Domestic violence requires the help of a number of services to eliminate it, not the least of which is counseling. Other necessary services may include intervention, shelter and law enforcement. Counseling is necessary to end the cycle of domestic violence because it is psychological as much as it is physical. Everyone is aware of the physical effects of domestic violence – the bruises, cuts and other injuries that are inflicted, but many people do not understand the severe psychological injuries that accompany domestic violence. Both types of abuse are seriously detrimental and warrant counseling.
The physical side of domestic violence is well observed and obvious. A large majority of domestic violence cases are men inflicting violence upon women they are in romantic relationships with, but domestic violence can also be between various family members and can even involve women inflicting violence upon men they are in romantic relationships with. Typically, the violence is observed by family members, friends and neighbors because signs of the violence are visible or audible. Obviously, it is urgent that the domestic violence victim receive counseling to help them leave the situation before any more physical harm can be done to them. It is not uncommon for domestic violence victims to be killed by their abuser.
The psychological side of domestic violence, however, is not as easy to detect but it plays a huge role in the damage done to a person. Domestic violence creates a fearful environment for the victim. The abuser is aware of this and uses the fear they instill in their victim to control them. The victim begins to feel very small, powerless and insignificant, as well as afraid to assert themselves in anyway. This psychological torture that domestic violence puts a person through leaves a scarring mental impact. It can take a great deal of counseling to restore a domestic violence victim’s sense of self worth. Counseling is very important in this situation to prevent a domestic violence victim from becoming a victim again.
The importance of counseling for traumatic events cannot be overstated. Trauma is something that can rearrange a person’s entire psyche if they do not process it properly. Trauma commonly comes in the form of witnessing death or being subjected to violence, but trauma can have many faces. It is also relative to each person. What is traumatic for one person may not be traumatic for another. Regardless of the type of trauma, it is very important that anyone who goes through trauma receives counseling to properly process their ordeal and cope with it in a healthy manner.
When trauma occurs, a person who does not receive counseling or fully adequate support will not be totally healthy from that point on. Trauma effects everyone in a slightly different manner, but there are some things about the effects of trauma that are consistent and predictable. A traumatic event becomes a memory burned into a person’s brain. It replays over and over in vivid detail, making the individual relive it repeatedly. Everyone plagued by trauma claims this experience and expresses a longing to make the memory stop replaying in their mind. Many traumatized people develop anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder or depression in response to their trauma. Sadly, many struggle with defeating this hardship without proper trauma counseling.
A person who does receive counseling or fully adequate support after trauma takes place, on the other hand, will have a much different long term response to the traumatic incident. They may initially experience the same things as someone who does not receive counseling because it is a natural part of processing trauma, but they will move on from these effects naturally with the help of a professional counselor. No one is naturally equipped to bounce back from trauma effortlessly. A mental health professional can walk a person through their trauma, back to a place where they feel safe and secure in their world again.
Addiction is a serious mental health problem that warrants counseling. Addiction affects the lives of billions of people across the globe in every culture and society on earth. Once its grip is around someone, it can be a fight for their life to separate them from their addiction. Counseling is a common remedy for addiction. There are a number of treatment options for addicted people, ranging from rehab to sober living houses to counseling to support groups. Different options suit different levels of severity in addictions. Addiction therapy can either be coupled with other treatment options or it can be the sole treatment for an addict, depending on the circumstance. Regardless, it is always highly recommended.
The first type of addiction is called a process addiction. This type of addiction involves a person essentially being addicted to an activity that is carried out in a very specific way. Process addictions include things like sex, gambling, shopping or being on the internet. Counseling for a process addiction involves rummaging around in the person’s past to discover the underlying cause of their process addiction, then working the person towards ways of resisting relapse and avoiding triggers so that they can overcome their process addiction.
The second type of addiction is called a substance addiction. This is the type most commonly thought of at the mention of addiction. Alcohol and drugs are the most commonly cited addictions because they pose a more immediate threat to the person under their influence. A substance addiction can also include an addiction to food, but again, this poses less of a threat to an addict than alcohol or drugs. When a person becomes physically dependent on the substance they are addicted to, meaning they would go through unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they could not have it, they are officially addicted to it and require counseling. Again, counseling is a necessary measure in rewiring someone’s thinking and helping them into healthier thought and behavior patterns. Mental health professionals highly recommend counseling to anyone struggling with addiction.
