on them, and about 45% of them live with the person they are caring for.6
  • About 8.4 million adults in the United States care for those suffering from emotional or mental health issues.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly one-fifth of Americans aged 18 years or older cared for a more senior adult family member or friend.7
  • It is challenging for almost one in four caregivers to care for their own health.8
  • Family caregivers have clinically significant depressive symptoms in 40% to 70% of cases. In addition, between a quarter to half of these caregivers meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression.9
  • Caregivers who feel a more significant burden of time required, both physically and mentally, are more likely to want to speak with a psychologist.10
  • Most caregivers—nearly 60%—work outside the home.11

Common Reasons Caregivers Seek Therapy Treatment

The following are common reasons caregivers seek therapy:

  • Anger or Frustration: When you’re upset or frustrated, your temper is shorter than usual. You begin to dislike even tiny annoyances.
  • Caregiver Stress: You experience the sensation of the entire world pressing down on you. Among other things, you’re experiencing physical pains and symptoms, such as a stomach tied in knots.
  • Anxiety: Worries have increased for no apparent reason. Despite your best efforts, you occasionally harbor doubts.
  • Burnout: Emotional exhaustion characterizes burnout. As a result, you can experience a sense of separation caring for a loved one.
  • Fear: This is a case of anxiousness out of control. You worry that you’ll hurt yourself or a loved one if you make a mistake.
  • Depression: Some individuals refer to depression as “the blues.” Additionally, you may want to cry or wish you could.
  • Grief or Sadness: When you expect to lose the person you are caring for, you may experience grief or melancholy. How unwell or how much agony they are going through feels unfair.
  • Guilt: A caregiver could feel guilty for not being able to give their patients greater care or for not giving their other responsibilities enough attention.
  • Isolation and loneliness: People who provide unpaid care for others may not have time for themselves because they spend all their free time caring for others. They might need to alter their job schedules, habits, and interpersonal interactions. Emotional pain may ensue for those who are unable to interact with others or spend time taking care of their own needs.
  • Physical strain, illness, and exhaustion: Caregivers might not have time to exercise, eat healthfully, or sleep sufficiently. In addition, caregivers are more likely than non-caregivers to have weakened immune systems and spend more time unwell.

What Happens in Therapy for Caregivers?

Every counselor may handle caregiving counseling differently because they will customize their suggestions and assistance based on your particular requirements. You two can discuss and decide, together, priorities and goals. You may require assistance managing multiple issues or just one or two.

Counseling for caregivers does have certain things in common, including providing emotional support, emphasizing your strengths, and assisting you in finding solutions.

There are different types of caregiver counseling, including the following:12

  • Individual therapy treatment: Private sessions with a licensed therapist, counselor, or psychologist – This expert focuses on your caregiver position and feelings. Your areas of strength are needed to strengthen weak or reactive areas.
  • Caregiver Family Therapy: These sessions can improve a family’s functioning by identifying and addressing concerns in your family system. You meet with your therapist and family, concentrating on issues that might prevent caregivers from giving their family members compassionate, thorough care.
  • Caregiver Group Therapy: A certified counselor or professional therapist who has received special training in group therapy often oversees caregiver group therapy. They lead the group of caregivers through various drills and activities. As a result of learning about one another’s struggles and sentiments, this type of caregiver counseling aids in developing trust among group members and feeling less alone. Caregivers discover a mutual understanding and the distinctiveness of each person’s life narrative.
  • Respite Care: Primary caregivers can receive temporary relief in a few days, weeks, or an afternoon with respite care. This care can happen in a hospital, home, or adult day center.13

Licensed therapists can assist you in processing your emotions, learning to set boundaries, improving communication with your care recipient and other family members, and strengthening your problem-solving skills.

If you think a particular medication would solve your difficulties, you should find a psychiatrist or other medical expert who can write prescriptions for you. If you want to be a member of a group of individuals who can connect to your experiences, seek a therapist who participates in support groups or group therapy sessions. Online treatment is an additional option.

When you go in for your first in-person appointment with your therapist, be ready to talk about the specifics of your situation, what you’ve done thus far to deal with it, whether you’ve ever been to therapy before, and the outcomes of that experience. Your therapist will likely also ask you about your goals for treatment and details about your history. It’s very typical for people to struggle throughout their first therapy session.

Furthermore, your goals may change as you continue to see a therapist. It’s perfectly acceptable to bring up the potential of changing the direction of your treatment or changing therapists altogether.

Insurance may be able to help cover the cost of therapy. Find out if your insurance provider can help with the costs by filling in our confidential insurance verification form below.

Things to Consider When Seeking Therapy for Caregivers

If you’re thinking about caregiver counseling, finding the right therapist is the first challenge. Whether it’s to help with burnout, manage anger or stress, or improve your overall mental health, caregiver therapy can provide valuable problem-solving skills.

A therapist’s profile can give you some basic information. Still, unless you speak with the therapist on the phone or in person, you won’t know the most crucial factor—the chemistry between you.

You’ll probably find a series of letters following licensed mental health professionals’ names when seeking caregiver counseling services. However, the prerequisites for each degree are different.

