A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body. Unfortunately, people pay a lot of attention to physical fitness and neglect their mental health. Notwithstanding the value of a nutritious diet and working out, the attainment of mental peace is equally important.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least one in five Americans suffers from some kind of mental disorder. The numbers went up during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic when work and life disruptions caused more people to stay indoors, self-isolate, and maintain social distancing.
In such conditions, mental health should be a priority. This article will provide some information about mental health counseling and discuss the ways in which it might help.
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What is Mental Health Counseling?
American Psychological Association (APA) describes mental health counseling as services provided by mental health professionals, like psychologists, licensed counselors, and nurses to people who are in a state of mental distress.
Mental health counseling uses different therapy techniques to diagnose and treat patients who suffer from psychological distress.
What Do Mental Health Counselors Do?
Mental health counselors are trained professionals who perform counseling and therapy services. Although they aren’t qualified to prescribe medicines, they are still therapeutic professionals who can diagnose and assess mental conditions.
Mental health counselors are needed in various high-pressure professional fields and settings where people may require mental health assistance. The corporate setting is one example where the market volatility can get on your nerves and lead to anxiety, stress, burnout, or even depression.
Psychology majors who want to pursue a counseling career should specialize in mental health courses, and a masters in mental health counseling online is the best route because of the COVID disruptions. With a master’s degree and several years of experience under your belt, you will be qualified to take a licensing exam in your state and become a certified and licensed mental health counselor.
A master’s program trains counselors in different kinds of therapies, including behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, and group therapy. A good mental health counselor knows that the treatment and diagnosis of different mental health conditions require applying different approaches.
Different Approaches For Different Conditions
For people who suffer from stress, burnout, and other related mental conditions, counselors use the behavioral approach to induce healthy lifestyle changes that reward good behaviors.
PTSD and drug abuse problems are treated through group therapy. Counselors believe that people with mental disorders that are caused by traumatic experiences are likely to respond well to support groups consisting of people with similar disorders.
Counselors take the cognitive approach for more serious disorders, like depression and chronic anxiety. This approach focuses on minimizing triggers, in the patient’s immediate environment, that lead to suicidal thoughts or anxiety.
Psychoanalysis is a complicated therapy where the patient and the counselor engage in identifying trauma in the patient’s past. For some people, rehashing the past can be painful, but experienced counselors use this method to free the patient’s mind from the influence of some traumatic experience in the past.
The Future Of Mental Health Counseling
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mental health counseling will see a 23% rise in employment rates, which means that this industry is projected to grow throughout this decade.
On average, 44 million Americans suffer from mental distress every year, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness. For people seeking jobs, it means that 44 million Americans need professional help to cope with mental distress.
X Reasons Why You Should See A Mental Health Counselor
Mental health counseling is not just for people suffering from severe mental illnesses. If at any point, you feel that your mental health is deteriorating, or the current state of events in your life is influencing your mental health in a bad way, you should seek professional help.
Mentioned below are the 6 reasons why you should see a mental health counselor.
1. Understand your behavior
If you don’t understand your behavior or thinking patterns, or if these patterns hinder your ability to function normally, you might want to consult a professional. A mental health counselor helps you understand your current behavioral patterns and, in the process of doing so, you will also find out about the likely causes of your mental distress. Such counseling sessions are necessary so you can iron out the kinks in your behavior and take concrete steps to deal with them.
2. Alleviate stress
It is common to feel stressed and burnt out sometimes. Whether you are a student, a working professional, or both, the highly competitive world out there can mentally overwhelm you. A mental health counseling session is a means of lowering stress and identifying healthier behaviors and thinking patterns to counter the mental stress.
3. Set your goals
If your life situation is bad right now, then it may put you in depression. But if you are seeing a mental health counselor, you can easily vent, process, or work through your emotions in a healthy manner. You might also gain a fresh perspective on things.
4. Learn to prioritize yourself
The feeling of burnout is pretty common, especially when you put other people’s needs before yours. This type of behavior can induce feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. A mental health counselor helps you set priorities that best complement your lifestyle. You learn to put your needs first, acting on the wisdom that tells us that if we can’t help ourselves first, how can we be able to help others.
5. Cope with trauma
The sudden death of someone close is traumatic, and it can leave a lasting effect on you as a person. But bottled-up feelings, especially those relating to loss and separation anxiety, can cause more harm. It is especially helpful to seek help from a counselor to deal with such feelings.
6. Let go of addictions
Drug abuse is a common problem in today’s world. Addiction not only limits you mentally but also has adverse effects on your physical health. If you’re addicted to certain recreational drugs, it would help to seek the guidance of a mental health counselor in quitting the addiction.
Awareness around mental health is spreading. With the rise in the number of mental health problems and patients, insurance plans are now required to cover mental health as well.
Mental health no longer needs to be a taboo topic, and seeking mental health counseling or advice should not necessarily mean that you are crazy.