In the United States alone, there are over 45 million adults with mental health issues and just over 42% of them reach out to mental health professionals for assistance. Across the world, one in five individuals suffers from mental health concerns. This is an alarming statistic by any standard when you consider what a profound impact mental health issues can have on people’s lives and their loved ones.
Regular mental health counseling offers a wide range of benefits that can help you get your life back on track. Attending counseling is a worthwhile investment of your time and effort. We explain everything you need to know about mental health counseling.
Who is a Mental Health Counselor?
A mental health counselor is a trained professional with formal education in psychology. They can assess an individual, discuss their mental health concerns with them, and provide a diagnosis. They can also recommend different strategies and coping mechanisms to help patients improve their quality of life.
A counselor can’t prescribe medication but they can help in every other way. If your health concern requires medical intervention, the counselor will either encourage you to seek a psychiatrist or recommend one from their professional connections.
Does Mental Health Counseling Help?
If you’re on the verge of googling mental health counseling near me, but hesitating, it is a good idea to take the leap. You can back out after a couple of sessions if you feel it isn’t doing anything to help. However, if you stick with it, you will see several benefits like the ones mentioned below:
1. Provide a Safe Space
The most important thing counselor provide is a safe space. You can speak your mind, be open about your concerns, and explain your struggles to the counselor. Sometimes all you need is someone patient and willing to hear what you have to say. Just a few free mental health counseling sessions can help you feel safe with the therapist.
A safe space is one of the biggest hurdles in people’s journey toward mental health. Most don’t know whether they can trust even their loved ones with their thoughts and burdens. Speaking with a professional who is being paid to listen to you is a relief and can help people overcome the initial barrier.
2. Identify Mental Health Issues
A counselor is trained to identify their patient’s mental health issues by listening to their concerns and asking guiding questions. It usually takes several discussions for a counselor to come up with a proper diagnosis. However, identifying a mental health issue is the key to developing a good solution.
It may take the psychologist some time to come to the right conclusion, which is why it is important to attend a few sessions with them. If there is a good rapport between a patient and a counselor, the issues are easier to deal with. Once the mental health issues are identified, you have a solid roadmap and can plan a treatment process that will help you improve your quality of life.
3. Identify Root Causes of the Issues
Once the mental health conditions are identified, the therapist will move on to identifying the root cause. Mental health issues can develop for several reasons ranging from chemical imbalances in your body to the outside environment. For example, children from abusive households often have long-term mental health problems like anxiety, self-esteem issues, depression, etc.
Identifying the root cause helps therapists develop a good treatment plan that doesn’t just address the symptoms but also the root cause. For example, if your lingering depression started after you lost a friend to an accident, the therapist will help you process the grief and develop a healthier mindset towards it.
4. Recommend Ways to Overcome or Manage Them
The next step is to develop ways to overcome or manage your mental health concerns. There are several ways to do this. Changes in lifestyle, regular therapy sessions, discussing your problems, getting advice from a different perspective – all of these factors can help you manage your mental health concerns.
Therapists are trained to come up with solutions that would suit their client’s unique requirements. With the therapist’s help, you can develop coping mechanisms that will work for you and reduce the impact of your mental health on other aspects of your life. Coping mechanisms don’t just help you when you are triggered but also help you avoid those triggers.
5. Set Personal Milestones Regarding Mental Health
Setting milestones can help individuals track their progress on their mental health journey. Tracking your progress is important because that can help you stay motivated. Many people struggle to remain consistent with their therapy and lifestyle changes. It is very easy to relapse sometimes, which is where milestones can help.
By looking for a mental health counselor near me, you have already taken a big first step. The next step is to remain consistent. Every time you hit a milestone, you can congratulate yourself and feel a sense of accomplishment.