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Counseling Corner: Are all counseling therapies the same?

American Counseling Assoc. | 4/28/2019, noon
All of us have days when things don’t go well. Usually, such days simply pass, or we talk to a ...
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American Counseling Assoc.

All of us have days when things don’t go well. Usually, such days simply pass, or we talk to a friend or spouse, discuss our problems, and get some advice on what we might do.

But there are other times, for many of us, when the issues or problems we’re facing don’t just go away or aren’t solved even with the help of friends. At these times, professional help is really appropriate, yet considering this solution can often seem overwhelming.

Seeking the assistance of an expert, such as a professional counselor, can be a difficult step to take. One reason is that most of us are not very familiar with what a professional counselor actually does. This isn’t surprising since professional counselors don’t come in just one flavor and don’t just offer one kind of help.

Many professional counselors specialize in dealing with a fairly specific type of client and area of expertise. Some counselors work with young children, while others will provide services for teens or older adults. Other counselors offer specialized services for couples, or may focus on career counseling helping people facing important decisions about work and careers. Many counselors can assist people facing large life events, such as medical issues, divorce or grief issues.

Professional counselors can also follow a wide variety of therapeutic approaches. There are more than 50 types of therapies that counselors can specialize in to offer the best assistance to their clients.

Some of these therapies, such as anger management or conflict resolution, are fairly common and well-known. Others, such as special therapies to help people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or dialectical behavior therapy for people with eating disorders or suicidal behavior, are more specialized.

If you or someone close to you might be able to benefit from working with a professional counselor, how do you go about finding out which type of counselor might fit best? It really is pretty simple. Most professional counselors offer a free phone or in-person visit to assess where help is needed and if they’re the right person to offer it.

Start by locating a professional counselor in your area through your medical doctor, local mental health organization, or online at the American Counseling Association’s website at http://www.counseling.org by clicking on the “Find A Counselor” tab at the top of the page.

Seeking help when needed is key to a full, happy life.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association. Comments and questions can be emailed to acacorner@counseling.org or visit http://www.counseling.org.