LMHC stands for Licensed Mental Health Counselor. It indicates that a person has obtained a Masters degree in a behavioral science discipline at a nationally accredited university. LMHCs are required to have also completed 3000 hours of supervised experience in counseling with individuals, couples, and families. Further, LMHCs must then pass exams by their respective regulatory boards to be eligible for licensure in their state.
Counselors can provide a fresh perspective, a non-judgmental listening ear, a confidential place to vent, and a therapeutic support system. A healthy, trusting therapeutic relationship is healing in itself, but also typically leads to clients moving the same relational skills into their real world relationships, thus improving connection and satisfaction in their family, partner, or friend relationships.
Counselors can teach problem-solving skills and enhanced coping strategies the client can use to survive and improve functioning when they are in distress or crisis. But counselors can also be a tremendous asset and support for clients who are motivated for personal growth, emotional connection, and strengthening interpersonal relationships. #thriving
Ultimately, the benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you participate in the counseling process and put into practice what you learn. A counselor can't fix you. They can only hand you tools you either choose to use or not use.
*I believe the #1 benefit from counseling is a sense of empowerment that you can handle anything life may throw at you.
*Making meaning out of unpleasant experiences in your life.
*Learning to control what you can and letting go of what you can't.
*Learning to set healthy boundaries that protect you.
*Attaining a better understanding of who you are, what you want, and what values you choose to believe in.
*Becoming comfortable with acknowledging your strengths AND weaknesses.
*Understanding that others have weaknesses too & deserve grace for their mistakes or errors in judgment.
*Recognizing that everyone views the world through their own personal filter.
*Comprehending there can be 2 opposite opinions and both be right.
*Setting goals and deciding what you're willing to do to reach them.
*Increasing motivation to reach your goals.
*Improving your sense of mastery, self-esteem, and confidence.
*Developing new skills to improve, or restore, relationships.
*Practicing new ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
*Learning to manage negative emotions such as anger, grief, or depression.
*Discovering you can self-regulate your own moods.
*Improving communication and listening skills.
*Changing old behavior/thought patterns and developing new ones.
*Discovering new ways to problems solve.
*Finding forgiveness for yourself and others.
Ask yourself if your distress or emotional state is affecting your functioning in any area of your life: job, family, relationships, school, or spiritality. It the answer is yes, you will benefit from counseling.
Would you be embarrassed to see a physician for diabetes? Diabetes is an illness that you can't see, is caused by chemical/hormonal deficiences in your body, but can be managed with the right treatment and sometimes eradicated by awareness, an understanding of how your body works, what it needs, and learning skills to promote good health. You would never be embarrassed to seek guidance on how to manage diabetes.
Mental illness (whether temporary, situational, or chronic) or even simple distress is no different except that it involves chemicals/hormones that originate in the brain rather than the pancreas. And like diabetes, can be managed and sometimes eradicated by awareness, understanding what your brain needs (and doesn't need!), and learning skills to promote self-care which result in you feeling in control of your emotions and mentally healthy again.
Besides... it's fairly trendy these days! :-)
It's like sitting down with your trusted best friend and being able to open up, without fear of judgment, and be REAL about what has happened to you or what is bothering you and how you feel those thoughts or situations are affecting your emotions, behavior, or life circumstances. There is no topic off limits and no fear of anyone else finding out what your issues are. It's like taking out the trash and opening up that space inside you that has been hungry for truth, understanding, purpose, and meaning.
You are a consumer purchasing a service. If you don't feel you are a good match with your counselor, then you should find another one you feel more comfortable with.