What is Mental Health Counseling Like?

mental health counseling

What is Mental Health Counseling Like?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.”[1] Living with an untreated mental health condition can be difficult, exhausting, and lonely. There is a wide range of mental illnesses that individuals suffer from, each one causing different symptoms and difficulties that they have to navigate.

When you struggle with an untreated psychiatric disorder, living your daily life and completing seemingly normal tasks can become impossible. Mental health treatment can help you overcome your symptoms, learn how to manage your condition, and regain control of your life. Mental health counseling is one of the most common forms of treatment for mental illness.

Oftentimes, people avoid getting help for mental illness because they do not understand how therapy works, or they don’t know what to expect.

What Do Mental Health Counselors Do?

Many people face mental health challenges, with 52.9 million U.S. adults experiencing a mental illness in 2020.[1] Conditions like anxiety and depression have become increasingly common, causing people to view these illnesses as “mild”. People must take any type of mental health issue as a serious condition that must be addressed by a professional.

Mental health counselors can help you understand the importance of seeking quality care and support while providing you with the tools you need to recover from your condition. Mental health counselors assess and treat a wide range of mental and emotional disorders, relationship issues, and life challenges. By using various methods of psychotherapy, counselors collaborate with you to develop positive behavior changes and help you navigate life issues.

Many mental health counselors specialize in treating certain conditions. In general, these counselors are trained to help people with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Adjustment disorders caused by big life changes

If you are experiencing persistent and recurring symptoms of any mental health condition, you may need to work with a mental health counselor. For example, dealing with symptoms like difficulty sleeping, losing interest in hobbies or activities, or suicidal thoughts for two weeks or more, participating in therapy sessions guided by a mental health counselor would be beneficial.

How Does Mental Health Counseling Work?

Mental health counseling can be described as a partnership between the counselor and the client. A keystone of mental health care is about creating a trusting relationship between the counselor and client with the common goal of helping the client recover from their ailment, so therapists begin counseling sessions by trying to create a trusting relationship with their client.

Mental health therapy involves collaborative work between the counselor and client, where they explore problems and develop the skills needed to overcome their challenges and live an emotionally healthy lifestyle. The length of counseling completely depends on the client’s needs. Some individuals only attend a few sessions over several months, while others may require weekly sessions for a couple of years.

It is important to note that people seek counseling for a wide variety of reasons. Most commonly, counseling is used to teach individuals how to manage their mental health condition healthily. However, many people choose to attend counseling to cope with specific life stresses, like work or relationship problems. Counseling can help you overcome any mental or emotional issue you are facing, whether it stems from a diagnosis or not.

Mental Health Counseling Approaches

There are tons of different approaches and therapeutic tactics that mental health counselors may use to help their patients. The particular approach that your mental health counselor will use depends on the nature of your illness, your personal characteristics, and your counselor’s preference. Counseling sessions are completely individualized to your personal needs.

Each counseling approach has a different focus. Counseling methods may focus on your background, emotions, thoughts, behaviors, or a combination of these.

Approaches that focus on background include:

  • Psychoanalysis
  • Jungian analytical psychology
  • Individual psychology

Emotion-based approaches include:

  • Person-centered psychology
  • Existential psychology
  • Gestalt therapy

Approaches that focus on thought include:

  • Cognitive therapy
  • Rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT)

Behavior-focused approaches include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Solution-focused brief therapy

If a certain therapeutic approach catches your eye, you can always ask your mental health counselor to try it. It is important to note that mental health counselors will use the type of therapy they believe is best for managing your symptoms and promoting positive behavior changes in your life.

Benefits of Mental Health Counseling

Many people view the need for counseling as a sign of weakness. This is simply untrue. When you seek counseling, you are displaying strength and courage, as you are doing whatever it takes to create the life you envision and deserve.

Participating in mental health therapy can provide you with many benefits. If you are going to counseling for a mental illness, this process can significantly reduce your symptoms and make you more apt at managing your condition. However, mental health counseling can provide you with more benefits than simply reducing the symptoms of your mental health condition.

The benefits of mental health counseling include:

  • Personal empowerment
  • Restoring hope
  • Overcoming issues related to social stigma
  • Gaining personal insight
  • Developing important life skills
  • Preventing future mental health distress
  • Increasing self-esteem and worth
  • Developing interpersonal relationship skills
  • Learning how to self-regulate emotions

Get Connected With a Top-Rated Mental Health Counselor in South Florida

If you or a loved one suffer from an untreated mental health condition, attending counseling can help. Mental health counseling uses an individualized approach to provide you with the tools and support you need to navigate life issues and overcome the symptoms of mental illness.

To learn more about our South Florida mental health treatment program, contact Florida Recovery Group today.