Back in 2004, the American Psychological Association found that nearly 60 million people had visited a mental health professional in the previous two years. Thankfully, the negative stigma associated with getting professional help is no longer as significant in America. There are plenty of benefits of working with a counselor during uncertain times to aid your mental health.
Honestly Expressing Yourself
You might have dozens of close friends and a huge family that you could vent your feelings to at the drop of a hat. However, there are certain areas of your life that you might be uncomfortable sharing with those closest to you. For example, you might not want your mother to worry about your anxiety or to discuss your feelings of hopelessness with your best friend. One of the best parts about working with a therapist is that they’re not in your circle and essentially a stranger.
Finding Appropriate Coping Strategies
Many people assume that therapy is simply about expressing your emotions freely. Yet, the purpose of counseling is also to give you the resources that allow you to cope with your emotions outside of the therapist’s office. You’ll work with your therapist to learn which coping strategies are most feasible for you. That can be anything from reaching out to a friend if your anxiety or depression is at a ‘7’ or journaling each night to get your feelings out daily.
You trust your friends and family, y et you might be a little cautious about sharing your deepest feelings with them directly. After all, you can’t guarantee that they won’t tell others about what you two had discussed. That’s where you’ll enjoy the confidentiality that comes with professional mental health experts. The American Psychological Association states that all information you share will be confidential unless you reveal that either you or someone else is in danger.
Working Toward Self-Improvement
You’re looking to cope with your anxiety, stress, and depression right now. But it’s also important to learn how to improve yourself in a way that doesn’t allow any of these factors to impact you in the future. There’s an additional benefit in the form of self-improvement. You can learn how to manage relationship struggles, the best way to plan a daily routine, and how to set goals that you want to reach in the future.
Getting On a Schedule
Uncertain times often come with an uncertain schedule. You no longer have a consistent work schedule, you’re eating whenever you feel like it because of how often you’re home, and you go to sleep whenever you pass out. If you’re lucky, your therapist will get you on a consistent appointment schedule. You might know that you have an appointment every Tuesday at 11:00, which gives you something to look forward to and get ready for in the morning.
Control Over Your Mental Health
You might still be a little wary about visiting a mental health professional. You don’t want to be assigned a treatment plan that you don’t agree with or that puts you out of your comfort zone. Fortunately, working with a therapist is often entirely voluntary. That means you have just as much input in your treatment as your professional counselor does.
Working with a mental health professional during uncertain times might be the best gift that you can give yourself. This is a great way to put your mental health first, work through your emotions carefully, and figure out how to go forward from here. It might be tough to open up to a stranger across the room, but the long-term results could potentially be life changing.