April: Counseling Awareness Month

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Since April is National Counseling Awareness month, I thought it would be nice to dedicate one of our blogs to all of the work that counselor’s do for individuals, and the community as a whole.

According to the NCDA (2011) a counselor/ client relationship is one that provides, “a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education and career goals”.

So, how do people reap the benefits of participating in a counselor/client relationship? According to Great Basin College,  the best way  to get the most out of counseling, is the same as it is in any learning environment…

Individuals will benefit most if they participate actively, attend sessions on time and are open and honest with the counselor. In turn, the counselor will listen to the individual’s concerns, assist him/her in setting and reaching appropriate goals and will respect his/her confidentiality.

A common misconception about going to therapy is that someone must be struggling with mental health issues, or be a weak person.

First, I would like to address what an awful stigma this is. Second, I would also like to put the record straight, and let you know that this just isn’t so.

Counseling may not be for everyone, but it most certainly can  be. There is no secret rulebook on what a person must be experiencing in order to see a counselor. Counselors have clients ranging from individuals with a mental health diagnosis(es), to people who are just seeking guidance in everyday life- or just want someone to verbalize their feelings to. I found an article by Lindsay Holmes, of the Huffington Post, that actually talks about research suggesting that verbalizing feelings can have a significant therapeutic effect on the brain.

Lindsay’s article also breaks down 4 Ways Everyone Can Benefit From Therapy. You can click the link for the full post; but I’d also like to leave you with a small excerpt from her post below:

1.Therapy can help you handle emotions from problems or stressors, even if they aren’t dramatically life-altering or traumatic: In other words, you don’t have to go through a huge life event or trauma to benefit from therapy. Talking with a professional allows you to get a sense of how you appear to other people, helps you get feedback on whatever you’re feeling and offers insight on how those emotions are affecting your everyday life.

2. Life coaches can hold you accountable for your goals: the major benefit of seeking someone is that it brings you massive support and creates accountability when it comes to going after your goals.

3. Talking with someone can help you find purpose: When you speak to a professional, whether it be a life coach or a therapist, Ziev stresses the importance of opening yourself up to what you’re struggling with and where you’d like to go from there. This allows you to work toward a goal, which can bring confidence, peace of mind and, ultimately, more meaning to life.

4. A professional can help you dissect a problem — then help you figure out how to solve it: You can see the problem without feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or sadness even though the problem is still there. In that way, therapy can help you recontextualize the problem you’re dealing with in order to make a strategy to help you move forward.

 

So, the next time you think that you could benefit from counseling, and it’s something you would be interested in, give it a shot! Countless personal testimonies and research experiments done on the benefits of attending counseling can’t all be wrong… you just have to be ready and willing to take that first step!

– Virginia Johnson

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Are you struggling with managing a mental health diagnosis, or are you just interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life, or simply feel that you do not  as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call  to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.

Virginia