About the Counseling Process
Counseling is a process of self-discovery and growth. Mental health counselors take a holistic approach to client wellness, fostering individual development while simultaneously encouraging healthy relationships and communication styles. Through this process, counseling can help you learn more about yourself, your needs and the needs of others. It also helps to boost self-esteem, self-confidence, and strengthen your interpersonal skills. Counseling helps you learn how to make better decisions for your emotional health and well-being.
Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Read more about mental health and how it impacts us.
How Counseling Can Help You
Counseling can help individuals with a wide range of concerns. The more you participate in and are open to the process, the more you'll get out of it. Read testimonials from students who've used our services.
Myths and Facts about Counseling
Expand each subtitle to make the information about each myth or fact appear.
Adapted from WebMD (July 10, 2012). Slideshow: Myths and Facts About Therapy.
Myth: Therapy is for "crazy people"
The history of therapy is rooted in the treatment of severe psychological disorders; however, it's now focused on helping individuals live healthier, more productive lives. Seeking therapy doesn't mean you have a mental illness and it's not a sign of weakness. Actually, help-seeking behavior is a sign of resourcefulness in that you're reaching out to resources that can help you.
Fact: Therapy is for everyday life
The demands of the world today can be very taxing on our mental and emotional health. We're all juggling school, work, family and social relationships, personal health and wellness, and so much more. Therapy can help you better manage the demands of everyday life, which can allow for higher functioning and more joy.
Myth: All therapists are the same
The term "therapist" encompasses a wide range of credentials. Licensed mental health counselors (professional counselors), social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists all have a variety of experience and are all qualified to provide therapy.
Fact: All therapy is not the same
The basis of current therapies is conversation; however, there's a wide variety of approaches and theoretical foundations that may be used. Furthermore, the relationship between the therapist and the client plays a large role in therapy itself.
Myth: You'll be in therapy forever
Some people may benefit from long-term therapy, but most concerns can be addressed within a few weeks or months.
Fact: Short-term therapy works
Most techniques used in current therapies can help individuals address their concerns within a few as one to four sessions. Individuals often experience positive changes within that time period and may discontinue therapy at that point.
Myth: It's all about your mother
Real-world therapy has little in common with fictional entertainment portrayals. It's not all about your mother and you likely won't be lying on a couch. Most common therapies currently focus on problem-solving in the present and future; the past may be processed too, but it usually isn't the main focus.
Fact: It's all about the tools
Instead of focusing mainly on the past, current therapies use problem-solving tools to assist clients. Tools may include techniques for managing thoughts, feelings and actions; building relationship/communication skills; and others.
Myth: Therapists only listen
Therapists don't just listen or ask, "How does that make you feel?" While listening is a critical part of the therapeutic process, therapists use a variety of techniques, tools and teaching that help the client to reach their goals.
Fact: Therapists aren't pill pushers
Most commonly, psychiatrists or medical doctors are the only practitioners who are able to prescribe psychotropic medications for treatment of mental health concerns. Therapists provide support for personal and behavioral change, which may or may not include a suggestion for a combination of therapy and medication.