Another common need for counseling is for learning to cope with mental illness. Mental disorders and personality disorders are very common in present times. An extensive body of information has been made available in the past 10 years which has helped the public understand how common and how complex mental disorders are. Personality disorders are closely related cousins of mental disorders, and they are also very prominent in our society.
Everyone in the world can benefit from counseling because no one has perfect mental health, however, people with a mental or personality disorder genuinely need counseling and should not forego it. Mental illness is caused by harmful thought and behavior patterns. They were not always present within the person, meaning they began at some point when the person was influenced by adverse circumstances, but the patterns are so old and have been repeated so many times that they have gone subconscious. This is where the help of a professional counselor comes in.
A professional counselor’s job is to discover why a person does what they do, even when the person themselves does not understand why they do what they do. Then, they help the person understand how to correct their own harmful thought and behavioral patterns so that they can begin to welcome mental health back into their lives. Counselors are trained to ask the right questions to discover what kind of mental hardships their client is living with, and then they carefully guide them into healthier ways of thinking and responding to outside stimuli.
A common misconception about mental illness is that medicating is the ultimate solution. It is true that medication can curb the symptoms of a disorder that put the individual at immediate risk, however, cognitive behavioral therapy is ultimately the most important type of treatment for mental illness because it is the only shot at reversing the thought and behavior patterns that lead to the illness in the first place. If you are struggling with mental illness, find a counselor to lean on and work with as soon as possible.
One of the most common reasons for people to make use of a professional counselor is when their marriage is in trouble. Divorce rates have been on a gradual decline in recent years, but they are still relatively high. Marriage is one of the most challenging things that people undertake in life. It is the process of drawing closer to someone than you do in any other capacity, and the potential for adversity in endless. Having a healthy marriage takes a great deal of work, compromise and consideration. Some of the more common problems that drive a wedge into marriages are as follows:
Money. A frequent source of marital strife is money. What a person values is reflected in their financial decisions. That is why it is so difficult to marry two people’s spending tendencies – because their values are not identical. One spouse may be cautious and prone to saving for a rainy day while the other spouse is generous and enjoys spending on others. Both are good values to possess, but they do not always mesh well together. This can lead to intense fighting and disagreements which require marriage counseling in order to resolve.
Communication. One of the biggest challenges within a marriage is healthy communication. Typically, any two given spouses do not communicate in the same way. One may communicate more frequently, often with tears, while the other may feel uncomfortable with communication and emotion. Finding a communication rhythm is important to a marriage so that both spouses feel heard, but often times, married couples cannot find this rhythm without the help of a professional counselor.
Sex. Dr. Phil is quoted to say, “When sex is going right in a relationship, it comprises 10-percent of the relationship. When it is not going right, it comprises 90-percent of the relationship.” Sex between married couples is a delicate matter. Those who have great sex are in the minority. It is more common for married couples to have some kind of difficulty in the bedroom because human sexuality is very complex. If a married couple does not know how to communicate properly about sex in order to see that both spouses are satisfied, the marriage can become dysfunctional. Making use of a counselor can be marriage saving in this situation.
There are a number of reasons people may seek counseling, not the least of which is a crisis within the family. An adverse situation or circumstance that involves the entire family can be difficult to cope with. Different family members have different ideas of how to handle difficult times, opinions often conflict, upsetting scenes unfold and the tension amounts. Or perhaps the family pulls together over the crisis but they are still left feeling somewhat stranded together. Some examples of a family crisis may include:
Domestic violence. An episode of domestic violence or reoccurring episodes of domestic violence within a family are very traumatic for everyone involved. Families are intended to be a place of security and safety, and when that is compromised by domestic violence, it creates an unhealthy environment for everyone involved. If your family is experiencing domestic violence, it is very important that you remove the abused members from the abuser by taking them to a shelter or into the care of family. This does not mean the family has to split up, but a temporary separation from the abuser is vital.
Loss of income and security. When the family member or members who financially provide for the family lose their sources of income, it can throw the family into calamity. Dependents are no longer provided for and the family goes into a state of financial crisis. This is very stressful for everyone in the family – the person who lost their source of income and all of their dependents – and counseling becomes an urgent necessity for all involved.
Home destroyed. Another highly stressful situation on a family is the loss of their home. When a family’s home is lost to a fire, flood, vandalism or some other disaster, a major sense of security, safety and sentimentalism is ripped away from the family. A home is where a family takes rest from the outside world, as well as where they make special memories within the family, and the jarring and painful event when their home is taken from them can be very traumatic. Counseling is highly recommended for this painful experience.