Understanding Mental Health Counseling
By: Nate Webster, LMHC
What exactly does sitting down and talking to someone about your problems actually do? In many ways counseling can just sound like a glorified coffee date with friends, except the cappuccino is $75.00 an hour. Here are four analogies to help uncover the mystery of counseling. These analogies give word pictures to help you understand exactly what counseling does to help you and what can be expected. So whether you’re someone who uses analogies a lot or someone who is new to using analogies, I hope these give you some clarity.
Counselors are like binoculars: First and foremost, counselors often act like a pair of binoculars in your life. When you’re trying to discern what the current conditions of your life may be leading to, a counselor can be helpful as they look out at the horizon and discern what’s in the distance. What looks like some harmless twirling in the water a mile away, a counselor can identify as an eventual whirlpool that may trap you. A counselor isn’t a fortune teller but is simply trained in helping someone discern what relationships and activities in their life now may eventually lead to harm later.
Counselors are like x-rays: Second is that counselors can often give you an x-ray of your emotions. Not only do counselors help you see what is far away, they also help you see what might be going on inside. There are many things in each and every one of us that we really struggle to see; nevertheless those things can cause all kinds of problems in our lives. Our challenges cause discomfort, yet often times it is difficult to identify them without help. Counselors are very good at understanding what your pain may mean, and are great at helping you look inward.
Counselors are like mirrors: Thirdly, counselors are especially like mirrors. It’s often difficult for people to see themselves for who they really are and many of us walk around just guessing what we look like emotionally. However, counselors are trained to act as an honest, objective, reflection to help people see themselves. They reflect the pleasant and unpleasant of people’s personalities, but most importantly allow people to ask questions about what they see. Where else do you get to see your emotional reflection and perhaps change the way you feel?
Counselors are like compasses: In the midst of life’s storms it can be really hard to tell what is ‘True North’, which is why the fourth analogy for counselors is a compass. Counselors are especially trained in navigating the various directions the storms of life can take you, which can be especially helpful for those who have gone through trauma as they have sailed through life. It can be so hard to tell what is the right course to take when life brings big waves and dark skies. But counselors hunker down below deck with you and help you navigate safely as you journey through life!
If you want a therapist to help you reflect, direct and be aware of the things in your life, Life Works Group is a great place to start. You can call us at (407) 647-7005 or visit us online at LifeWorksGroup.org.