For instance, in Tennessee, a clinician with LCSW credentials must have at least 3,000 hours of clinical practice and a master’s degree in social work. This includes at least 100 hours of direct supervision, 60 of which must be one-on-one.14 In addition, a psychologist (usually with a Ph.D. or PsyD) has training in various forms of psychotherapy and psychological assessments. At the same time, a master’s degree in counseling is required, as well as state-mandated training and certification, for certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).

In addition, while most therapists see a range of clients for a range of reasons, many of them have areas of expertise. For example, some mental health professionals specialize in a certain age group, while others concentrate on depression, anxiety, or other specific issues.

A therapist is not a sympathetic friend who tries to provide you with advice while listening to your problems. Instead, the best therapist will support you in identifying and altering things like unhelpful thought patterns and harmful behaviors while simultaneously accepting you for who you are.15

Below are a few questions you might want to ask a potential new therapist:16

  • What are your fees?
    • What health insurance do you accept if any? Do you have a sliding-scale fee schedule?
  • How do your credentials apply to my specific issues?
  • Do you have any expertise dealing with clients with similar worries to mine?
  • Do you create treatment plans?
  • How long are the sessions?
  • How long will I potentially be working with you?

Selecting a therapist is an individual choice that necessitates choosing a mental health specialist who will assist you in overcoming challenges and pursuing the appropriate goals. Of course, the ideal match for you exists, but it can require some investigation, patience, and perhaps even several consultations.

Benefits of Therapy for Caregivers

  • Work through challenging feelings particular to providing care, such as anxiety, fear, resentment, anger, bitterness, shame, guilt, helplessness, and anticipatory grief.
  • Prevent clinical depression
  • Establish coping skills
  • Adopt a sense of control and empowerment.
  • Research shows that three out of four people gain some benefit from individual psychotherapy.17
  • Restore healthy family dynamics, mobilize family support for the primary caregiver, and seek to change interactions to make family care more comfortable
  • In group therapy, you can find inspiration from other people’s experiences and accomplishments.
  • Group therapy can boost social support to lessen emotions of loneliness and isolation.

Other Behavioral & Mental Health Resources for Caregivers

Below are a few behavioral health resources for caregivers that can offer various tools for mental health support:


  1. GoodTherapy Editor Team. “Caregiver Issues / Stress.” GoodTherapy, GoodTherapy, LLC., www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/caregiver-issues. Accessed 21 Nov. 2019.
  2. “Caregiving for Family and Friends — A Public Health Issue.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, 2018, www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/caregiver-brief.html.
  3. Li, Qiuxuan, et al. “Mental Health Multimorbidity among Caregivers of Older Adults During the COVID-19 Epidemic.” The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 29, no. 7, 2021, pp. 687–97. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2021.01.006.
  4. Godbout, Jonathan P., and Ronald Glaser. “Stress-Induced Immune Dysregulation: Implications for Wound Healing, Infectious Disease and Cancer.” Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, vol. 1, no. 4, 2006, pp. 421–27. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11481-006-9036-0.
  5. Mahoney, Rachel, et al. “Https://Pubmed.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/16166409/.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 9, 2005, pp. 795–801. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16166409.
  6. “A GUIDEBOOK FOR MENTAL HEALTH CAREGIVERS.” National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI.Org), Feb. 2016, www.nami.org/Support-Education/Publications-Reports/Guides/Circle-of-Care-Guidebook/CircleOfCareReport.
  7. “Caregivers in America During COVID-19.” Norc.Org, www.norc.org/PDFs/Maintaining%20Physical%20and%20Mental%20Well/OACCaregiverInfographic.pdf. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.
  8. “Caregiving in the U.S. 2020.” AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving, 2020. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.26419/ppi.00103.001.
  9. Zarit, Steve H. “A Research Perspective.” Caregiver Assessment: Voices AND Views.” Google Scholar, National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance, 2006, scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Zarit,+S.+(2006).+Assessment+of+Family+Caregivers:+A+Research+Perspective.&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart.
  10. Mento, Carmela et al. “Caregivers Help-Seeking Related to Physical and Mental Burden.” Clinical neuropsychiatry vol. 16,3 (2019): 135-139. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8650204/
  11. “Caregiver Stress: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 22 Mar. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/caregiver-stress/art-20044784?reDate=13082022.
  12. Open Caregiving Team. “Caregiver Therapy.” Open Caregiving, 2 Jan. 2022, www.opencaregiving.com/glossary/caregiver-therapy.
  13. “What Is Respite Care?” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 May 2017, www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-respite-care.
  14. Writers, Staff. “Social Work Licensure in Tennessee | Find Accredited Programs.” SocialWorkLicensure.Org, 1 July 2019, socialworklicensure.org/state/social-work-licensure-tennessee.
  15. FEINSTEIN, ROBERT, et al. “Common Factors Affecting Psychotherapy Outcomes.” Journal of Psychiatric Practice, vol. 21, no. 3, 2015, pp. 180–89. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1097/pra.0000000000000064.
  16. “How to Choose a Psychologist.” American Psychological Association, 17 Oct. 2019, www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/choose-therapist.
  17. “Understanding Psychotherapy and How It Works.” American Psychological Association, 16 Mar. 2022, www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/understanding.

If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.

One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control. 

(615) 320-1155