How can counseling help me?
Some of the possible benefits of counseling include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to difficult issues or concerns
- Learning healthier ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing difficult emotions
- Improving communication skills
- Replacing unhelpful behavior patterns with more effective ones
- Discovering new ways to address concerns in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, counseling is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by acknowledging where you are and by making a commitment to seek counseling in the interest of creating change.
People have many different motivations for coming to counseling. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or feel as though they are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Counseling can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking counseling are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, counseling will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous counseling session. Depending on your specific needs, counseling can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your counselor (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from counseling if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of counseling is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in counseling sessions, your counselor may suggest some things you can do outside of counseling to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, counseling addresses the cause of distress and the behavior patterns that curb progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and counseling is the right course of action.
Please check with individual counselors regarding participation with insurance providers. When appropriate, counselors can provide a Superbill for clients to submit for out-of-network benefits.
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, give them a call. Some helpful questions you can ask:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per counseling/therapy session?
- How many counseling/therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?