Psychologists, professional counselors and clinical social workers use counseling as a means to address a wide range of issues. Sometimes used as an intervention for clinical disorders such as depression or anxiety, counseling teaches skills and addresses underlying causes of these conditions. Counseling is also commonly used to improve relationships and enhance one’s ability to function or cope effectively in specific situations. Counseling has been demonstrated to be one of the most effective tools in dealing with mental health symptoms, especially when combined with other interventions such as medication.
How Does Counseling Help?
Counseling can focus on different aspects of a condition, depending on the specifics. Sometimes specific thought patterns (cognition) contribute significantly to symptoms, as is commonly the case in depression and anxiety. Working with a mental health professional can help alter those though habits through Cognitive Therapy, which can build lasting results and a more optimistic outlook. Counseling can also address behavioral or relational habits, and serve as a means to build healthier behaviors in your life. Combing behavioral interventions with cognitive skills is done in a specific type of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or “CBT”. This, along with several other types of therapy are common at The Juniper Center, as we utilize therapy approaches that have a large amount of research data supporting them. We want to see you get the most results out of your time with us.
Should I Pursue Counseling, or Medications?
This depends on the issue you are working to resolve, but it’s often the case that counseling and medications address problems in different ways. For this reason, many conditions benefit from both of these tools, used in close coordination with one another. Counseling focuses on building skills, teaching ways to improve relationships, or changing long-standing patterns of thoughts and behaviors. These aspects of mental health concerns tend to take time to change, but the changes tend to be long-lasting. Medication helps to restore the proper chemical balance in the brain, and can bring about quicker changes, but do not involve learned skills. It is common that people start with both of these options, and then follow the guidance of their therapist and Psychiatrist on how long to continue each one. Your counselor can help you determine if seeking a consultation with a psychiatrist could help improve your outcome.
How Do I Start With Counseling?
Counseling begins with a first visit, called an “intake session”. This provides an opportunity for you and your therapist to discuss the history of your difficulty, and formulate a plan to get you back on track. Your counselor can help you decide an effective course of action, and answer any questions you may have about counseling. To speak with one of our clinicians, fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch. We look forward to helping in any way we can!