Objective Psychological Insight

objective psychologyWe all occasionally have the need to go to someone else to get their take on something that we are not sure how to feel about. When we are having a hard time understanding something, other people’s insight is invaluable. However, in times when it is critical that we receive wise insight, the importance of objectivity and an unbiased perspective cannot be overstated. It is no good to us to receive insight from someone who is unable to think clearly about the matter at hand. We need to the person whose advice we are seeking to be removed enough from the situation and from our personal lives to offer unbiased insight.

This is where the services of a professional counselor come in handy. Everything that you crave about wise counsel is available through a professional counselor. We all may have a desire to go to the person who will tell us what we want to hear, but when we are ready to make actual progress in our lives, we crave the assistance of a person who is wise and objective. These kinds of perspectives are what drives good decision making forward. If we were to only react emotionally, basing our understandings of one another on feelings alone, our interactions would be chaos. All of our ability to empathize and be gracious toward other people comes from our ability to put aside our biases.

Professional counselors are not meant to take the place of our closest confidants. We are still meant to go to our close relationships for counsel as well. However, it is wise to think carefully about which life situations would be better discussed with someone a bit more removed from your life. You truly cannot go wrong with a professional counselor. This is someone who has no connection to your life, who is trained in the art of healthy decision making and behavior and who you are paying for good advice. There is no stronger guarantee of receiving the best advice possible.

Counseling to Enchance Quality of Life

counseling benefitsThere are many people who look down on counseling or stigmatize it as something that broken people need. They think they are above counseling and or better off than people who receive counseling. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Counseling can only help more than it hurts. What could possibly be bad about gaining insight about yourself through someone who has a vested interest, is detached and objective and is trained in mental health matters? It is this blogger’s opinion that people who think they have no room to improve their mental health are in denial. Everyone has room to work on their mental health, and your mental health journey of improvement will be most successful when guided by a professional counselor.

When you work at strengthening your mental health, it rewards you. You increase your quality of life by making your thought and behavior patterns healthier. You may not recognize where you have areas to improve in your life. There is no fault in that. Many people simply do not think in terms of mental health awareness, as it relates to themselves or as it relates to others. When you educate yourself about what good mental health looks like, however, you will begin to understand what your personal strengths and weaknesses are. You will have a clearer picture of what you can offer in terms of good mental health as well as what you could afford to put more work into.

Everyone recognizes the difference between a stable person and an unstable person. But what many people fail to recognize is that humanity is made up of a complex spectrum of stability and instability, and that everyone falls in an individual place on that spectrum. Coming to understand your own level of stability, as well as your personality profile, informs you on a great many things and inspires you to strengthen the areas you are weak in. If you are someone who thinks of psychology and counseling as pseudosciences that are not actually helpful, it is time to reevaluate your opinions. Informed, civilized people esteem the field of psychology and recognize the necessity of counseling for a variety of circumstances.

How to Know When You Need Counseling

when to get counselingArguably, everyone can benefit from counseling because no one has perfect mental health. Spending time in counseling can increase any person’s level of awareness, healthy thought patterns and relationship abilities and it is recommended for anyone who is in a position to receive it. However, there are certainly some people who need it more than others. The more your mental health is ailing, the more need you have for professional counseling. Despite understanding what a counselor does and knowing that their services are available, it is not always easy to tell when your need from counseling has gone from optional to critical, which is why you should be aware of the signs that it is time to find a counselor.

