The Different Aspects Of Counseling Psychology

Updated June 17, 2024by MyTherapist Editorial Team
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Sometimes, a person needs help working through a problem or dealing with the effects of a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety. Getting perspective from someone else can help clarify a problem and bring solutions to light.

There are many forms of psychology designed to help a person, and one of those forms is counseling psychology. Counseling is incredibly popular today, with thousands of people seeking mental health support each day. In this post, we will look at counseling psychology and what it can do for you.

What is counseling psychology?

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There is no shame in talking to someone about life's struggles

Counseling psychology is a specialty offered in the world of professional psychology. Counseling psychology looks at how people act in relationships, personally, and in any other situation they may encounter. On a daily basis, most people deal with work, school, a social life, mental and physical health, and a lot of conflicting emotions, which is why many people may benefit from counseling

The point of counseling psychology is to improve the mental health of those who have issues they struggle with. Sometimes, the goal of counseling is to improve overall mental health. Other times, it’s to help with specific mental health disorders. Either way, counseling psychology is here to help.

The characteristics of a good counselor

A counseling psychologist should be well versed on the different stages of a person's development. At different ages, a person will have a different mindset and different problems, and a counselor needs to learn how to speak to those at different stages. A child will be different from a teen, who will be different from a young adult, who will be different from an older adult. Some counselors may focus on counseling one group alone, such as being a child counselor. Others may work with a variety of age groups

While counselors want to help their clients improve weaknesses or replace bad behaviors, they also want to help those clients find their strengths and learn how to lean into them. This can help the person feel better about themselves and help them to realize who they are.A counselor needs to understand their client's background and be able to empathize with someone different from them. For example, a counselor may work with people from different genders, religions, backgrounds, incomes, etc. A counselor needs to consider and respect a person’s background if they want to be effective at their job.

How a counselor can help

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 is a versatile source of support for you and your mental health. Counseling psychology tackles many life situations, and these can include:

  • Adjusting to a new job. It’s hard for anyone to start a new job. A guidance counselor can help a teen or college student with any questions or concerns that naturally come when one has a new career. This also applies to a new school. A child or teen, for example, may have trouble if they must transfer to a new school. Going to college can be a rough transition too, and counseling can help with that. Don't forget adults. They also might seek help from a counselor to adjust to the stress of a new job.
  • Relationship troubles. It can be hard to maintain a relationship. Many times, miscommunications or arguments that seem to have no resolution can come into play. A counselor can help figure out why these communication breakdowns are happening and help find a way for people to communicate better. They can also help with other relationship issues, such as finances, parenting, and infidelity. 
  • Life decisions. Should you pick this job or that one? Should you move to a new area? How can you best help your aging parents? Decisions are hard, and a counselor can’t decide for you. But counseling can provide you with insight and information that can make the decision much easier.
  • Teens who are dealing with a variety of issues. A teen may be dealing with substance abuse, relationship troubles, an identity crisis, and more. They may also wonder what they want to pursue when they leave high school. Should they go to college? What is their goal? Teen counseling can help a teen find the answers they’re looking for, or at least point them in the right direction.
  • Managing stress. Stress is natural, but too much stress can affect how we function in life. How we handle it, along with other life events, can help or hurt us. Counseling is here to help you with your stresses and any other questions you may have. Don’t face stress alone.
  • Organizing life and keeping to a schedule. Some people’s lives are not organized, and counseling is there to help a person bring order to their life.
  • Adjusting to a disability, injury, or disease. Something that affects your health can not only be inconvenient, but it can hurt your way of life. It might help if you talked to a counselor to help you cope and give you hope that you can triumph over whatever disease or injury is affecting you.
  • Finding your identity. Teens, young adults, or anyone else, for that matter, may not know who they are, their purpose, and what they can do to find their identity. A counselor can help someone learn more about who they are.
  • People skills. Sometimes, it’s hard for someone to form new relationships. Relationships can be complex, after all. Counseling can help a person by teaching them people skills and developing a way to meet new friends.
  • Mental disorders. Counseling can help diagnose and treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns that may arise. While they can’t cure you of these conditions, they can help you to more successfully with them. A combination of medicine and therapy may be used in certain situations.
  • A person to talk to. A counselor may offer more effective help than friends because they won’t be biased or against you, and they can offer advice and insight. Not everyone who goes to see a mental health counselor has a mental health problem. Some people may simply want to improve themselves and make sure they’re on the right track health-wise. A counselor can be the cheerleader who makes your life much easier.

Counseling types and techniques

counseling psychologist will use different types of counseling and different counseling techniques to help their clients. To name just a few:

  • Group counseling. Anyone who may benefit from working in a group or a family unit can consider group therapy. Couples who are having marriage difficulties may benefit from marital therapy or try other aspects of marriage counseling.
  • Crisis counseling. This is a therapy for those affected by a natural disaster or another crisis, such as sexual assault or a suicide attempt. Someone affected by a crisis must receive therapy as soon as possible to help with their trauma.
  • Diagnoses. A counselor may help diagnose specific problems a person may have. Someone in counseling may need multiple counseling sessions to receive a proper diagnosis. If a therapist tries diagnosing you after the first session, you may want to talk to another therapist, as rushing to a diagnosis is never the best way to tackle a problem. Some counselors are not licensed to offer a diagnosis, and you may need to turn to a primary care physician or a psychiatrist.
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy. A counselor uses different techniques to help people change their habits and behaviors. One such way is cognitive behavioral therapy, where a counselor helps a person change how they think to influence their behaviors. Sometimes, the association is what makes or breaks a person. Someone who has trouble sleeping, for example, may associate their bed with no sleep. A counselor can help by changing their thinking so that their brain associates their mattress with sleep once again.
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There is no shame in talking to someone about life's struggles

Learn more in online therapy

A counselor may work with different organizations to work with clients. They may provide counseling for a company, a hospital, or a mental health facility. A school psychologist may work with students or a school to help improve learning and assist with mental health concerns. No matter where the counselor works, their goal is to improve the well-being of people.

Counselors may create programs that help the public learn about the importance of mental health, education, and other problems. Sometimes, a person may be able to avoid their issues by being educated. Counseling uses as many techniques as possible to make sure that they spread the word effectively.

If you are looking to improve your mental health, consider seeking help from a counselor. You can turn to an in-person counselor or an online therapist. Many people are choosing online therapy these days. Online therapy can be more convenient, affordable, and discreet than in-person therapy.

BetterHelp is an online therapy platform offering access to a wide range of licensed therapists. All you need to do is fill out a questionnaire, and you will be matched with a counselor best suited for your situation. You will be able to meet with your counselor via text, telephone, or video chat—anywhere you have an internet connection.

Takeaway

There's no shame in seeking out help. Improve your mental health through a partnership with a counselor—you aren't likely to regret it.

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