If you have not been
diagnosed, counseling is still a healthy option. How so?
We all experience a range
of issues throughout our lifetimes. Some of those issues
are not always easy to handle and speaking with a mental
health professional may provide some greater insight into
making healthy decisions.
For example, a college
student who is not sure how to proceed with her future. The
student can talk through with the counselor about goals and
options. A single mother in a violent domestic relationship
may need support and guidance in finding safety for her and
The counselor/therapist is
skilled and educated to provide the tools necessary derived
from evidenced-based theories that show best how an
individual can move towards a successful outcome.
Receiving a mental health
diagnosis brings with it an enormous stigma thanks to many
of our societal and familial “norms.” Unfortunately, in
this day and age, individuals still use terms such as
crazy, nuts and retarded. No one wants to be labeled.
It is bad enough we are judged by many on a daily basis for
things not in our control.
Receiving a diagnosis such
as major depressive disorder or bi-polar carries a lot of
uneducated weight with no real understanding outside of the
notion that there must be something wrong with the
individual and his family. The truth is having a mental
health diagnosis is just as “normal” as having a physical
diagnosis such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
The real unfortunate truth
is that not many individuals see any good in being realistic
in these terms because it can be easily hidden. Behaviors
can be based on any number of reasons. Mental health
diagnoses are based on heredity, genetics, drug abuse,
environment or experiences that shaped our development from
childhood to adulthood. Many times, it is a combination
especially when drug abuse is an issue. Many individuals
self-medicate with drugs to escape feeling the symptoms of
depression, psychosis or mania.
A typical counseling
session is 60 minutes that entails the client building a
relationship with the counselor/therapist and voicing her
needs and goals. The client agrees to a number of sessions
based upon the issue(s) at hand. Success of the sessions
depends upon the openness and the ability to communicate
with the counselor/therapist.
The client is not expected
to open up full force on the first session and that is why
over time a relationship is built and the
counselor/therapist is better equipped to provide the help
necessary to meet the client’s needs and goals. Most
important, mental health counseling is strictly
confidential. It is unethical and illegal for a
counselor/therapist to disclose any information outside
without written release of information by the client or a
request from a court system.
counselors/therapists are mandated to report any information
if suicidal or homicidal ideation is present or in cases of
child abuse. Lastly, if you do not feel comfortable with
the counselor/therapist you may request a referral to
Take a mental health
moment and ask yourself if counseling would add to the
well-being of your livelihood. Life happens and when it
does you want to be equipped to take it on successfully.
is a licensed professional counselor, national certified
counselor and certified grief recovery specialist.