By: Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern

Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi and Tennessee have recognized the importance of counselors in the mental health of the nation and proclaimed the month of April as Counseling Awareness Month!

Who should seek counseling services?

Anyone! You don’t have to wait until your life becomes so overwhelming that you can’t cope to ask for help. The sooner you reach out, the sooner you can get the help you need to live a healthier, happier life.

What are some reasons I should seek counseling for my mental health?

Some indications that you may want to consider seeking help include:

  • The issue is causing significant distress or disruption in your life
  • You are relying on unhealthy or dangerous coping mechanisms
  • Friends and family are concerned about your well-being
  • Nothing you have tried so far has helped.

How do I start the process of finding a counselor?

I could make this answer easy and suggest you call our office at (847) 854-4333, but I’m here to help you, not me. There are many ways in which you can find a professional and one of my favorites is through the Psychology Today website. Here, you can explore different professionals in your area, their credentials, and some of their experiences in the field. Another option may be to ask your primary care physician or a friend for suggestions. After all, they do know you well and may have a recommendation to meet your needs.

Tips to benefit the relationship with your counselor:

  • Be honest: this may seem obvious, but it can be a challenge. Finding the right counselor is like dating – if you don’t feel a connection, it is perfectly acceptable to look for a better match.
  • Be more honest! Sometimes it can be hard to navigate a situation that makes you uncomfortable from a counselor mispronouncing your name, or you don’t think they can relate to your experience, or they said something hurtful – whatever the case, share. Communication is crucial to make sure your counselor is best attending to your needs by making them aware of what those needs are.
  • Consider your goals: it is important to explore your life values and goals. If you want a new support group that understands some of your experiences, group therapy may be an option for you. If you’ve heard of a therapy method that you believe may best fit your needs, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), we may want to look for a counselor that specializes in this treatment approach.

If you would like to learn more about how counseling may be able to benefit your life, reach out to Owens & Associates at (847) 854-4333 for a free 15-minute consultation.