Why Should I Go to a Counselor? What Can a Counselor Do For Me?
According to a 2004 article in Psychology Today, 27% of adults received mental health treatment from 2002 to 2004. Eighty percent of those who received treatment found it effective. Fifty-four percent were very satisfied with the result. Why should I go to a counselor? The 80% customer satisfaction rate from this survey indicates counselors are effective. Why should you go to a counselor? Because they help.
Thirty-seven percent of those who report having experienced sufficient distress to warrant treatment have not received it. Yes, more than 1 in 3 people who have mental distress which needs treatment, choose not to seek help. The reasons for not seeking treatment were cost and doubt about whether the treatment would work. Some who did not seek treatment were concerned that treatment would go on their record and/or that their family and friends would find out. Older Americans (ages 50+) were more likely to receive medication alone, even though their prescribing doctor recommended that they receive talk therapy along with the medication. What can a counselor do for me? More than pills alone, a counselor can help guide your view on situations towards a more positive outcome. Furthermore, a counselor will maintain your privacy.
A 2013 Counseling Today article reports that nearly one in five Americans experienced a diagnosable mental illness last year according to statistics released by the federal government. Less than half of those (41 percent) received any mental health services. The reasons cited were they could not afford it, they could handle it themselves, or they did not know where to go.
If you had a persistent pain that disrupted your sleep, interfered with your work and damaged your interactions with your family and friends, would you not go to a doctor? Of course you would seek help. Any physical or mental problem that persists and disrupts your sleep or your work or your interactions with your family and friends should to be treated.
What can a counselor do for me?
According to an article from SucceedSocially.com, counseling can provide the following:
Regarding social problems, counselors may offer advice, strategies, tools and techniques such as relaxation exercises, communication strategies, and coping strategies.
Counselors offer professional supportive listening which validate the client’s sense of reality.
Professional listening helps clients find the answers within themselves. Clarifying questions and pertinent observations are tools the counselor uses to guide the client to find answers.
Counselors can help a client find blind spots in the client’s perceptions. The client, armed with this new self-awareness and self-knowledge, can begin to reconstruct their perceptions on a more productive and positive basis.
A counselor-client relationship is a microcosm of the client’s relationships with others. If a client has a tendency to push people away in order to protect themselves from rejection, that behavior will come out in the counselor-client relationship; only here the counselor will not write off the client, but the counselor will direct the client to observe their behavior and examine their feelings underlying the behavior. The dynamic of the counselor-client relationship will result in a different client action outcome.
Without a counselor to hold a client accountable, the client has no real incentive to work on problems. Seeing a counselor encourages the client to focus on attitudes and behaviors that have contributed to persistent problems.
Well meaning family and friends are too involved in day-to-day affairs and are not trained to act as a counselor. Your counselor can give you the practical assistance in a private atmosphere where you can honestly focus on your problems.
A counselor may provide a diagnosis. Finding out that your problem has a name and is not just your problem provides an explanation for your struggles.
A counselor can either prescribe medication or direct a client to a professional who can prescribe medication.