Welcome to the very first blog post of The Counselor's Complex!!! I am so excited to be premiering my blog AND my podcast on today! Start your week off right every Monday with myself, and in the future some special guests, to discuss some important topics related to mental health! Please feel free to comment, ask questions, and suggest topics for future podcast episodes and blog entries. You can listen to the podcast on all major podcast platforms very soon but for now listen to it from our sponsors using the link: https://anchor.fm/TheCounselorsComplex
Please remember that this is simply my personal thoughts about these topics and in no way is this a replacement for actual therapy with a mental health professional.
Today I am going to be answering the frequently asked questions regarding mental health treatment. I hope that this helps to kickstart your mental health journey to becoming your best self!
Q: Who should seek counseling?
A: Everybody! I strongly believe that everyone should go to therapy at least once in their life to get a better understanding of themselves and how to process certain situations. Even if you do not have a serious mental illness, a counselor is a great person to have in your corner to help you successfully maneuver through some difficult life transitions.
Q: What exactly happens during a counseling session?
A: The fear of the unknown is what I think scares a lot of people away from seeking help through counseling. Well, I'm here to ease your fears a little bit. The first session is usually completing basic intake paperwork and getting a background history of your treatment, childhood, and other significant things that have contributed to you seeking a counselor. One important thing that I will stress to you is that every single counseling session is what YOU make it. Your counselor cannot help you in the best possible way if you are not open and honest about what needs to be addressed in therapy. Try not to think of the session as this stranger is just getting all up in your business but think of it more as you and the counselor developing a rapport with one another and the more you let them know the better they can serve you.
Q: Where are the counseling sessions held at?
A: Counseling sessions can be held at a variety of locations including but not limited to hospitals, clinics, private offices, libraries, parks, and even your own home. Some counselors even offer tele-therapy, but you will need to discuss with your therapist what is the best location and mode of therapy to fit your needs. Big factors that contribute to locations include accessibility to transportation, safety for the client and the therapist, and confidentiality.
Q: When can I meet with my counselor if I am so busy?
A: Depending on the therapist some may have a variety of times for you to choose from to schedule your sessions. Some therapists are very flexible with scheduling sessions around work or school and some, including myself will offer evening and weekend appointments based on availability. So there really should be no excuse for not being able to set up a convenient time for you to get the help that you need. Make time for what is important and your mental health is extremely important. Don't you agree?
Q: Why is mental health so important? I have done well by myself so far why do I need a counselor to help me?
A: 1 in 5 adults are diagnosed with a serious mental illness. Half of those dealing with a mental illness go untreated. Mental illness contributes to so many other societal ills including crime, homelessness, abuse, substance abuse, etc. Your mental health effects every aspect of your life whether it be socially, spiritually, intellectually, and even your physical health. A lot of physical symptoms are linked to anxiety and depression. And of course you can deal with your problems on your own, but isn't it better to have someone there to support you and show you a better way that might get you to a better place in an accelerated amount of time? Every great basketball player has bragged about their coaches right?
Q: Okay, so how do I even find a therapist in my area?
A: I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Google so I would definitely start there. Type in "counselor near me" in the search box and you will find tons of counselors in your area. Some other great websites to look at are Psychology Today and if you are African-American and looking for a therapist of color in your area you can try Therapy for Black Girls which is also one of my favorite podcasts to listen to! Lastly, you may also try asking friends, family, and others you may know if they have any recommendations for therapists.
Well there you have it! I hope that I was able to answer some of your questions about seeking treatment. Making that first contact to call and ask for help can be the hardest decision to make ever. Just remember, that you are doing something that is going to help you in the long run especially if you take the time out to make sure you find the best therapist for you. Don't forget to listen to the podcast (there are some extras in there for you) and share the blog! See you back next Monday!