Do you wonder what therapy or counseling is all about? Or how it might help you? We’re here to help you learn about this personal growth process, and how we work with you to achieve your mental health goals.
Therapy and counseling are often used in the same way. Therapy focuses on resolving serious difficulties in emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and/or relationship areas. Counseling helps with personal growth and problem-solving about life issues. With therapy especially, different treatment approaches can be used together depending on your personality style and your symptoms and issues.
Research indicates that many mental health disorders respond to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or some version of this strategy. CBT teaches you to explore thoughts, feelings, and how they affect your behavior. It helps you learn coping strategies such as relaxation or problem-solving to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings. It also helps you learn communication skills or use exercise, deep breathing, or planning to change your behaviors. Journaling, artwork, music, and other strategies can be used as well.
Often, more specific individual needs in therapy or counseling depend on your age and life situation. The main focus of therapy is to help you adjust to greater complexities during different stages of life.
From toddler through middle school age, children benefit most from behavioral techniques. These strategies change behavior by changing the environment and by providing appropriate rewards and disciplines. Because children have a limited vocabulary to talk about life, play therapy helps a therapist understand children’s thoughts and feelings. Play therapy also helps children practice new skills to cope with their problems and concerns.
Tweens and teens often benefit from CBT since they can talk more easily about their thoughts and feelings. Challenging negative or fearful thoughts, practicing relaxation, and problem-solving typically leads to positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Behavioral therapy also helps to change personal behaviors and situations to achieve mental health goals.
CBT tends to be most beneficial to adults, changing negative thinking so that positive emotions and behavior emerge. Behavioral therapy is used as adults change their situations and/or provide their own rewards for positive change. Couple's and family therapy help improve relations and promote communication skills, better understanding, and problem-solving. Other therapy strategies benefit those who have difficulty adjusting to life challenges such as illness, injury, marriage problems or divorce, caregiving, job loss, or death.
Older adults also benefit from CBT, behavioral therapy, and other therapies. These approaches help seniors adjust to predictable and unpredictable changes such as retirement, illnesses or injuries, loss of friends or family, housing, worries about the future, and one’s own aging. Helping individuals in this age group focuses on continued adjustment and attaining peacefulness about one’s life and life history.
Mental Health Disorders
Individual needs in therapy or counseling also depend on the type of mental health disorder. Research has indicated that people of of all ages suffer from psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). CBT is utilized most often with these disorders except for children who benefit more from behavioral therapy and play therapy. Psychological assessment or neuropsychological evaluations are often used to identify mental health disorders and the severity of symptoms. When medication is needed to better manage a disorder, we can provide referrals to qualified psychiatrists.
Understanding mental health disorders and therapies help put you on a path to achieve your goals. The caring therapists, counselors, and psychologists at Anne Huebner & Associates are here to help.