COVID Stresses Send Young Koreans to Shrinks

      July 20, 2021 11:04

      Members of the younger generations are increasingly turning to psychological counseling due to mounting stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic slump.

      Kwak Keum-joo at Seoul National University said, "Young people tend to be more prone to anxiety. The economic doldrums and the COVID-19 situation have left many of them feeling they have less control over their lives."

      "That prompts them to learn more about themselves and try to improve their situations," she added.

      And the advice they are seeking varies widely, beyond the usual concerns regarding mental health or career uncertainty. More and more are seeking mentoring on public speaking, boosting self-esteem and even relationship matters.

      One counseling center promises to bolster clients' self-esteem, for a fee of W990,000 per session (US$1=W1,153). Despite the high cost, the center said it is fully booked until mid-August.

      A staffer said, "Most of our clients are in their 20s and 30s. It's expensive, but many come here seeking answers about what they lack and what they should do to fulfill it." 

      Lee Dong-gwi at Yonsei University warned, "[Those offering] these sessions could lack expertise and may end up worsening the problems faced by the clients." 

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