It’s very painful to see a loved one hurting, no matter the reason. We want to know they are OK, always. But recovering from a traumatic experience takes time. And it often can’t be done alone, which is why you may be asking, “does my loved one need counseling?”
Everyone will answer that question differently, as the process of healing has no single roadmap. And, the most important factor to ask yourself is whether your loved one wants help and is prepared to see the process through. You can’t want it more than they do.
But they and you should also know that you’re not alone. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that one in five adults experienced some form of mental illness (whether triggered by trauma, or not) in 2018.
In this sense, the question “does my loved one need counseling” is a gift of grace. Help is out there.
What is Counseling?
Professional counseling offers more than just finding “someone to talk to.” It is an evidence-based health-care treatment that addresses the “emotional, social, work, school, and physical health concerns people may have at different stages in their lives,” according to the American Psychiatric Association. The primary goal of counseling is to help people understand their thoughts and actions in the service of solving their own problems.
Counseling does not just come into play at times of crisis. Counseling professionals can assist individuals with many life issues, including:
- Improving marriages and relationships
- Overcoming difficulties with school, career, or work
- Managing stress
- Adjusting to social change, disease, or injury
- Dealing with gender identity and sexual orientation
Counseling can be delivered on a one-on-one basis, as a group, or between and among family members by certified social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other accredited professionals. Counselors can have specialties such as addiction, marital counseling, adolescent therapy.
The Counseling Process
In addition to asking “does my loved one need counseling,” you may also wonder how counseling works. Counseling takes commitment. It may be short-lived or last for long periods.
The counselor’s role is one of facilitator. It’s not their job to tell you what to do or how to solve your problems, but to get you to understand your thoughts, words, and actions and find your way to solutions of your own.
Counselors use various techniques to help you work toward solutions. One common form is cognitive behavioral therapy, aimed at getting you to recognize actions or situations that may be troubling, as a way of confronting your challenges directly.
Does My Loved One Need Counseling?
We’d love to tell you there’s a simple answer to this question, but the reality is that every situation is a little different. However, according to Psychology Today, some signs that might answer your question include:
- Extreme mood changes — where your loved one just doesn’t seem themselves
- Substance abuse or other issues with dependence, such as food or sex
- Difficulties in coping with grief that do not seem to ease
- Changes in habits or lifestyles
- Experiencing traumatic events or incident
Getting Help for a Loved One
The fact that you’re asking “does my loved one need counseling” is a huge step toward their recovery from traumas of the past. The caring of family and friends represents a crucial step in healing, for them and for you. Don’t go through it alone. Our trauma therapy treatment center provides unique counseling, including such techniques as anxiety therapy, EMDR therapy program, The Havening Techniques, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Contact the Trauma Counseling Center of Los Angeles today 310.720.8200 for an initial consultation.