How does counseling help people?

Does counseling really do anything that can help people?

I believe that counseling (and finding a GOOD therapist) will be of significant help when the individual seeking therapy desires change, improvement, and overall growth. Most counseling involves homework and a level of commitment outside of session that also contributes to resolution of problems and an ability to cope with stresses in a productive way. Here are some of the key ways that therapy can help.

1. Helps to define the problem and gain a clearer understanding of where it originates.

Many people seek counseling because of symptoms they are experiencing. These can include feeling sad, increased sleeping, substance use, panic attacks, self-harm, isolating one’s self, academic decline, etc. Often times, people are not aware of what is causing these symptoms. Having a therapist to help guide and explore why the symptoms are occurring and where they come from will give individuals increased insight and awareness into their problems.

2. Allows for a safe outlet to vent.

Not everyone likes to share their problems with close friends or family members. Maybe they don’t want others to know of their flaws. Maybe they don’t want to burden others with their problems. Or maybe they just are not comfortable talking about themselves. And in some situations people do not have the option of talking with someone they know because they have no friends or family. While talking with those we know can help bring some relief it is also nice to talk with someone like a therapist who is objective and emotionally removed from given situations. Counseling gives a safe outlet in which one can express their personal feelings and thoughts without feeling judged.

3. Counselors can offer various problem solving solutions.

A good therapist usually will not directly point their client in the direction they need to go. Counseling is about growth and teaching the client to identify triggers and use effective coping strategies that will bring about emotional and psychological relief. Counselors will help clients to explore the various options available in given situation, based on the client’s needs, wants, and values and will help them to choose the option that best fits with their desired outcome.

4. Gives one the tools needed to cope with current and future problems.

Many individuals that seek therapy have never learned good coping strategies. Perhaps they did not have parents or caretakers to model productive ways to cope or maybe the symptoms they are suffering from are overbearing and take away the energy needed to cope. Different diagnoses require different tools; however some are beneficial for any problem and any individual. These include but are not limited to relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, development of healthy routines, using mindfulness, improving communication skills, and recognizing and changing maladaptive thought patterns. A good counselor will teach clients how to use these tools, will often practice them during session, and will assign homework for further practice and mastery of the skills.


The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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