April is counseling awareness month as designated by the American Counseling Association. Since many misconceptions exist about the nature and process of counseling, Aspire Behavioral Hospital is utilizing Counseling Awareness Month to provide the community with information and education on what counseling is and what it isn’t, the benefits of counseling, and various types of counseling options.
What is Counseling?
Counseling (also known as psychotherapy) is a process of working with a trained and licensed counselor to increase self-awareness and insight into one’s feelings, behaviors, and beliefs. It is a journey of self-discovery manifested through the therapeutic relationship.
What Counseling is Not?
Counseling is not a relationship in which the counselor tells the client what to do, what to think or how to feel. On the other extreme, counseling is not a passive process in which the client shares his thoughts and feelings and the counselor simply listens providing no feedback. Counseling is an active, goal driven process, and the counselor utilizes specific therapeutic techniques and principles to address the client’s distressing symptoms.
Benefits of Counseling
Research suggests many benefits of counseling\psychotherapy which includes but is not limited improvement in mood, improvement in sleep, improvement in relationships, increased use of coping skills, improvement in communication skills, decreased isolative behavior and increased social supports to name just a few.
Types of Counseling
There are many different types of counseling including mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, and marriage and family counseling. Additionally, counselors are trained and may specialize in specific treatment approaches for example cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, psychodynamic, or psychoanalysis.
Amanda S. Rogers, LCSW Director of Clinical Services