Challenging circumstances and transitions are often troublesome and can generate painful emotions and a sense of hopelessness. Transformative change simply requires preparation, determination, a plan of action, a commitment to action and the adoption of a novel approach and desirable behavior. Each year, countless Americans choose the route of professional counseling to help them face and overcome a seemingly enormous problem in their lives. Counselors provide directiont and equip patients with the tools needed to pursue the path of personal growth. They offer short-term counseling to individuals overwhelmed by personal, professional, familial, academic and mental health difficulties.
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counseling
A substance abuse counselor treats issues involving drug and alcohol abuse and helps individuals identify problems and behaviors emanating from their addiction. These counselors also reach out to family members who are impacted by the addictive behavior of relatives or loved ones. An addiction counselor offers individual or group therapy sessions and conducts addiction-prevention programs (i.e. gambling addiction).
Mental Health Counseling
A mental health counselor is a highly-skilled professional who treats individuals that are experiencing emotional and mental distress. A mental health counselor’s services are available to individuals, groups, families, and couples. A holistic approach is employed, with the counselor keeping tabs on patients’ mental, behavioral, and physical health and examining the environmental and external influences to which they are subjected. A mental health counselor treats several issues involving illness, mental disorders, relationships, and families.
Mental Health Counselors Generally Utilize the Following Principles:
- Guide patients towards emotional well-being
- Cope with everyday problems and daily life
- Treat psychopathology
The Counselor gathers data via tests, observations and interviews and then determines the most effective method to assist clients. To enable patients to avoid, treat and address mental or emotional impairment, a mental health counselor helps them establish goals and create plans. He or she may be a specialist in a specific area such as marital counseling, substance abuse, career counseling or focus on a specific age group.
Mental Health Counseling is Available for a Variety of Issues Including:
- Suicidal ideation
- Relationship and marital problems
- Career issues
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Parenting conflicts
Mental health counselors often collaborate with other mental health experts, such as psychologists, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, marriage and family therapists, school counselors and social workers.
Marriage and Family Counseling
A marriage and family counselor assists individuals in understanding relationships, improving communication and finding a resolution to emotional crises.
Marriage and Family Counselors Treat Several Issues Including:
- Marital distress
- Chronic illness
- Behavioral problems in adolescents
- Rape trauma
- Self-mutilation and suicide ideation
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse and neglect
- Substance abuse
Vocational and Educational Counseling
School counselors help elementary school through college-level students attain scholastic achievement, social and personal growth and plan for their career.
School Counselors Perform Numerous Tasks Including:
- Assessment of students’ interests, personalities, talents, and abilities via aptitude evaluation tests, counseling sessions, and interviews
- Implementation of career education programs
- Assistance of students with learning disabilities, behavioral problems, or special needs
- Developmental and preventive counseling
- Coordination of drug and alcohol prevention programs
- Conflict resolution
- Domestic abuse screening
- Improvement of parent-teacher rapport
Career counselors assist individuals in making productive career choices, achieving higher education, learning new skills, changing careers, relieving stress and re-entering the workforce. They provide support to individuals coping with the loss of a job, career transition, or employment stress.
Other Tasks Performed by School Counselors Include:
- Assessment of clients’ employment history, education, personality, training, talents, skills, and interests
- Arrangements for achievement and aptitude tests to help individuals find a career that corresponds to their skills
- Assistance with job hunting and with employment applications
Rehabilitation counselors help patients with a mental, physical, emotional or developmental disability realize personal and professional objectives and lead more fulfilling lives. The disabilities that rehabilitation counselors treat may be attributed to a number of causes, such as accidents, disease, birth defects or illness. The majority of rehabilitation counselors focus on a specific disability, such as head trauma, deafness, psychiatric disability, blindness or spinal injury.
Rehabilitation Counselors Assist Patients in Numerous Ways Including:
- Assessing their strengths and limitations by meeting with their clients’ employers, psychologists, physicians, and/or occupational therapists
- Providing career, post-employment, and personal counseling
- Ensuring good working conditions
- Arranging for health care and job placement
- Evaluating medical and academic reports
- Providing job skills training
- Helping clients live independently
Many mental health, substance abuse, and marriage and family counselors, especially those who are self-employed, accommodate their patients by accepting weekend and evening appointments.