Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Help From Mental Health Counselor

I had always felt different from the kids I grew up with. While they loved going to playgrounds and often begged their parents for toys and whatnot, I was happy with a drawing pad and a set of colors. While they could not get enough slides and almost had to be dragged back home after a field trip, I never felt the need to leave the house or socialize. My folks encouraged me to go out sometimes, but my typical reply was, “No thanks.”

In reality, my behavior caused me to get in trouble with other people at school a few times. I never got into a physical fight, but I had been confronted for not cooperating with my classmates, especially during group work. I tried telling them once that I worked better independently, but they took it the wrong way and branded me snobbish. That pushed me to bury my nose in books more instead of improving my social skills.

When I entered college, things became a bit better. This time, I got one friend, Jill. She was my roommate at the dorm. It took me an entire semester to consider her as my friend because, according to Jill, I always seemed too preoccupied to talk to anyone. I did not realize that’s how it looked like to other people, though. The truth was that I did not know how to approach her. Nevertheless, we remained friends even after college.

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Then, I Had To Face Facts

I applied to different companies right after getting my diploma. I always got called for one or two interviews and thought that I would get the job. However, 15 interviews later, I was still unemployed. The common reason I heard was that I failed to show that I could become a team player.

After hearing that for so long, I decided to see a psychologist determine what’s up with my behavior. It took some tests and consultations before I understood that I had Asperger’s syndrome. It was mild; that’s why the symptoms were not too noticeable. Still, the fact that I was on the autism spectrum remained.

My first reaction was to panic, of course. I worried that it would prevent me from having normal adulthood and getting a stable job. Luckily, the psychologist said that talking to a mental health counselor might help me process the diagnosis.

How does mental health counseling help? 

 Mental health counseling helps individuals understand their emotions – mostly negative – and determine how to overcome them.

How do counselors help with anxiety? 

 Talking to a counselor helps people with anxiety understand where their anxious feelings originate, how they react, how they shouldn’t – when the symptoms attack, and what they can do to cope with the disorder.

Can mental health counselors diagnose? 

 Technically, no, a mental health counselor cannot diagnose psychological disorders – their education and training do not give them the authority to do that. However, if the counselor happens to double as a psychiatrist or psychologist, they can provide a mental health diagnosis.

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What skills do mental health counselors need? 

 Mental health counselors should be:

  • Compassionate
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Empathic
  • Excellent communicator

What skills do you need to work in mental health? 

 If you work in mental health, you should be able to do the following:

  • Build a healthy rapport with clients
  • Show compassion and empathy
  • Listen to people actively
  • Organize the flow of every session
  • Keep a record of everything that occurs during sessions
  • Know how to use technology
  • Maintain professional boundaries
  • Have an endless desire to help others

Is anxiety a mental illness? 

 Yes, anxiety is a mental illness.

What helps severe anxiety? 

 Anxiety is mostly treated using cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, if one-on-one treatment does not suffice, you must try the following:

  • Step away from your isolation and connect with your loved ones.
  • Give up some of your responsibilities and delegate others to your colleagues to manage your stress level.
  • Learn how to meditate and try various breathing exercises to feel calm.
  • Do rhythmic and cardiovascular exercises to take your mind off stressful activities.
  • Sleep for up to eight hours every night.
  • Stop overthinking.

What should I not tell a psychiatrist? 

 Psychiatrists can typically offer help the most when the patient does not hide anything from them. However, it is up to you about what information you wish to avoid telling your psychiatrist.

What is the difference between school counseling and mental health counseling? 

 School counseling is always provided to students, parents, or teachers with ongoing behavioral or cognitive issues. Meanwhile, mental health counseling is offered to everyone else.

What does a mental health counselor do daily? 

  • Determining psychological distress in patients
  • Offering group counseling to families
  • Listening to people about their emotions, experiences, and feelings
  • Setting goals and creating treatment plans with clients
  • Identifying possible hindrances to the treatment’s success
  • Assessing external trigger factors and causes of an individual’s mental health issues
  • Giving referrals to other mental health professionals
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How do you diagnose mental health? 

A mental health diagnosis can occur after the psychologist or psychiatrist does the following:

  • Identify and assess the physical, behavioral, and emotional symptoms that an individual may experience
  • Figure out how long they have been dealing with such experiences
  • Determine how much the symptoms have influenced their way of living

What are the five counseling skills? 

  • Active listening
  • Building rapport
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Reflecting and paraphrasing

What are the qualities of a good counselor? 

 An excellent counselor exhibits the following qualities:

  • Confident
  • Educated
  • Ethical
  • Flexible
  • Non-judgmental
  • Organized
  • Professional
  • Respectful
  • Responsible

How can I improve my counseling skills? 

  • Improve your ability to analyze, reflect, paraphrase, and summarize every information that the client divulges.
  • Show a commitment to professional development.
  • Strive to become a more effective counselor by managing your time, schedule, and paperwork.
  • Find a way to understand every client, especially the timid or nervous ones.
  • Be flexible when it comes to the type of counseling that your clients may need.

Why do you work in mental health?

The life-changing effect of positive mental health makes people work in this field. The more lives they can change, the more they feel encouraged to offer mental health services.

Final Thoughts

The psychologist was right – I found clarity after talking to a mental health counselor. Neither of them could cure my autism, but I eventually learned to embrace it. Instead of asking why I had this condition, I looked for a way around it so that I could finally get a job.