What is counseling?

Since April is Counseling Awareness Month, I thought this would be a great time to talk about what counseling is, how it can help, and who provides it.

A few terms used to describe counselors include therapist, psychotherapist, or “shrink,” but what is counseling?

In essence, counseling or therapy is a therapeutic relationship in which a mental health professional helps individuals, families, or groups achieve their mental health goals to promote an improved quality of life.

There are several types of counselors. Therapists/psychotherapists like me practice in an office setting and are seen on an appointment basis. My wife is a school counselor and she provides mental health support in the school setting. In addition, there are in-home counselors, crisis counselors, addiction counselors, rehabilitation counselors, career counselors, and much more!

Sometimes people confuse therapists with psychiatrists and psychologists. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe psychotropic medications. Psychologists receive training to specialize in mental health assessment, research, and psychopathology. Therapists focus on the counseling components through talk therapy with individuals, couples, or groups. Your therapist will have at least a master’s degree in the mental health field.

Counseling can help with a variety of challenges; for example, here at Panoramic Counseling, I specialize in working with adolescents and young adults struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, bullying, and life transitions.

I believe that everyone can benefit from therapy throughout their lives; in fact, I have a therapist!

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