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. Counseling 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.