What are the benefits of counseling that can help with worries and fears keeping you up at night? If you feel depressed more often, thinking your life is out of control or there’s nothing you can do to change things, counseling can help.
If you’re plagued by non-stop anxiety or know you have a mental health problem but don’t know what to do about it, counseling can help.
What if you have bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drug or alcohol problems, or another mental health disorder? The benefits of counseling offer hope to live a more productive life.
But, more specifically, what are these counseling benefits, and what can counseling do to help?
Introduction: The Significance and Benefits of Counseling and Its Positive Impact on Mental Health
Learning about the benefits of counseling ahead of time may be key to determining whether it might be of use in your life. When someone experiences depression, anxiety, or another mental health disorder, they can’t fix it themselves. Tips gleaned from social media, Internet searches, and well-meaning friends can help, but it’s often not enough.
Counseling, on the other hand, is proven to help individuals overcome many mental health disorders. Among the many benefits of counseling is that it is also instrumental in helping someone navigate life’s daily stresses and live their lives to the fullest.
Mental Illness in America
One in five adults in the United States today has a mental illness. Severe mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or major depression, affect about one in 25 adults in America. Depression rates are rising to the highest recorded level, according to a 2023 Gallup poll. About 29 percent of U.S. adults have had depression in the past year.
Nearly 37 percent of women, compared to 20 percent of men, say they have ever been diagnosed with depression.
The rates of current depression or depression treatment are also highest among women and adults between 18 and 29.
Gallup also found that the lifetime rates of depression among blacks and Hispanics are climbing fast.
Americans are also highly anxious—and the anxiety of everyday life keeps increasing. About half of all Americans have received an anxiety disorder diagnosis at some time in their lives. From skyrocketing crime to inflation and high gas prices to fears over recession, taxes, and being able to pay the bills, we’re struggling to keep pace. No wonder so many people have sleepless nights and knots in their stomachs.
Yet, mental illness is highly treatable. Counseling benefits extend beyond the individual experiencing a mental health condition or a mental health crisis to include family members.
Counseling Benefits: Emotional Support and Coping Strategies
Individuals experiencing mental illness or mental health challenges have tremendous uncertainty. this affects everything they do, how they interact with others, and how they attempt to deal with situations in everyday life.
When you are unsure, making decisions is an extraordinary challenge. You don’t trust you’ll make the right one, and your reasoning may be clouded by fear, low self-esteem, lack of experience or knowledge, or little to no support to back you up.
The benefits of counseling mean you receive consistent emotional support and learn effective coping strategies to deal with what life presents. What may be easy for someone who doesn’t have anxiety or depression is more complex for those who struggle with it daily.
Counseling also helps individuals in the throes of mental health issues avoid self-sabotaging and risky behavior and why attempting to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs worsens things. Instead, the counselor provides healthy coping strategies and tips to surmount challenges proactively.
Improved Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem
When someone is depressed, their self-esteem is severely depleted. It may be so low with some types of mental illness, such as persistent depression, that climbing out of the depths seems impossible. Here’s where a professional counselor benefits the individual.
Counseling benefits help people learn:
- General self-awareness skills
- How to be an active listener
- To become better communicators
- How to identify faulty thought patterns and reframe them to eliminate distressing emotions
- Behavior change and mindfulness skills
- To practice skills for short- and long-term help and relief
Enhanced Relationships and Communication Skills
Do you struggle to articulate what’s bothering you or to communicate with loved ones and family members about how they can help? Counseling benefits can enhance your relationships while it enables you to improve your communication skills.
Furthermore, effective counseling goes beyond helping one person. It can help individuals and other family members simultaneously as well as individually. This means the counselor can address significant relationship issues with the end goal of strengthening their bonds.
Why Conversation Matters in Relationships
Talking about problems and feelings isn’t easy, especially if someone struggles with overwhelming emotions and impossible issues. Yet, communication is a potent tool for coping with mental health issues.
Talking about your concerns and feelings:
- Relieves stress
- Helps with coping
- Promotes personal resilience
- Boosts self-confidence
Family and Couples Counseling
The benefits of counseling also help when family members or couples are having difficulties they can’t resolve and want to improve their relationships and work through problems. Some of the ways this counseling can help are:
- Tackling mental health issues (which may include substance abuse)
- Problem-solving, goal-setting, and making plans
- Learning how to cope with traumatic events, such as natural disasters, terrorist threats and attacks, accidents, criminal activity, school shootings, domestic violence
- Dealing with communication problems
- How to cope with stressful life situations, including the death of a loved one or family member, losing a job, financial difficulties, changing careers, divorce, moving
- Receiving psychoeducation that benefits parents, children, and couples by teaching skills
- Dealing with behavior problems or difficulties with children’s academics
Tailored Guidance for Personal Growth and Wellness
One of the most practical reasons for taking advantage of counseling benefits is gaining access to tailored guidance to help you grow and promote your physical, psychological, and emotional well-being.
Get in Touch with Your Emotions
No one wants to be closed off. Isolation only fosters greater insecurity and helplessness. Even the most pragmatic individual wants to feel understood by others and able to express feelings naturally. While people sometimes say they like keeping things to themselves, they still crave connections.
Here is another area where the benefits of counseling are so essential. During one-on-one sessions, the counselor benefits you receive can help you learn tips to improve your emotional health and well-being.
Some practical tips include:
- Get outside in nature.
- Become more active with physical exercise.
- Use effective relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and stretching.
- Do daily check-ins with yourself.
- Take good self-care.
- Search for inspiration, such as motivational quotes, an inspirational song, or a book.
- Laugh more and more often.
- Learn something new: gardening, DIY projects, cooking, and puzzles.
- Practice daily gratitude.
- Make new friends and interact with current members of your social sphere (family, loved ones, co-workers, or neighbors).
- Embrace spirituality by connecting through prayer and self-reflection.
- Express your concerns and feelings with your counselor.
Learn How to Take Good Self-Care
Mental and emotional health and well-being are boosted when physical health is good. Yet, a common problem that those with mental health issues experience is that they neglect their physical health. This worsens their condition and makes everyday life functioning more difficult.
That’s why learning how to take good care of yourself is essential. Again, the benefits of counseling include a strong focus on maintaining good self-care.
Practical self-care tips include:
- Be more physically active with vigorous physical exercise.
- Eat healthier and avoid high-fat, high-calorie, high-salt, added sugar, and high-carbohydrate foods.
- Drink more water to stay sufficiently hydrated (because the human body requires water to function optimally).
- Sleep better, aiming to get 7+ hours of restful, uninterrupted sleep nightly.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, and vaping.
- Only take prescription medications as prescribed.
- Avoid illegal substances.
- Go to regular appointments for counseling, tests, screenings, vaccinations, and health.
How to Get Started
Are you experiencing a mental health problem? Do you want to learn more about how counseling benefits you? At Restore-Mental Health, our experts can answer your questions and tell you about our counseling programs and services. There’s no cost for this information, and the conversation is confidential.