Individuals seek counseling, or “talk therapy” for a wide variety of reasons. In some cases, counseling is intended to treat a clinical condition such as depression or anxiety. Counseling may also serve to improve certain functional areas of one’s life such as their family relationships or ability to manage anger effectively. Counseling can also help people achieve long-term behavior changes such as those related to health goals, addictions or cognitive tasks.
How is Counseling Different from Psychology?
Counseling is a term used when the science of psychology is applied to real-world symptoms or behaviors through “talk therapy”. There are a wide range of approaches to counseling and a variety of styles. The factor that ties them together is that the tools and techniques used are based on scientific, empirically validated evidence, so the effectiveness has been proven. Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Professional Counselors and several other types of professionals all engage in counseling to help clients improve symptoms and achieve goals.
Should I Pursue Counseling or Medication?
For many issues, it is not a case of choosing counseling or medication, but how best to use these tools in conjunction with one another. For issues such as depression and anxiety, research clearly supports the use of both of these clinical tools in a coordinated plan. One of the unique benefits to receiving care from Naperville Clinical Associates is that the practice has a Psychiatrist (Medical Doctor) working in close coordination with counselors (Psychologists or Professional Counselors). Having both professionals in close communication assures the best results possible. In many cases there are a range of options available, and your clinician can help you weigh the benefits of each option and select a path to better health.
Is Counseling Just for Adults?
Counseling services are routinely used to help adults, children, teens, couples and whole families. The tools utilized in counseling may look somewhat different depending on the participant, however. Children for example, often express themselves most effectively through non-verbal means such as by acting out complex emotions while engaging in play. Child counselors will utilize special techniques to help children process complex emotions in a way that fits with their communication abilities (play therapy and art therapy are two examples of this). Couples therapy also includes techniques and styles that differ from individual counseling for adults.
What Should I Expect From Counseling?
Counseling begins with a first visit typically referred to as an “intake”. This is an in-depth discussion of the difficulty that caused you to seek help, and the background related to it. The first visit allows your Psychiatrist, Psychologist or Counselor to get to know you and your specific circumstances. It also provides you with an opportunity to get comfortable with the person that will be helping you. Based on the information learned in the first visit, your clinician will help you identify specific treatment goals and can help explain a plan to achieve those goals.
How Do I Get Started?
The first step in getting help is to request an initial intake appointment. The staff at Naperville Clinical Associates are here to help, and can help arrange a first visit. Please don’t hesitate to call with any questions, or email the office to get started.