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Counseling

 

Counseling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.  It is the development of a trusting relationship, which allows free communication and leads to understanding, integration and acceptance of self. It aims to increase the individual's sense of their own well-being. Counseling employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change and that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships.

Counseling can be used to treat many different behavior or health conditions including:

  • Relationship issues
  • Behavior change
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Long-term illnesses
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia
  • Drug misuse

How can counseling help?

Counseling aims to help you deal with and overcome issues that are causing pain or making you feel uncomfortable.

It can provide a safe and regular space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counselor is there to support you and respect your views. They will not usually give advice, but will help you to find your own insight and understanding of your problems.

Counseling can help you to:

  • cope with a bereavement or relationship breakdown
  • cope with redundancy or work-related stress
  • explore issues such as sexual identity
  • deal with issues that are preventing you from achieving your ambitions
  • deal with feelings of depression or sadness, and have a more positive outlook on life
  • understand yourself and your problems better
  • feel more confident
  • develop a better understanding of other people's points of view

Counseling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However, with the help and support of your therapist, you should gradually start to feel better.

In most cases, it takes a number of sessions before the counseling starts to make a difference, and a regular commitment is required to make the best use of the therapy.

Types of Counseling:

It has long been recognized that it can be extremely difficult to maintain your psychological wellbeing in today’s high-stress world on your own. Because people need help, there are different types of counseling professionals who can help everyday individuals who are struggling in a variety of areas. Here are some of the major types of counseling that are available and who might benefit from them.

1. Marriage Counseling:

It’s natural for conflicts to occur in a healthy marriage. However, when the two spouses have never learned effective ways of resolving these conflicts, the marriage can be in danger. Marriage counseling helps couples explore the ways in which they get stuck in their conflicts, and how to break out of those negative cycles.

2. Grief Counseling:

Loss is extremely difficult for almost everyone, especially the loss of a parent, spouse or child. Unfortunately, in an increasingly more isolated society, many people grow up without the coping mechanisms to grieve effectively. A grief counselor can help an individual work through this difficult time.

3. Family Counseling:

Family units have different group pathologies than individuals which require different types of counseling. A family counselor is trained in the types of negative family dynamics that can occur and how it can affect each individual family member. This counselor can then teach family members how to work, live and love together in a more positive way.

4. Relationship Counseling:

Marriage is not the only type of relationship that may require healing. Boyfriends and girlfriends, brothers and sisters, even business partners may need help developing coping methods that will enable them to interact effectively. Relationship counselors can provide this assistance.

5. Mental Health Counseling:

There are many reasons why an individual may need mental health counseling.  He or she may have a chemical imbalance that is making it difficult to function, which can be aided through drugs but may also require some form of talk therapy. He or she may have deep-seated family issues which are pervading adult life. There may be unresolved trauma that is plaguing an individual. In nearly any case where a psychological issue is making daily functioning a problem, mental health counseling can help.

6. Group Counseling:

In group counseling, a single therapist works with multiple patients in order to help them resolve troubling issues. Group counseling can be effective for people who are not comfortable in a one-on-one setting, who have social anxiety issues, or who do not find it financially feasible to pursue individual counseling.

7. Substance Abuse Counseling:

People who are in the grips of an alcohol or drug addiction need a special type of counseling. Substance abuse counseling uses professionals who are trained in understanding the workings and pathology of addiction and helping patients learn how to manage their addictions.

8. Teen Counseling:

Teenagers are in a different stage of development than their parents, and hence need a different style of counseling. Teen counseling helps teens deal with issues such as understanding their sexuality, dealing with the temptations of drugs and alcohol and relating to their parents.

9. Divorce Counseling:

Not every divorce needs to end in ruin and chaos. People separate for all kinds of legitimate reasons, and a divorce counselor can help make sure that break is clean. Some divorce counselors can even mediate the separation so that the process does not stretch out unnecessarily and cost both parties excessive amounts of money.

10. Individual Counseling:

Individual counseling is a direct, active and personal approach that focuses on increasing your individual self-awareness, understanding, and adjustment. Individual counseling can help you identify the most effective ways for you personally to achieve your desired goals for this stage in life, as well as provide you with the tools to cope with difficult circumstances that may arise along the way.

Benefits of counseling:

The main benefit of counseling is that it helps you to have a life which you can more fully enjoy and appreciate. It can help you to become the sort of person you want to be.  It can also help you to more deeply enjoy your important relationships.Some of the benefits include:

  • Overcoming specific problems such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
  • Gaining a better understanding of yourself such as your personal values.
  • Increased confidence in decision making.
  • Managing stress.
  • Healing emotional wounds and getting unstuck from past experiences.
  • Enhancing your interpersonal skills and enriching relationships.
  • Unlocking potential: Increased confidence in identifying and achieving goals.
  • Increased sense of well-being.
  • Discovering solutions to the specific concerns that brought you to therapy.

Through counseling, you can explore your alternatives, build on your strengths, and develop new skills. Your feelings and concerns about family, friends, health, and work deserve attention. Counseling gives you the opportunity, in a quiet, supportive environment, to take the time to stop, think, and plan. With sensitive and caring feedback, you can gain new awareness and learn to deal with your challenges in new, productive ways.