  • Unmanageable mood swings. If your moods are spiking and then dropping, or you are switching back and forth between passivity and anger, this could be a sign that you need counseling. It is likely that you are dealing with substantial life stress or you have an undiagnosed mental disorder.
  • Persistent nightmares about being out of control. If you are being plagued by frightening nightmares, particularly ones where you are being pursued by something, this is a likely indicator that you feel out of control of your life. It could very well be time to talk to a counselor about what is happening in your life.
  • Racing thoughts and obsessive behavior. If you are having difficulty shutting your brain off to the point that you cannot relax, or if you are fixating on something that you know should be trivial, it is wise to talk with a counselor about this.
  • Substance abuse or addictive behavior. If there is a substance or a habit that is controlling you, find an addiction or substance abuse counselor to talk to.
  • Debilitating fear or anxiety. If fear and worry is keeping you from reaching your potential, talk to a counselor to learn how to control your fear reflex.
  • Recent or past trauma. Traumatic events, no matter how old or how recent, have a profound negative effect on our quality of life and always warrant counseling.
  • Out of control anger. A bad temper and anger problems hurt your quality of life and the people around you. If you are angry too often, it is advised that you see a counselor.
  • Lethargy, depletion and sadness. Feelings that make you drag your feet and want to give up are highly indicative of a number of disorders, both situational or deeply rooted. Seek counseling if these emotions are familiar and frequent to you.
  • Any behavior that endangers yourself or those around you. If you are violent, physically or emotionally, to your self or to others, you urgently need counseling.

The Benefits of Professional Counseling

professional counseling benefitsMany people try to argue that professional counseling is just not for them. They do not see what is useful about sharing their inner lives with a stranger, nor do they think that there is any benefit to the practice of counseling. These opinions could not be more incorrect. Mental health is just as important as physical health. The more we study mental health, the more we come to acknowledge that mental health is something that requires awareness, education, nurturing and good health practices, just like physical health. This means that everyone can benefit from counseling because no one has perfect mental health.

One thing that professional counseling offers that is valuable to everyone is perspective. Perspective is something that people can only benefit from and never be harmed by. A professional counselor is very objective about their client’s lives. They do not carry any of the same biases, attachments, denials or falsities that their clients carry. They can receive all the information the client provides objectively and unearth additional information to form a clear picture in their minds.

Another thing that a person will inevitably gain from professional counseling is awareness. Talking to someone about your life who is interested and concerned but who is also removed and objective will always offer awareness. This is a much wiser option than talking to someone who has a bias, such as a parent, sibling or best friend. These people are likely to favor your perspective and your excuses much more than a professional counselor. Similarly, if you talk to someone who has a lower opinion of you about your problems, they are likely to judge you too harshly. There is no less biased opinion than someone who is being paid to care but to stay removed.

And lastly, the main reason we all go to a counselor is to receive guidance about what to do next. Counselors assist their clients cautiously in decision making. A person needs to arrive at their own conclusions about what they think should happen in order for their decision making to be effective. Therefore, a counselor will not tell a person how to think or decide what to do, but they will guide them in the direction that is likely to be healthiest for them.

What Counselors Do

professional counselorThere are a lot of misconceptions about what it is that counselors do. Many people still have the mental image of having to lie on a couch while a man in a tweed suit asks them to talk about their father. This is hardly the case. A professional counselor’s purpose is to provide a safe outlet for a person to communicate their troubles to, and to provide a professional, objective opinion on how to move forward. When taken seriously and utilized correctly, they can mean the difference between mental health success and failure. Professional counselors may work in a private practice, a hospital or a residential rehab center. When a person receives professional counseling, they are expected to do so with an open mind and a willingness to be receptive to the guidance they are going to receive. The duties of a professional counselor are to:

  • Listen. Professional counselors are also professional listeners. They take the task of understanding their clients very seriously, and their method of understanding is by listening to what their clients have to say and interpreting their communication.
  • Guide. Counselors are trained to guide the communication that takes place between themselves and their clients to maximize its usefulness. Their training also allows them to map the individual out to understand their psychological profile, which aids them in offering the individual life guidance.
  • Assess. After hearing what the client has to say, the counselor will offer them an assessment of the situation. They will validate the person where their feelings are healthy and normal, as well as point out where their thinking is destructive. They will help the client understand the truth of their own situation much better.
  • Advise. Giving advice as a counselor is tricky business. Anytime a counselor offers real advice about how a person can change their life, they have to feel very certain that no harm will come to their client if they follow their advice. That is why counselors will more frequently guide their client to arriving at their own conclusions and save the concrete advice for when it is absolutely necessary.