Many of us may have experienced the relief of getting something “off
our chest” with a trusted confidante. We may also have experienced
the disappointment—an even hurt-- when we try to talk to someone
about an issue we are having, only to feel judged or like our problems
are not important.
Not as many of us have had the experience of participating as a patient
in counseling or therapy. Barriers like fear of the unknown, of trusting
a stranger, reluctance to take time for ourselves and financial costs
may have prevented some of us from taking this step. Consequently, some
of us, and some of our friends, family or coworkers, do not know that
professional counseling can be a really wonderful experience!
Here are 6 out of many positive benefits to keep in mind about professional
Short-term counseling can be very effective. In fact, cognitive behavioral therapy, an evidence-based practice used
Walden and other behavioral health programs, is designed for short-term use.
It focuses on how our thoughts and feelings influence our behaviors and
how the exploration of this connection can have a positive impact on us,
our choices, and our behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT,
is used to successfully treat a wide variety of mental health problems
and illnesses, to include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and addiction.
Mental health is an important part of overall health, and yet its role in our overall health is easily overlooked. People put
off seeing someone about behavioral health problems, but this can be as
dangerous to our wellness and putting off a visit to the doctor over a
fever lasting several days, unexplained weight loss, or any other potential
threat to our health.
Counseling can help to improve the amount of joy we find in life and increase our ability to participate more fully in
life. One of the primary goals of counseling is to help participants improve
their experience of living, through dealing with a specific issue or on
goals that the patient has set.
Counseling can reduce stress. A reduction of stress also has a positive impact on our physical health.
Counseling can help with specific life problems. For example, at Walden, we offer counseling resources that respond to
a range of specific issues, including a crisis, intimate partner or relationship
violence, unhealthy relationships, feeling blue, addiction to alcohol
or drugs, problem drinking or drug use, trauma, and problem gambling—to
name a few. Counselors are trained to offer non-judgmental assistance
in helping patients work through problems and set goals allowing for change.
Counseling can help participants find out about additional care or resources
that might help them. For some of us, working with a counselor can introduce us to additional
options for professional help, such as psychiatry and other specialized
medical care, holistic health strategies and self-care options we might
want to try, and even peer support groups that help expand our network
of folks who understand and care about us.
Note: No post of Walden Sierra (Walden Behavioral Health’s) Behavioral
Health Blog is to be considered medical or therapeutic advice.