Mental Health Counselling Mental Health Counselling

Unlocking Wellness: The Vital Importance of Mental Health Counselling

Stress is normal. And at times, you would like to vent your feelings to someone you trust.

However, should things head the wrong way, don’t hesitate to look for professional help. It is a must to take appropriate care of your mental health. Hence, you can go for mental health counselling.

If you don’t concentrate on your mental health, it will impact both your mind and body.

1. What Is Mental Health Counselling?

In mental health counselling, you will meet mental health counsellors. They are licensed professional counsellors to whom you can confide about your symptoms. They will hear you out and discuss treatment options accordingly.

The National Institute of Mental Health states that about one out of five persons in the United States endure mental health conditions. Of these, only half of them seek treatment.

If you leave these conditions unattended, it will affect your physical health too. Hence, if you are facing any emotional issues, severe depression, or having disturbed thoughts, you may go for treatment, including mental health counselling.

2. What Can You Anticipate from a Mental Health Counselor during Counseling?

A mental health counselor diagnoses your emotional and mental health disorders and will treat them. You can also discuss your relationship problems with them. They use different psychotherapy methods1 and work with you to develop meaningful changes in your behavior.

These counselors will offer you guidance and support. They will help you recognize your triggering points, advise you on handling negative emotions, and assist you in enhancing your life.

You may find that some states allow a licensed professional counselor to determine mental health conditions. While in other states, only a psychiatrist, psychologist, or physician can diagnose such conditions.

3. Why Do Mental Health Professionals Offer Psychotherapy?

A mental health counselor or professional will offer psychotherapy to help you understand the following three aspects: Emotions, behaviors, and thoughts.

Psychotherapy will also let you identify the factors that make you stressed. It will teach you to handle situations and resolve issues in healthy ways.

A mental health professional might also train in various types of psychotherapy. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy2, interpersonal therapy3, dialectical behavior therapy4, and supportive therapy5.

3.1. A Little More About These Therapies

Let us find out what each therapy offers.

3.1.1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy will help you identify your destructive thought patterns and their influence on your behavior. Furthermore, it will also guide you in embracing healthy behaviors.

3.1.2. Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is the best if you want to work on your emotional well-being and interpersonal relationships. You can do a self-examination with guidance from your mental health professional. You will also find ways to overcome problematic patterns.

3.1.3. Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy is for a limited time only. Here, you will focus on your communications and psychological symptoms.

3.1.4. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behaviour therapy is a particular type of cognitive behavioural therapy that will help you to regulate your emotions efficiently.

If you are enduring suicidal thoughts or borderline personality disorder, you can go for this session. You have individual and group therapy too.

3.1.5. Supportive Therapy

Supportive therapy will help you develop your self-esteem, reduce symptoms, including anxiety, increase your ability to handle situations and enhance social behaviour.

Apart from this, sometimes, additional therapies are combined with psychotherapy. They are animal-assisted therapy where you work with animals, namely horses, dogs, or other animals.

Working with these animals will support you in handling your trauma.

4. When Can You Approach a Counselor for Mental Health Counselling?

You can approach a mental health counselor if you are facing anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, or finding it hard to adapt to a change.

Though mental health counselors may practice in particular areas, they might still be able to help you out in the above conditions.

5. Types of Therapy Sessions in Mental Health Counselling

Therapy sessions in mental health counseling are available for individuals and families. It is given in a group setting too. Couples can also make use of this therapy.

During these sessions, the person receiving treatment and the therapist should actively participate. There should be trust between them. They should maintain a good relationship to get good results.

Psychotherapy sessions can be short-term or long-term. You can decide the frequency and duration of your therapy with your therapist.

6. Does Psychotherapy Have a Positive Impact?

Research shows that most people who undergo psychotherapy feel much better. It enhances your emotional and psychological state.

They have also found that people having a mental illness, namely, panic disorder, depression, and other mental health challenges, have some changes in the brain after undergoing psychotherapy.

7. How Does a Mental Health Counselor Differ from a Therapist?

Professionals, including social workers, family therapists, marriage therapists, psychologists, and counselors may be known as therapists. This is applicable at the state-licensed level since all of them offer therapy.

However, mental health counseling and therapy may vary depending on certain factors. Each state may have its licensing requirements, but typically, mental health counselors would have completed their master’s degree in counseling.

They will have a few years of supervised counselling practice too.

