Mental health conditions are among the leading causes of disability in the United States and other developed countries. They affect more than one in four adults throughout their lifetime. Even if those conditions do not lead to disability, they can highly affect a person’s quality of life.
Taking care of our mental and behavioral health is just as important as looking after our physical health.
What is Mental Health Counseling?
The need for mental well-being is obvious. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, nearly 10% of all Americans over the age of 18 develop depression in any given year. The numbers almost double when it comes to anxiety for 18- to 54-year-olds.
Those suffering from mental and behavioral health conditions have a choice of treatments available to them. Medication, including anti-depressants, has become popular. But while it can help many mental health patients feel better, medicine only targets the symptoms of the illness.
Mental health counseling goes further. Counseling is a form of talk therapy that targets the root causes of the condition or psychological distress a person is suffering from. Mental health counselors have various methods and techniques at their disposal to help their clients feel better.
How Mental Health Counseling Works
For most clients, mental health counseling starts by finding the root causes of their challenges. In some cases, the cause of a mental health condition could be a major traumatic life event. Loss and grief can easily lead to behavioral or cognitive health conditions if the person does not receive support.
For others, the origins of their mental health challenges lie buried in their past, often reaching as far back as their childhood. Where that is the case, mental health counselors may need several sessions to unravel those causes.
In other cases, again, problematic negative behaviors may have led to the development of mental health conditions. It is essential to understand that the causes of mental illness are as varied as individual clients.
In its most basic form, mental health counseling works by giving those who struggle with their mental well-being someone who listens intently. Counselors are also trained to ask targeted questions that help unveil the causes of mental health challenges more quickly than an untrained person could. For some clients, verbalizing their concerns is enough to begin identifying solutions.
Developing Coping Strategies
Depending on your mental health concern, there are often causes or triggers that kickstart a specific reaction. Mental health counseling helps defuse the triggers and develop healthier responses to them.
During counseling, clients learn to recognize their triggers and apply behaviors that stabilize their mental well-being rather than allowing the challenges to overwhelm them. Behavioral health counseling is often used in conjunction with mental health counseling.
While mental health counseling is mainly concerned with a client’s state of mind, behavioral health counseling focuses more on cognitive habits. Counselors help their clients develop specific behaviors that positively influence their mental health. It may include developing healthy sleeping habits and regular eating patterns. It may also mean choosing a brisk walk over an unhealthy snack during your break.
Positive health behaviors influence your mental and physical well-being. They are some of the most potent tools clients can use to improve their mental health.
Positive Effects of Mental Health Counseling
Most types of counseling allow clients to learn more about themselves and their particular conditions. Research on post-graduate students has shown that counseling helped them become more relaxed while improving their ability to focus on their goals at the same time. Students who received counseling as part of this study increased their overall confidence. In addition, their academic results improved.
Other effects of mental health counseling include greater self-esteem and an increased ability to manage emotions. Clients find it easier to make life decisions with confidence. Moreover, they can better divert from self-defeating behaviors and apply problem-solving skills instead. As a result, their overall mental and physical health and well-being improve.
Counseling is a powerful approach to dealing with a range of mental health concerns, including:
- Low self-esteem
How many sessions a client requires with a counselor depends on their condition and response to counseling. However, most clients start to see notable improvements within just a few sessions.
How to Choose Your Mental Health Counselor
Opening up about mental illness or behavioral health challenges can be difficult. However, some of the stigma surrounding those illnesses has been broken down over the past few years. The coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that mental health challenges can affect anyone, regardless of age, background, or life circumstances.
At TrueCare, we believe that mental health counseling is one of the most effective ways of addressing mental health concerns. Our nationwide network of counselors offers both versatile experience and specialized knowledge for specific conditions.
We start with a basic assessment of your condition before suggesting suitable counselors. Clients can choose between in-person and telehealth counseling, depending on their schedule. There are no waiting lists or other delays, meaning you can access support as and when you need it. Sessions are private and highly personalized to suit your requirements and your condition.
Contact our team today to learn more about our counseling services or discuss your condition.