The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that mental health refers to a state of mental well-being that involves how individuals cope with life’s stresses, realize their abilities, learn and work well, and contribute to the community. Mental well-being is integral to overall health, but it is not merely the absence of psychological disorders. As discussed throughout this site and in my book, Finding Ecohappiness, nature can help alleviate mental health challenges like stress, anxiety, and depression.
However, sometimes we need more guidance to address our mental health issues. Each of us has a unique level of distress and difficulty, and counseling can help improve clinical and social outcomes. This article explores how professional counseling can help improve your mental health.
Helps You Explore Feelings With The Aid Of A Professional
People who face big problems tend to confide in their close family members and friends. While your loved ones are generally your strongest support system, seeking professional help can give you a better understanding of what you’re going through.
A mental health expert is the best person who can provide proven, effective techniques to help you handle difficult situations and cope with problems. A psychologist, psychiatrist, clinical social worker, professional counselor, or family therapist can help you explore your emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors during counseling. By doing so, you can have more confidence in working through challenging and influential memories under the supervision of a mental health expert. You can learn more about individual therapy, family therapy, and other treatment options to improve mental health at https://apibhs.com/counseling.
Allows You To Set Personal Goals With A Unique Treatment Plan
Before your first counseling session, the mental health professional will ask you to complete an online or written form. During this intake session, your therapist will review the form with you. The therapist will also ask you to answer a questionnaire to get more information about you, such as your medical, mental, and family histories.
During counseling, your psychologist will assess your mental health by asking questions. This step is crucial in helping create a unique treatment plan customized to your needs and personal goals. Your therapist won’t tell you what to do when setting your goals. Instead, you will eventually realize the best course of action upon exploring your feelings and thoughts during your sessions with the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Offers Various Treatment Options To Understand People Better
Counseling not only allows you to know yourself, but it also enables you to understand people around you better, including your loved ones, friends, colleagues, and even strangers. You might find yourself talking most of the time and feel intense emotions, including anger. However, all of these are part of the psychotherapy process.
During sessions, your therapist lets you express yourself and record or write down your statements. This step is important to help you increase self-awareness. The therapist may recommend appropriate therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to help you realize the connection between your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, influencing how you deal with people. In addition, counseling is an excellent step-down treatment option if you are shifting from a higher level of clinical care and support. This transition can help prepare you to face the real world with more confidence and better coping skills to overcome stress.
Nature therapy, also called ecotherapy, is another type of therapeutic option involving counseling. It focuses on both what we do to the earth and what the earth does for us, like improving our emotional well-being. It involves a range of practices, from walk and talk therapy to animal therapy to horticultural therapy, that help us connect to nature in a mindful and meaningful way with the guidance of a trained professional. The premise is to reconnect with nature, which can help us feel more grounded, positive, relaxed, energized, and resilient. Learn more about ecotherapy options.
Helps You Identify Life Aspects You Want To Change
Individual therapy or counseling is a collaborative process between you and the therapist. The common goals include encouraging change and enhancing the quality of life. Hence, many people seek psychotherapy when they encounter problems that are difficult to face alone or behaviors they want to change.
With a series of counseling sessions, you will be able to identify the aspects of your life that you want to change. For instance, you want to become a better spouse, parent, or business leader. In such a case, perhaps you want to change how you perceive other people’s actions or modify your maladaptive behaviors, such as uncontrolled anger.
Helps You Work Toward Attaining Desired Change
Once you have identified the things you want to modify or resolve in your life, achieving that desired change is next. Attending counseling without missing sessions can help you move closer to this goal.
Therapists are graduates of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, licensed, trained, and experienced in psychological counseling. They can incorporate psychology concepts, methodologies, and advanced tools during counseling to help you explore yourself, better understand your problems, and transition from feeling weak, sad, or lonely to becoming more empowered to make smarter life choices and changes.
Mental health experts can refer patients to support groups, treatment facilities, occupational therapists, and relevant agencies. These referrals help patients achieve positive change to improve their mental health.
Offers Early Intervention To Prevent Mental Health Disorders
An international study found that 61 percent of Gen-Z and Millennial workers are stressed and at risk of burnout at work. Their top stressors include job security, finances, and failure to meet their career goals. This finding concludes that many young professionals facing career issues tend to suffer from depression because of unresolved issues. This is where counseling can help.
Individual counseling focuses on the person’s immediate and near future concerns to prevent serious mental health problems. A therapist can provide career counseling and planning to reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Psychotherapy sessions can help resolve issues as early as possible to prevent them from worsening.
For others, they may experience extreme sadness because of a loved one’s death, neglecting their physical and mental health. A therapist can provide counseling to prevent grief from progressing to depression and other mental health problems.
Mental health professionals provide counseling sessions and therapies to help people of all ages overcome any distress or problem affecting their psychological well-being. Once you undergo professional counseling, you can learn the different positive coping skills to help you handle life’s difficult situations. Your therapist can also present various treatment options suitable for your mental health needs.