For many people, stress easily translates into fear, anxiety, or anger, something many people deal with due to any crisis. The pandemic is one such global crisis. It managed to isolate the entire world from each other and people from another. People were locked away, unsure about their jobs, money, or health. As a result, most people cracked under pressure. There were cases of people who lashed out by attacking their workplace or were submerged in deep grief. There were also cases of domestic violence.
The CDC took notice of these issues and submitted guidelines to cope with different health issues. However, that was not enough. People needed intervention in the form of a third party. So, health counselors became no less than lifesavers during the pandemic. Here are ways how counseling is highly effective for health:
1) They Are Trained Professionals
Health counselors aren’t just ordinary people with an office. They’re experts within the field. They know how to recognize the degree of assault or how deep the mental health issue runs. These counselors also have qualifications such as a masters in counseling online or attending a course physically. So, if you bring up an issue in front of them, they know how to communicate with you. Once they’re sure they understand what you need help with, they will walk you through the process.
2) They Provide A Place To Speak
In front of a health counselor, you don’t have to filter yourself. They are not judgmental or hasty about you getting to the point. You get to lay everything on the table and take off a mental load. If you’re a victim of assault, they will make sure you get your wounds treated first. They can even use the police to have evacuation plans in case the assault escalates to dangerous levels. Unfortunately, the pandemic exposed how the virus isn’t the only factor we need to be wary of.
3) They Provide Coping Strategies
If you have severe mental health issues, counselors can help you there. These issues can stem from the fear you’ve been harboring either due to assault or isolation. In cases of physical assault, there are possible scenarios of you developing PTSD. In such cases, the treatment is extensive and concentrated to liberate your mind from the after-effects. If counseling alone doesn’t help, they can work with a psychiatrist to get you started on medication. Coming to milder mental health conditions, counselors can give you an outlet to cope. Additionally, they lead you to practices that will keep your health in good condition.
4) They Can Help Modify Behavior
Sometimes, the cause of your physical abuse could be yourself. It is not uncommon for people to turn to self-harm to cope with stress. In such cases, the health counselor will help you modify your behavior. The first step is to hide or throw anything you use to cause yourself harm. For example, you drink too much and hurt yourself in an alcoholic stupor. They would ask you to eliminate all strong alcohols and replace them with mild alcohols to prevent withdrawals. Gradually, they will wean you off the habit. If you have a habit of overthinking, they will help you revert your train of thought. A counselor’s focus is very concentrated; they won’t just make you listen; they will make sure you act through.
5) They Have Numerous Skills
Counselors need to make sure that the sessions you spend with them are fruitful. So, each counselor carries a toolbox of skills. Some of these include art therapy, cognitive behavior, acceptance, and commitment. A counselor’s approach is always holistic. They don’t want you getting started on medications right away. They want to first administer these methods by guiding you through them so that you can actively participate.
6) They Always Start With Short-Term Goals
Counselors recognize that immediately jumping to a long-term win may overwhelm you. So, their method is to start slow and start with short-term goals. A short-term win can be altering the way you think. Instead of altogether rejecting ideas, they would encourage you to try. Suppose you decide to play a game. You will prevent yourself from the fear of losing to keep you from trying. They would also help you find kinder words for yourself if you’ve been through a horrific incident and blame yourself. They will help you acknowledge why it was never your fault. A gradual build-up of your self-esteem from its current chaos does wonders for you.
The pandemic took a toll on the population in many ways. It has brought waves of mental health issues; people are now no longer fighting a virus only. Counselors can provide a safety net in such situations. Once they make sure you’re safe, they start counseling you to help you get better. Ultimately, the goal of any counselor is to make sure you’re doing better in the long term.