The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released data saying that at least 50 million Americans, or 19.86% of the US population is suffering from one form of mental illness or another. Many mental health experts agree that this number is actually growing, and this fact alone is already reason enough to highlight the benefits of counseling.
Many may find this statistic to be nothing more than a generalization, as there are people who may just have one issue or another that is causing them distress in some form, and should not be classified as a mental illness. By definition, however, mental illness is the state of having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, other than a developmental or substance use disorder. Furthermore, it could run the range of mild mental illness, moderate mental illness, and serious mental illness.
Why should People see a Counselor?
It should be noted that mental health issues are not the only concerns that a counselor is good for. The reality of the matter is that individual therapy can help people manage life’s varied challenges, lessening the stress that people are weighed down with, and as such, live a more fulfilling life. The modern world today has made complexities out of even the simplest of things, and this has resulted in a great deal of confusion for many people.
Therapy can help people sift through what they view as the complexities of life today and also learn how best to cope with these things. The best way to look at it is to compare it to how visiting the doctor for regular checkups benefits physical health, and meeting with a counselor is equally beneficial in that the practice can help keep a person’s mental health in order.
What are the Benefits of Mental Health Counseling?
Far from just a treatment intended for people with mental health issues, counseling like group therapy is beneficial for a variety of life concerns that could prove to be immensely challenging for the average person. Counseling is also not a one-way street, where only the counselor gets to have a say in how the treatment goes. Counseling is as much about participation as it is about healing.
Practically anyone who has ever seen a counselor admits to discovering intrinsic qualities and traits that they have never known about themselves. Counseling opens a door where people get a deeper understanding of their own personalities, values, and beliefs. This newfound self-awareness often provides an important insight that could prove to be the key to addressing and processing whatever issues the person is facing. In many instances, the discoveries that people achieve during counseling proved to be the key to helping them deal with their issues.
It goes without saying that therapy is typically done in a safe, non-judgmental, and caring environment where the patient feels comfortable enough to discuss their innermost thoughts, feelings, and troubles. Regardless of what the patient reveals, the counselor is expected not to make things worse by uttering or even giving visual cues that they are judging the patient for what they just said. Therapy is all about support, and validating the fact that the first step to recovery is in seeking help and opening up to treatment which can be either through an outpatient program or inpatient program.
Self-blame has long been seen as the biggest hindrance to any kind of recovery. This is why it is often easier to forgive others, regardless of the wrong that was done, than to forgive one’s self. In many cases, the patient is not even aware that they are already so deep in self-hate that they sabotage any kind of progress they might achieve in therapy. This is why self-defeating thoughts and habits are among the very first things a counselor checks for when assessing a patient’s mental state. It is important that the patient understands that they are worth helping, so that the healing could begin.
Apart from persistent self-blaming, many people deal with thoughts and behavioral patterns that are not just self-limiting, but also quite destructive. These include warped self-perceptions brought about by insecurities about appearance, abilities, skills, or personality traits. Much like other mental or behavioral issues, the patient might not even be aware that they are engaged in this kind of self-loathing, which makes counseling the ideal venue to get this kind of mentality out in the open and dealt with. Bringing out and acknowledging the existence of self-loathing is the start of better self-acceptance, and everything else relevant to treatment could fall into place from there.
The best example of how a counselor could help in this particular aspect is in the emotional therapy known as anger management. Being unable to control one’s emotions is a major problem for many, with the results often being a severely unhappy life, unfulfilled relationships, or even time in prison. In fact, maintaining any kind of working relationship is next to impossible if a person is unable to manage and express their emotions properly. Counseling could help in this aspect by finding what it is that prevents the person from understanding their own emotional issues, and working on managing them later on.
Adler Health Can Help You Make Sense of All Your Mental and Behavioral Issues
Understanding what is wrong is the first step in fixing any kind of problem. This is the basic mindset we maintain here at our mental health treatment in Orange County in Adler Health, because mental and behavioral issues could be immensely complex, and making things equally complex will not help in solving anything.
Our time with helping people has taught us that dealing with mental and behavioral issues requires time, effort, and a lot of patience. We are thankful that we have had many opportunities to help people understand and deal with their concerns. We have learned massively from this too. Let us help you with yours. Talk to us now.