Mental Health Counseling Services

Using qualified mental health counseling services can help a person overcome fears, reduce anxiety, and learn how to cope with life situations more effectively. Nearly 27 percent of American adults currently suffer from some sort of mental distress. Although annually, the specific people who are affected change, these numbers remain constant. That means that, at least, one out of four people live with a diagnosable condition. Illnesses that cause a person to behave in psychotic ways can be congenital, or may be developed environmentally, chemically, or medically. It is important for people to understand that mental illnesses are real. When a person is born with such a condition, they may never be able to live what we call a "normal" life. Some of history's most influential people have dealt with some degree of mental illness. For many of these people, it was a boon to their initial popularity, and a bust to their ongoing survival. They generally disrupt a persons ability to think, feel, and relate to others in the same way that most people do. This, of course, wreaks havoc on daily functioning. In most cases, there is a diminished ability to cope with ordinary daily decisions and activities. However, lots of work has been done in the medical field to make living with a mental condition possible. "And, behold , a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil." (Matthew 15:22).

Millions of people are born with serious conditions that must be treated with both pharmaceuticals and mental health counseling services. The genesis of these conditions may be traced to heredity, chemical imbalances in the mother, or distress at birth. Bi-polar disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) all fall into a category of serious mental illness. These people must take an active role in treatment in order to stabilize their thought patterns, respond appropriately to situations, and get a grip on reality. Yet, there are much more minor mental health issues that people contend with daily that may not be episodic than chronic. These conditions may be brought on by their environment. Not everyone has optimal living conditions for unfettered psychological growth and development. Some people live with people (parents, spouses, or children; for example) who have untreated mental conditions and as a coping mechanism, unusual patterns or behaviors that are bizarre to most, may develop.

A great number of people seek out ways to alter their consciousness, hoping to cope with life better, by taking legal and illegal substances. This is called self-medicating. The drugs seem like they are producing the desired results for the person. Often, the long term consequences of use becomes abuse, dependence, and, for many, addiction. Conditions such as these plague people's personal lives and may be no less detrimental to daily living than the serious conditions that are congenital. It is difficult for most people to recognize when they have gone too far using drugs as a crutch. Since the beginning of recorded human history mind-altering drugs have been used to to find peace, tranquility, artistic expression, and aid in divine communication. Though there are documented positive outcomes, it is clear that consistent, and overabundant use of these chemicals will cause a detrimental effect on most people. And a large percentage will eventually fall into addiction. Many of the subsequent patterns of behavior can be addressed and redirected through mental health counseling services.

The brain is so complex that the biochemical structure of our brain changes at the neuronal level based on life's experiences. The brain is dynamic both structurally and chemically. When we learn new information, experience stress, form memories, or are plagued with disease, information flow is affected. Nearly two-thirds of people who need mental health counseling services never even seek treatment. Various people spend their whole life dealing unsuccessfully with impulse control issues such as anger and addictions. Others suffer anxieties for everything from leaving home to fear of driving. Panic sets in for others when they are faced with speaking in public or just meeting new people. People are depressed, can't sleep, and even suffer post traumatic stress from overwhelming incidents. Qualified counselors are available through mental health counseling services to assist people caught in this dilemma. Colleges, counties, and even private employers offer assistance when requested. Counselors are trained to assist people go step-by-step through acute episodes and chronic conditions.

An effective treatment offered by mental health counseling services will include both medical and psychosocial components. The person, who suffers the ailment, along with family members will be brought together, within the process, for ongoing support during the rehabilitation and/or recovery phases of treatment. Some psychotherapies, especially cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal counseling have been thoroughly tested and provide tangible and measurable evidence of efficacy. There is a greater expectation of success for those with serious conditions when these therapies are combined with illness-specific counseling, family education and support, antipsychotic medications, the community-based care model called Assertive Community Treatment, along with supported employment. Mental health counseling services that take a cookie cutter approach to treatment, miss the mark. Although, often funded by taxpayer dollars, these treatments do not go far enough to reach the outcomes expected for the communities in which they exists. Critical studies performed by mental health advocates provide a program and policy infrastructure that can go a long way in bringing treatments offered by mental health counseling services into alignment with best practices.

