A mental health counselor might be what you need if you're struggling to deal with stress on your own. Contrary to popular belief, a therapist isn't just for people with a diagnosed mental illness or addiction. Mental health affects all of us, whether we realize it or not. As society changes, so do the things that cause us stress. There's no shame in asking for support when you recognize that your life is becoming difficult to handle.
What Can a Mental Health Counselor Do For You?
Develop Coping Strategies
Everyone is affected by stress in different ways, so it makes sense that we all cope with it differently, too. The same event - say, a minor car accident - may cause one person to become annoyed for frustrated, while another experiences a panic attack. There's nothing wrong with either of these reactions, though it can be much more difficult to cope with the aftermath of a panic attack. A counselor can help you work out a plan for how to cope with the current stressful situations in your life, as well as address potential future stress.
Identify Root Causes of Stress
You may feel stressed and think that it's due to your job, family pressures, or financial situation. If you're seeking help, you've probably reached a point where your health is affected and you can no longer perform regular tasks. A mental health counselor can help you sort through the existing stress in your life, and you may discover that there is something else, like a mental illness, that is affecting your stress levels. When you identify the major causes of stress and learn to deal with them, some of the smaller stresses in your life may fall away.
Provide an Unbiased Listening Ear
When we're dealing with stress, it can help to talk it over with someone. Often, that 'someone' is a trusted friend, partner, or family member. However, there are some circumstances in which those people may not be ideal helpers. For example, what happens if that person is actually part of what's causing your stress? Or what if they offer biased advice? The people who love you may make you feel better, but they don't always give the best guidance. A mental health counselor can listen objectively to your problems and provide constructive advice on how to overcome them. Remember, they are trained professionals whose job is to help you get through these tough times, confidentially and without judgment.
Ben Brafman, LMHC, CAP is the President and CEO of
The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center, a licensed mental Health treatment center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ben has more than 20 years of experience in the addiction and mental health fields, which led him to develop a combination of innovative treatment protocols at The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center. He has been published on various topics including dual diagnosis and chemical dependency, and gives back to the community by educating other addiction counselors at his Academy for Addiction Professionals.
Labels: Mental Health