Benefits of Working with a Mental Health Counselor
May 5th, 2014; Posted in Emotional & Mental Health
What is Mental Health?
The word “mental health” carried stigma of disease or disorder for many years. Now, people are starting to realize that mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental health refers simply to being emotionally healthy both in terms of how we feel as well as how we think and solve problems. Sometimes this may mean resolving more serious emotional issues such as panic attacks, depression or an eating disorder. However, for many, maintaining mental health simply means working with a trained professional when going through a major life change, decision, stressor, or transition. By processing the situation along with your experience of it with an trained, objective counselor, you can sort through difficult emotions and gain a clear perspective on the situation. Ultimately, this will allow you to move through the situation vs. getting stuck in unhealthy coping patterns (such as overeating, drinking, blowing off steam, worrying, etc).
I was recently interviewed by the Houston Chronicle on the increase in mental health counselors and increased need for services. Here is the article, written by Rebecca Maitland, jobs correspondent with the Houston Chronicle:
Today, mental health is a hot topic that continues to stay in the limelight, helping to make this once-taboo topic more acceptable.
However, the term “mental health” continues to have a stigma attached to it, simply because it is often confused and interchanged with mental illness.
“‘Mental health’ refers to being healthy mentally and emotionally, how we feel about our lives, how we think, and how we solve problems,” said Sue Levin, Ph.D., executive director, Houston Galveston Institute, a counseling center for families, couples, individuals and groups.
On the other hand, mental illness is a medical disorder describing a disruption in a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. There’s a wide range of conditions that fall under the medical diagnosis. Some mental conditions are more serious, require more intense treatment, and are categorized as serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, according to Rachel Eddins, M.Ed, LPC-S, Eddins Counseling, offering individual and group therapy.
According to research and studies, many people will have some type of mental health issue, such as depression, during their lifetime.
“This is where a counselor or therapist can be helpful. If you’re struggling with an issue or just don’t feel like your usual self, a counselor can help you see things objectively; and learn skills to help you cope, make choices or decisions. By reaching out, you may prevent what is currently a life stressor from becoming a full-blown mental illness,” Eddins said.
Levin said sometimes people turn to a friend, and the friend is not experienced in the topic, they may judge, make light of the problem, or say something inappropriate that causes the person not to want to talk about their challenges again, which in the long run, can cause additional long-term problems. Yet, counseling does not always have to be about a particular problem.
“More and more people are realizing that seeking counseling or therapy is about learning skills and improving their quality of life. We all feel better when we are heard and understood, but also when we have the tools to cope with symptoms and life situations on our own. Counseling not only provides hope, but it also provides a confidence that you can handle what life has in store for you,” Eddins said.
Click here to read the rest of the article on chron.com.
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