Online Mental Health Counseling

Online mental health counseling provides care to people who cannot physically attend traditional care or prefer the safety of their own home without the intimidation of face-to-face contact. Many methods of service are available through e-therapy. Mental health counseling services date back to the mid 1990s and have graduated as technology develops. These services include teleconferencing, email, Internet phone conversations, and instant messaging. People seeking this type of therapy cannot afford traditional services, do not have the time during normal business hours to attend sessions, or prefer anonymity. Like traditional mental health counseling services a person should keep their own record of progress for further review and personal evaluation.

Understanding the reason for therapy may lead to a better match of online mental health counseling. Pinpointing the actual problem may not be possible, but serious evaluation of personal needs will aid in narrowing the many choices down to a few of the best choices. These parameters may include location, cost, and specialty. Determining a budget for therapy will not only help determine who to hire, but likewise reduce the stress of money related to the overall effectiveness of therapy. The value of any therapy is the improvement to quality of life, which may include reduction in overspending to compensate for unsettled mental feelings. Likewise, if the mind is not well then the body will respond accordingly. Online mental health counseling can provide a starting platform for overall wellness, which may lead to the affordability and time availability for traditional services. Though e-therapy can be equally as successful, most people find added quality in face-to-face interaction.

Evaluating cost and Internet payment methods may further narrow down the choices. Online mental health counseling may not always offer the safest method of payment, but there are some things to look for to ensure safety. Some therapists may even require an initial phone call to take credit card information in order to ensure safety of identity. While many safe transactions are made everyday online, just as many mistakes or malicious activity goes on as well. Security is ensured when the website address starts with https:// or a closed padlock appears at the bottom of the webpage screen. Never send credit card or bank account information through email due to the unreliability of email services and the ease of hacking information. Some mental health counseling services may take checks through the mail or even money orders. If this is the payment method of choice, make sure the address is correct before sending any payment especially money orders.

Free therapy is widely available on the Internet, however it is usually not run by professionals and therefore may not provide adequate help. Evaluating the true need for professional therapy should be carefully considered before paying for mental health counseling services that may not be required for optimal emotional wellness. Changes in diet, exercise, and stress level may offer assistance for mental wellness or provide a solution all in itself. Many psychological conditions are linked back to hormones in meat and dairy products that the body simply is not compatible with. Changing food purchases to organic meats and dairy will greatly enhance the health of the mind thus making it easier for a person to combat psychological dysfunction. Likewise, regular exercise helps release natural chemicals in the body creating an adequate platform for overall wellness. Most people find changes in diet and exercise to be intimidating, though less effort is usually needed to make these changes than to continuously deal with emotional issues. When these changes are successfully made, less dependency on mental health counseling services are required. In this instance, free services may be all that is needed to be successful in emotional wellness. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God. (Psalm 43:5)

When choosing a therapist or service keep in mind the reality of the person seeking therapy. Some therapists concentrate on daily homework while others simply concentrate on weekly or bi-weekly meetings. Depending on time constraints and personality of the potential patient a productive match is possible. In addition, many books are available as well as audio and visual aids to enhance the effects of physical or online mental health counseling. Keep in mind personal beliefs when choosing resources to ensure the best match thus not causing unnecessary stress on the patient. Resources may be found through a persons church, library, or from a professional therapist. These resources may include research, medical suggestions, personal wellness activities, or relaxation techniques. It is important to remember that many methods may be tried before success is experienced. Evaluating stress in life is another tactic in emotional wellness. Eliminating unnecessary stressors will undoubtedly provide a sufficient platform for success not matter what other methods are used. Though Internet services can provide the professional help needed, thoughts and words can get misconstrued over the Internet. Therefore personal record is necessary for personal review as well as a motivation toward complete success. Sometimes changes are so slight that the patient is unable to see progress without the aid of simple fact. This may include a diary of daily mental feelings or record of finances. The focus of the diary will depend on the specific problem focused on in therapy sessions. Regular reflection of this record will motivate and remind the patient of steady success during continued therapy.

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