Just a few years ago, many looked down upon the ‘talking cure’ as something ineffective and non-scientific. Many assumed psychology to be a pseudoscience and a practice based on assumptions rather than anything concrete. We’ve come a long way since these initial, dark years. People have changed the way they perceive mental health and are much more accepting of mental health disorders. With suicide and depression being one of the leading causes of fatalities worldwide, this acceptance couldn’t have come sooner.
However, mental health disorders aren’t just limited to depression, anxiety, or psychosis. Seemingly ordinary people can secretly suffer from a host of conditions and face considerable impairment in their daily lives. With so many people out there hiding so much pain, it’s imperative that someone steps up and helps them. If you think empathy is your strong suit and want to change people’s lives, you may opt for a mental health career. Many careers allow you to impact people’s lives, but none more so than a mental health career. If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading below.
A counseling career is easily one of the most diverse fields to opt for. Counselors work in incredibly various settings, ranging from schools to senior populations, addicts, or families. They help people overcome personal and interpersonal issues so that they can live healthier lives. While counselors impact people’s lives on a micro level, they also profoundly impact a larger scale. Counselors often work with some of the most vulnerable populations in the community. By offering their services to those most at risk, they help improve communities for the better. Furthermore, they provide devise policies that can improve the living standards of these people.
To effectively improve the lives of a vast array of people, counselors need to have a robust academic theory and substantial experience. In these challenging times, people need counseling more than ever as they face an uncertain situation. Luckily, a masters counseling online allows you to continue on the path to impact communities positively even in a pandemic.
Teach clients coping strategies
Many assume that going to therapy will create a dependency with the therapist, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Therapists teach clients to become self-reliant with time and spot their triggers to control their condition independently. They teach clients to self-reflect and take greater responsibility for their actions. Emotional triggers are subjective for everyone and can affect everyone differently. Once we learn what these triggers are and why they affect us, we can avoid such situations. If we can’t avoid them altogether, we can choose how to act if such problems confront us. Often, merely understanding the reasoning behind why we react so strongly to certain things can put us on the road to recovery.
With the help of a therapist, clients can better understand their past and control their future. Therapists can help us develop coping strategies unique to our situation. These coping strategies aren’t something the therapist unilaterally decides. Instead, the client and counselor come together to create a coping plan. Being prepared for challenging situations can help change people’s lives immensely and give them immense strength.
Help clients savor the moment
Therapy isn’t all about preparing for the future. Instead, a significant part of treatment is learning to enjoy the present. Disorders like depression and anxiety force us to wallow in the past or future without focusing on the ‘here and now.’ Some clients choose to escape the present moment because they’re too afraid of facing their emotions and need to deflect. However, until we learn to embrace the present, we can’t move forward for all the happiness and sadness it may bring.
Furthermore, unfinished business can drain your energy in the present and impact you in ways you can’t even imagine. One of the most crucial therapy goals, then, is to help clients resolve this unfinished business. It can mean finally confronting all of the grief, anger, and anxiety that they’ve accumulated over the years so they can move on. Helping people achieve this closure is one of the most significant ways mental health professionals change lives. They help people let go of everything that shackles them to the past to be more engaged, productive, and happier in the present.
Create a meaningful support system
Having a healthy support system is one of the most important predictors of emotional well-being. However, when we’re emotionally in a bad place, we might sabotage our chances of creating a sound support system ourselves. We might surround ourselves with people who can hurt us, or we might shun anyone trying to help us. Therapists help us spot these self-destructive patterns so that we can create a meaningful support system. They don’t do this blatantly. Instead, they encourage clients to become self-aware and fix their own mistakes.
Furthermore, the therapeutic relationship provides immense support to the client. While the end-goal of therapy encourages self-reliance, the client needs to depend on the therapist for some time. Having a safe space to discuss their darkest secrets can help set clients on the road to recovery.
Clients perform more productively
When we’re suffering from emotional distress, we can find it challenging to focus on work, school, or even our daily tasks. Patients with depression often find themselves too drained even to leave their beds. Those suffering from anxiety might fail to finish any jobs because of their overwhelming pressure. People with ADD might have their attention wander too much to complete anything. These are just a handful of disorders and only a few ways in which mental distress affects productivity. If you’re feeling distracted, drained, or unfocused, a counselor can help you focus better. They help address the root of the problem so that you can perform better at school or work. Counselors help you set manageable goals and support you as you work towards them.
A career in mental health allows you to work on an incredibly personal level with people. You get the privilege to provide them with a safe space and encourage them as they strive to be better. A counselor’s work is by no means easy, but it’s still one of the most gratifying occupations out there. Studying to become a therapist can teach you empathy and allow you to impact people’s lives immensely.