What is Counseling?
It is the process of a licensed professional who helps a client reach their goals, whatever they may be. Some people need mood or personality disorder counseling. Some are just in crisis or adjustment such as a divorce, a broken relationship or trauma, such as rape or combat.
As a counselor, a good therapist acts as your sounding board. That means, they actively listen to YOUR needs and guide you toward options that will help you to become self-actualized. Self-actualized people are confident and do not rely on the opinons of others to define them. In Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs shown below, the concept is depicted as a triangle. If the most basic needs are not met first, then emotional needs will be compromised.
In short, that means your personal best, happy, healthy and whole. Counselors use many methods of treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
It's a fancy way of saying if you change your thoughts, it will change your behaviors.
You can integrate your concious and subconcious to work for you instead of against you by training your brain to positive thinking and thereby having a positive outcome. Yes, it's hard work, but highly worth it to those who truly want their best life possible. It also expedites healing from a solution focused approach.
Another question often asked is,
What is the difference between a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, A Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
A Licensed Mental Health Counselor is a Master's Degree Level practicioner with extensive internships in the field under supervision for your safety. Each state is different. Florida requires in addition to your 60 Credit Hour Master's Degree, 1000 hours of face to face counseling under university supervision, then you become a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern for no less than 2 years under a supervisor with at least 1,500 hours of face to face counseling. You are then eligible to take a National Mental Health Counseling Exam and if you pass it, you can become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.
A Psychologist is a PhD level (doctorate) practicioner. There are many fields of psychology, such as research, private practice, forensics, testing and much more.
A Psychiatrist has a medical degree, is well versed in neuroscience and can prescribe medication. They often work in tandem with psychologists and mental health counselors for team management of a patient's needs.
A Life Coach is more directive, like a mentor. He or she may or may not have a degree in psychology, counseling, social work, or medicine. They are usually certified through various programs, but not regulated or licensed by most states.