When Should One Seek Professional Counseling?
Counseling or Therapy as a specialty facilitates personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns. Through the integration of theory, research, and practice, and with a sensitivity to multicultural issues, this specialty encompasses a broad range of practices that help people improve their well-being, alleviate distress and maladjustment, resolve crises, and increase their ability to live more highly functioning lives. Counseling is unique in its attention both to normal developmental issues and to problems associated with physical, emotional, and mental disorders.
Most of us experience times when we need help dealing with problems and issues that cause us undue emotional distress. At those times, we want and need support from friends and family. Yet sometimes we need more.
When you are having a problem or dilemma that is making you feel overwhelmed and is affecting your daily routine, you probably could benefit from the assistance of a trained professional. A trained therapist or counselor can offer caring, objective and expert help during stressful times when family and friends may not be enough. They can provide a safe environment were you can explore and understand your thoughts, feeling and behaviors.
There are many types of professional therapists or counselors who can offer you help: psychiatrists, medical doctors who focus on prescribing medication; psychologists, who not only provide therapy but can offer in depth psychological testing if needed; licensed clinical social workers; marriage and family therapists who specialize in treating relationship problems; nurse practitioners who have had special training in counseling methods; and, pastoral counselors who integrate theology and spirituality with psychology.
The most important thing to remember is to select someone who has training and qualifications that enable him or her to help you with your specific problem. As well, choose someone with whom you feel at ease. It is important to be able to speak freely and openly with the therapist you have chosen.
Some questions to consider when choosing a counselor might be:
What is your education and training?
Are you licensed?
Do you have experience treating my specific problem?
How much do you charge and do you accept insurance payment?
1. Identify the source of your distress and start keeping a journal. Writing is a good way to process your feelings and get perspective on an issues.
2. Increase the number of supports in your life. The greater the stress, the more support one needs. Being around other people is good medicine for the soul.
3. Make sure you are eating, sleeping, and exercising properly as your physical health can affect your well being. If necessary, get a full physical.
4. Do not be too hard on yourself. Life is a journey with many ups and downs. If you are experiencing difficulty right now, remember there is something new around t