According to statistics, almost 1 in 5 Americans (around 52.9 million people) are dealing with a mental health condition. Of those 52.9 million people suffering from mental health conditions, only 20% received any treatment in 2020. Contrary to the popular belief that mental health counseling is only for those having a mental health condition, it is certainly not the case.
Mental health counseling can help anyone who experiences a stressful situation at any point in life. Whether you’re dealing with problems in your relationship, have an addiction, or have any stress in your life, mental health counseling can help. Mental health counselors support those experiencing behavioral, emotional, or addiction-related issues.
This article discusses the role of mental health counselors and how they help those who need assistance. So, without further ado, let’s discuss the role of mental health counselors:
Who are Mental Health Counselors?
A mental health counselor can conduct individual and group therapy sessions after completing training. They can diagnose the underlying mental health conditions based on their interactions with clients. However, mental health counselors cannot prescribe medicine.
To become a mental health counselor, completing a master’s degree in counseling or psychology is a must, along with years of clinical work experience. Qualified individuals also have to pass an exam to become professional counselors. After completing all the requirements, qualified individuals gain the full job title of a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC). After obtaining a license, professional counselors can work in hospitals, prisons, schools, or health centers.
How does mental health counseling help?
Mental health counselors provide a safe environment and place to talk about one’s problems. They offer advice and support based on the interaction with the client. Professional counselors ask their clients several questions to better comprehend their condition and provide a solution to their problems.
Mental health counselors can help individuals understand their emotions, identify ways to overcome problems and learn more about their overall mental health. They can also help you learn how to cope with certain mental health conditions and how to grow despite the prevailing conditions.
All qualified counselors have received training to help with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. They can also help with conditions that include the following:
- Eating disorders
- Anger management
- Relationship problems
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
In addition to these, clinical counselors can also help individuals who have recently experienced sexual assault, trauma, or domestic abuse. Professional counselors can specialize in any, some, or all of the above conditions. For instance, some might be more suitable for helping with eating disorders and anger management issues, while others may be more suitable for relationship problems.
Professional health counselors usually address the problem’s primary symptoms that affect the client’s mental health. By doing so, they can teach their clients how to cope with those problems. Counselors can also refer their clients to other medical professionals, such as a doctor or a dietitian, if the need arises.
While the above discussion gives the impression that mental health counseling is only for those with severe mental health conditions, it is not. Counseling is beneficial for anyone who experiences any level of stress in their life.
If you seek medical attention early, it is possible to reduce the impact of a mental health problem on your career and health. You can benefit from talking and getting support from other people experiencing the same problems.
Common Health Techniques used by Mental Health Counselors:
Professional counselors use different techniques to treat their clients. These techniques include individual therapy, group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and family therapy.
Individual therapy, as the name suggests, is a private session between a trained counselor and a client. Indulging in a trained professional helps you identify the underlying causes of your mental health problems and make healthy lifestyle changes.
Group therapy involves holding a therapy session for 5-10 people simultaneously. Participating in group therapy is usually preferred over individual therapy. Learning about how other people deal with their problems encourages clients to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a private talk session where the client talks about what they do versus what they want to do. This therapy highlights the thought patterns and behavior of the client. This method is extremely helpful for changing the patient’s thinking pattern to overcome problems.
Family therapy is a family-oriented therapy session that focuses on improving relationships. It improves communication between families and helps them resolve their issues.
Dialectical behavioral therapy:
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is another common technique that mental health counselors use. It was developed to treat a medical condition known as borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is a mental disorder that affects a person’s ability to control emotions.
When dealing with others, even in close relationships, people with BPD frequently experience negative feelings that are difficult to manage. During the dialectical behavioral therapy session, the therapist teaches four skills to the patient.
These four skills include distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal communication. These skills help people suffering from BPD enhance their daily capabilities.
If you’re suffering from stress or mental health issues, you’re not alone. Almost 52.9 million Americans are dealing with some form of mental illness. And only about 20% of those receive counseling. This article discusses how mental health counselors can help with mental illnesses and their counseling techniques that help identify underlying issues and enable you to solve them.