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    MWR’s Ask Me Anything: What IS Therapy?

    by Megan Rose, LMHC

    Today I’m answering the question “What is Therapy?”, and I guarantee all the other mental health workers are gasping or laughing because this is an impossible question to answer and something I could easily talk about for days!

    I’m going to start with what counseling is NOT: mental health counseling is not easy. It is not magic. Mental health counseling is not advice giving. It is not telling another person what to do, how to think, or how to feel. Mental health counseling is not a friendship where you go to vent. Although, sometimes ventilation is a helpful intervention if used correctly.

    Participating in counseling can be a daunting, scary, difficult and vulnerable process. Usually, people seek counseling in order to understand themselves, untangle spiraling and interconnected thoughts, solve problems or tolerate and manage difficult emotions or change unhealthy behaviors.

    Counseling treatment interventions have been scientifically studied and more information continues to emerge which allows counseling to be a continuously evolving field. As mental health professionals we have been trained to ask questions that enhance understanding, normalize experiences and emotions, facilitate processing, explore deeper thoughts and feelings, examine new possibilities surrounding beliefs, experiment with new behavioral strategies and challenge old ways of thinking and feeling. Through treatment interventions our hope is that people gain insight into themselves, others, and the world and find new ways of managing and walking through the adventure of life.

    As counselors, we all have different perspectives, methods, and philosophies about counseling. Finding a counselor that best serves you is important. Don’t be afraid to tell your counselor what you want from therapy so they can use interventions that will be best for you.

    To boil it all down: I think mental health counseling is a scientific, human, raw, challenging, beautiful process of healing. And I’m lucky enough to be able to witness it every day. 

    ~ Megan