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What Is Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

Seek treatment early for untreated mental health illnesses through clinical mental health counseling. 

What Is Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

Evaluating, treating, and providing follow-up care for individuals coping with a range of mental health concerns are the three major aspects of clinical mental health counseling. Most of us are dealing with various issues and stressors affecting our lives from education, emotions, rehabilitative, marital, life-stage nature, and more.

Studies recommend clinical mental health counseling services as an effective method of helping these people. Mental health professionals may do so in individual, family, or group settings across government, social service, or mental health agencies.1

Clinical Counseling Overview

Clinical counseling, also known as clinical mental health counseling, is where mental health providers combine psychotherapy and medication-assisted therapy with problem-solving approaches to address mental health problems.

Clinical counseling is the treatment and clinical diagnosis of various mental, behavioral, and mental conditions. The clinical counselor must possess good communication, compassion, and listening skills to forge a trusting relationship with the patient. This ensures that you get the proper behavior change and problem resolution.

Why Is Mental Health Counseling Important?

A mental health counselor evaluates your physical and mental state, identifies your behavior problem, and determines if you are ready for treatment. You also learn coping strategies and behaviors that enhance your level of recovery and mental wellness.

First, a mental health therapist helps anyone from any walk of life recover from mental health illnesses. Then, they coordinate with other mental health professionals like social workers and psychiatrists. They also refer patients to facilities like long-term treatment centers and support groups to enable comprehensive care strategies.

What Does a Clinical Mental Health Counselor Do?

Most people ask, what does a clinical mental health counselor do? According to Mental Health America, a mental health counselor receives training to conduct individual and group sessions and diagnose mental health conditions. They may employ therapeutic interventions to help treat depression and manage anxiety and other mental health problems.1

Some people confuse clinical mental health counseling and clinical psychology. A clinical mental health therapist employs a more humanistic therapy approach. At the same time, clinical psychologists help tackle behavioral problems and mental illnesses and may prescribe medicines. 

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Approaches

The mental health counseling treatment method depends on the client’s needs and the preference of the mental health counselor. Every method has a specific focus though they all emphasize your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. The following are some of the most commonly used therapeutic approaches:2

  • Jungian analytical psychology
  • Psychodynamic counseling
  • Individual (or Adlerian) psychology
  • Person-centered (Rogerian) psychology
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Existential psychology
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Rational-emotive behavioral therapy (REBT)3
  • Interpersonal counseling
  • Humanistic/client-centered counseling
  • Existential therapy
  • Mindfulness-based counseling
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy

What Level of Education Do Clinical Mental Health Counselors Need?

Mental health counselors begin with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences fields like social work, psychology, or sociology. You may also choose to pursue counseling with undergraduate degrees in another field. However, this needs prerequisite courses before admission to an accredited master’s program.

The minimum education requirements for clinical mental health counseling is a master’s degree and two to three years of supervised practice under a licensed professional, with around two to three thousand work hours put in. Additionally, they must pass licensure examinations that vary from one state to another.

What Is the Ultimate Goal of Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

The ultimate goal of clinical counseling is to enable patients to make critical treatment decisions without outside influence. A mental health therapist often employs the following stages:

  • Relationship Building: The mental health counselor converses with clients and uses good communication skills to foster a positive relationship. This first step ensures you have a solid ground to work with the client effectively. 
  • Problem Assessment: This allows for continued conversations with the counselor to draw potential risks, stress levels, environmental factors, and other factors influencing mental health. 
  • Goal Setting: This stage builds on the previous steps and allows you and the client to set realistic goals.
  • Counseling Intervention: These vary among different counselors, but are all aimed around the individual patient’s goals and expectations.

Benefits of Mental Health Counseling

The purpose of mental health counseling will be detailed below.

Family and Marriage Counseling

Clinical counseling offers services to families and marriages who have suffered mental or emotional crises like divorce or trauma. Marriage and family counseling allows clients to discuss various issues they experience, express emotions, and help adjust to challenging life situations.

Diagnosing and Treating Mental Illness

A clinical counselor diagnoses patients and works with them to develop the appropriate treatment plan and advice on any potential risks of the plan. They use the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to gauge mental health illnesses.

Treating the Mental Problems Among the Elderly

The older generation faces challenges adjusting to new environments, living arrangements, coping with chronic diseases, and more. They face a lot of mental health crises and require proper counseling for mental health. Luckily, some mental health counselors specialize in addressing mental health issues in older people under clinical and mental health counseling.

Helping People Conquer Stress

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you should seek counseling for mental health if you experience unmanageable stress levels. A clinical mental health therapist will also help you understand where your stress stems from and why you have it.

Stress Coping Mechanisms and Strategies

A clinical counselor employs the following strategies to help manage stress:4

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Find Out More About Clinical Mental Health Counselling at Anew Treatment Center

Seeking the help of a clinical mental health counselor is the first step to recovery and understanding more about your mental health problem. Learn more about mental health counseling sessions, various treatment options, and other related fields at Anew Treatment Center, as well as clinical mental health counseling.

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