According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five adults live with a mental health condition, and only about half of them seek and receive treatment. When left untreated, these conditions can affect not just your mind and body, but they interfere with your relationships, and even your work.
Through much of history, counseling has been associated with being “crazy.” However, the field has made incredible advances and employs many different methods. Counseling is a tool to help people across the spectrum from mental illness to mental wellness.
What Is Mental Health Counseling?
Mental health counseling is a partnership between you and a mental health professional. This relationship is professional and purposeful, based on sound research and techniques that have been proven to be effective.
Sometimes called clinical mental health counseling, you and the counselor work together, explore problems, and develop the coping skills and healthy mindset needed to implement change and pursue a more flourishing life.
Mental health counseling can last from a few weekly sessions, to a few months, or, sometimes, even a few years. The length of time an individual spends in counseling depends on many different factors, which your counselor will help you to determine. Counseling is a powerful tool that can help people along the whole mental health spectrum, from severe mental illness, to specific life stresses, and even towards living a fuller and more flourishing life.
What Does A Mental Health Counselor Do?
Mental health counselors are educated and trained to provide various mental health services, including assessing symptoms, providing diagnosis, discussing treatment options, and working towards lasting change.
Mental health counselors provide counseling designed to help clients:
- Understand certain behaviors, emotions, and thoughts about themselves, the world, and others.
- Identify areas of stress or difficulty.
- Provide education on healthy coping and problem-solving techniques.
To provide a holistic approach to treatment, mental health counselors often work alongside other medical providers like psychiatrists and primary care providers. What Is The Difference Between A Counselor, Psychologist And A Psychiatrist?
All three professions provide similar services, but there are differences in education, training, and licensing for each.
Mental Health Counselors
Mental health counselors have (at least) a Master’s Degree in counseling and have completed two to three years of supervised practice.
Mental health counselors are professionals who help treat a wide range of mental health issues and concerns, such as:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Substance Abuse
Depending on the type and severity of your mental health condition, the benefit you receive from counseling will vary.
These mental health professionals hold a doctorate — either a Ph.D. or PsyD. This education level requires several years of research and practice. Their training includes theory, research methods, and treatment methods.
A psychiatrist has a doctor of medicine degree (MD). This means they attended medical school and are qualified to evaluate the influence of physical health conditions on mental health and prescribe medications when needed.
How Counseling Can Help
When you choose to engage in counseling, your mental health counselor will help provide a safe and supportive space for you to talk about and explore the problems and challenges you are facing, as well as help you better understand your thoughts, feelings, and other internal responses. The counselor will also provide researched interventions and feedback for you to implement lasting change in your life.
Based on researched interventions and experiential applications, mental health counselors can help you discover ways to overcome challenges and learn new skills and coping strategies to implement in all areas of your life. A mental health counselor can also work with you to set goals for personal growth and learn more about mental health and wellness.
Some counselors specialize in specific areas of mental health, such as:
- Grief and loss
- Anger management
- Eating disorders
- Relationship or family issues
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
You don’t have to be experiencing severe symptoms to seek out a mental health counselor. Many people go to counseling because of the significant benefit of working with a compassionate, non-judgemental, trained professional.
Finding The Right Help
Assurance Health & Counseling Center believes that you and your health are what matters. Our membership plan is simple – members get unlimited access to our medical providers for one low flat monthly fee.
No copays, no deductibles, no dealing with insurance requirements or regulations.
Membership includes unlimited office visits, same-day appointments when you’re sick or injured, and 24/7 telephone access to our providers. Labs, X-Rays and medications that are purchased through us are at OUR cost. We don’t sell them for profit – and you’ll be shocked to see how affordable healthcare can be.
We also offer counseling to all members – because we believe in taking care of the WHOLE person. Contact us today and learn how a membership can help you live a happier, healthier life.