7.1. What Does a Counsellor Acquire?

Also, a counselor will acquire:

  • a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC),
  • licensed professional counselor (LPC),
  • licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC), and
  • licensed clinical and alcohol drug counselor (LCADC).

7.2. A Basic Difference

Typically, you will notice that mental health counseling will be only for a short duration. It will address your particular present issue. But, a therapist will deeply investigate your subconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

8. How Does a Mental Health Counselor Differ from a Psychologist?

A mental health counselor and a psychologist may offer identical services, but you can find differences in their education, training, and license.

Mental health counselors will focus mainly on these two areas: Talk therapy and overall wellness.

On the other hand, you will find psychologists concentrating majorly on severe mental illness and behavior issues. They will analyze you from a scientific viewpoint.

9. How Does a Mental Health Counselor Differ from a Psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists will have completed their Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D). Hence they can assess the impact of physical health conditions on your mental health. If they find any issues, they will prescribe medication.

Your mental health counselor may direct you to a psychiatrist if required.

10. Does Mental Health Counselling Cost Much?

The cost of mental health counseling is not the same everywhere. It might vary based on your place and treatment.

You need not worry much since the fees of mental health counselors are usually lesser than other mental health professionals. Nowadays, most insurance plans cover mental health services too.

11. How to Locate a Mental Health Counselor for Mental Health Counselling?

You can find your mental health counselor in various ways. You can ask your family physician or a general doctor to refer you to a counselor.

Else, make use of the following resources:

  1. Mental Health and Addiction Insurance Help (United States Department of Health and Human Services)
  2. Opioid Treatment Program Directory (Substance Abuse6 and Mental Health Services Administration)
  3. National Association of Social Workers
  4. American Psychology Association

Also, while searching for counselors, you can ask yourself the questions below.

  1. Can you afford the chosen counselor?
  2. Does your insurance cover your counseling sessions?
  3. Does your insurance require any referral?
  4. Are you looking for a counselor trained in specific areas, namely, eating and anxiety disorders?
  5. Are you okay working with a female or male counselor?

Once you find a counselor fulfilling all your criteria, go ahead without second thoughts.

Mental health Councelling
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash Copyrights 2019

12. Can Mental Health Counselors Work with Other Doctors?

Yes, mental health counselors can work with other doctors. These doctors include primary care providers as well as psychiatrists. Your counselor, together with these providers, will give you complete treatment.

One situation where this combination works best is in substance use disorder treatment. Here, the treatment plan involves both medication and behavioral therapy.

13. Frequently Asked Questions

13.1. When Can You Seek the Support of a Mental Health Counselor?

You may visit your mental health counselor when you face difficulties, namely the inability to overcome trauma, feeling uninterested in life, or using substances as one of your coping strategies.

13.2. Does Psychotherapy Have a Positive Impact on Patients?

The American Psychology Association states that most people who undergo psychotherapy find some positive impacts in their lives.

13.3. Does a Therapist Judge You During Your Mental Health Counselling?

No. You can comfortably share all your concerns with your therapist during mental health counseling. Your therapist will listen to you without being judgemental. They will provide you with various strategies to overcome your situation.

14. Bottom Line

It is very much vital that you monitor your mental health properly. If you are undergoing any emotional problems, or if you are having any mental issues, speak to your doctor about whether there is a need for mental health counseling.

After all, your mental well-being is required to live a happy and relaxed life.

  1. Lazarus, Arnold A. “New methods in psychotherapy: A case study.” South African Medical Journal 32.26 (1958): 660-663. ↩︎
  2. Warren, C. Seth. “Models of brief psychodynamic therapy: A comparative approach.” (1998). ↩︎
  3. Markowitz, John C. “Interpersonal therapy.” The American Psychiatric Publishing textbook of personality disorders (2005): 321-334. ↩︎
  4. Robins, Clive J., and Alex L. Chapman. “Dialectical behavior therapy: Current status, recent developments, and future directions.” Journal of personality disorders 18.1 (2004): 73-89. ↩︎
  5. Misch, Donald A. “Basic strategies of dynamic supportive therapy.” Focus 9.2 (2006): 173-268. ↩︎
  6. Rowe, Cynthia L., and Howard A. Liddle. “Substance abuse.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 29.1 (2003): 97-120. ↩︎


  • Archana Srinivasa Varadan

    The author here is Archana. Read her articles and dive into the travel journey shared by her about the popular places to visit, things to do, and other exciting things to do in Canada.

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