What is Counseling?
Counseling, or “talk therapy” is used to help people dealing with a wide range of issues. Problems such as depression, anxiety, stress or relationship problems are usually caused by a combination of factors. In Counseling, trained professionals help you learn to deal with problematic thoughts and behaviors more effectively as a way to reduce distress and improve well-being. Counseling comes in many forms, and can be specially tailored to address specific situations (such as working on marriage issues, or focusing on the needs of a young child). Counseling typically entails meeting with a Psychologist or Counselor for a 50 minute visit on a weekly basis, though the duration and frequency is sometimes modified depending on the circumstances.
How Does Counseling Help?
Counseling teaches new skills, and better ways to handle problems. Unlike medication (which can be helpful as well), the effects of counseling tend to be long lasting after the treatment is stopped. Counseling gives us new tools to approach problems, and once you have applied effective tools, you tend to use them on a regular basis. A few examples of the things counseling helps provide are:
– Improved communication skills and relationship satisfaction
– Increased confidence and improved self-esteem
– Greater management of one’s emotions, and ability to express emotions in a healthy way
– Relief from depression, anxiety, or other mental health diagnoses
Is Counseling Private?
Counselors and other healthcare providers are required by law to maintain your privacy. We are not allowed to disclose the information you discuss in your counseling sessions, except under specific conditions (such as with your permission, or if you are in danger). The information you share in counseling is treated with the highest regard for security and confidentiality. Your counselor can help explain all of the components of confidentiality in your first visit.
Isn’t Counseling the Same as Talking to a Friend?
Friends are a wonderful network of support, but they cannot do the same things a counselor can. Often times a friendship is a dialogue back and forth about each person’s needs. A counselor is there to focus specifically on you and your needs.
Counselors meet with individuals like you everyday, and have a great deal of training and experience that friends often do not have.
A counselor is an objective and non-judgmental person who can help you make the best decision for YOU.
How Do I Start Counseling?
The best place to start is to participate in an evaluation by a mental health professional. They can help diagnose the problem, recommend a specific intervention (therapy, medications, or both), and answer questions about the process.
If you have questions, and would like to speak to one of our mental health professionals, call or email today.