Mental Health Counseling
Nearly 25 percent of adults in the United States suffer from a diagnosable mental health issue. Fortunately, many of these debilitating health issues can be helped by Mental Health Counselors. If you or a loved one are suffering from mental health issues and would like to find a counselor, browse our directory for local mental health professionals.
What Makes a Good Mental Health Counselor?
First and foremost, it is always important for you to be comfortable with your counselor. If you are not comfortable opening up to your counselor, it is likely that Mental Health Counseling will be deconstructive to your well-being. Mental Health Counselors may use a variety of methods to help a patient cope, so if you are not comfortable with a particular counselor it is possible that another counselor who utilizes different varying methods may be a better suit for you.
With hundreds upon thousands of mental health counselors in the nation, it can be a daunting task to narrow down a list of counselors that are suitable to the goals you are hoping to achieve. One of the best ways to find out if you’re going to be comfortable with a counselor’s methods is to thoroughly research reviews online. Current and former patients will often transcribe reviews of their experiences with their counselor in order to provide beneficial critiques for individuals who are also seeking care. If you have a family doctor, it is also possible to get a referral that suits your specific needs. Since psychology is such a wide and complex field, it is also wise to make sure that the counselor you are considering has the proper credentials. Most licensed Mental Health Counselors are required to have a Masters Degree. If you are more comfortable with someone with more advanced credentials it is possible to look for counselors with their Doctorate, however it is likely their fees will be much higher.
What is Mental Health Counseling?
Mental Health Counseling is a specialization in the field of psychology that attempts to improve mental health and well-being. As psychology does not tend to be an exact science, the methods Mental Health Counselors utilize include a number of different methods when trying to improve their clients’ mental well-being.
- Psychodynamic Approach – Perhaps the style of counseling that first comes to mind for those familiar with Hollywood depictions of counseling sessions is the psychodynamic approach. Finding its roots in the 1800s, the Psychodynamic Approach was popularized by Sigmund Freud, and focused on uncovering the unconscious as a method of correcting mental health issues. Though Freud has mostly been discredited by the modern medical community, the Psychodynamic Approach is credited with starting the “talking cure” the still common technique of conducting therapy through an open, often guided discussion between counselor and client to help reach the root of mental issues.
- Behavioral Approach – Most often seen for those with severe phobias. the Behavior Approach attempts to correct mental issues by seeing problems being learned rather than rooted in the unconscious mind. It attempts to correct problems by offering positive reinforcement for correct behaviors. In the case of phobias, the Behavioral Approach often uses a process of desensitization to help those trying to overcome their fears, introducing the subject of their phobias in a relaxed, controlled setting to help give the client the ability to face the phobia in the real world.
- Cognitive Approach – Perhaps one of the more common counseling techniques, the Cognitive Approach takes the idea of a talking cure from the Psychodynamic Approach, but rather than focusing on unconscious motivations, the counselor attempts to help improve the mental health of their patient through working with them to recognize illogical or unhealthy thinking or behaviors while equipping them with tools to stop those thoughts and behaviors. Many modern counselors tend to favor this approach.