Where Can I Find Mental Health Counseling Near Me?

The Importance of a ‘Mental Health Counselor Near Me

Sound mental health is important for all people, no matter where or how they live. That is true because significant problems in this area of your life can seriously impair your ability to function. Fortunately, if you experience problems, professionals called mental health counselors can help you recover your well-being. With this in mind, you may wonder: “Where can I find a mental health counselor near me?”

Mental health counselors occupy a specific niche in the mental health field. They provide different services than a psychiatrist. In many cases, they also provide different services than psychologists. In this article, we will discuss the responsibilities and benefits of counselors. We also answer the question of how to find a mental health counselor and get the help you need.

mental health counselor near me

Mental Health Counselor Near Me – The Basics

Mental health counselors near you may also be known as therapists or clinicians. Counselors are not medical doctors or PhDs. Instead, they hold Master of Science or Master of Arts degrees. While in graduate school they have focused on areas of study such as:

  • Family therapy
  • Marriage therapy
  • Counseling psychology
  • Psychology

As a rule, mental health counselors are licensed in the state where they work. Each state sets its own rules for what is needed to obtain licensure. Counselors typically specialize in working with a certain clientele. For example, some of these professionals work with people who have drug or alcohol problems. Others specialize in counseling families or married couples. You may also find mental health counselors who work with various types of clients.

Many counselors are trained as psychologists. However, not all counselors are psychologists and not all psychologists are counselors. For this reason, as a whole, psychologists are viewed as a separate category of mental health professionals.

There is also an overlap between mental health counselors and another group of professionals: psychotherapists. Some counselors are psychotherapists, but others are not. In many states, mental health counselors require different licenses than psychotherapists.

What Does a Mental Health Counselor Near Me Do

Mental health counselors provide a number of important services. Depending on the individual practitioner, those services may include things such as:

Giving Mental Health Assessments

A mental health assessment is a type of mental health screening. This type of screening provides your counselor with a good overview of your state of mental well-being. It also provides the information needed to help diagnose mental health problems. Such problems may include illnesses such as:

  • Substance use disorder
  • Depression-related disorders
  • Anxiety-related disorders
  • Anorexia and other eating disorders
  • The various types of bipolar disorder
  • ADHD
  • Schizophrenia-related disorders

You do not have a mental illness just because you receive a recommendation for an assessment. However, if you do have a mental health condition, an assessment starts you on the road to treatment.

planning mental health treatment

Planning Your Treatment

If you need treatment, your care team will make a plan for how to proceed. A mental health counselor near you may help create this plan. This process is customized to your specific needs. That means that the plan you follow may be different from that followed by others. That can be true even among people affected by the same illness.

Your plan will help determine whether you are treated with medication, therapy or a combination of both. Periodically, your counselor and other team members will reassess your condition. Based on that new assessment, your treatment plan may be modified to fit your current needs.

Providing Treatment

Once your plan has been created, you will start to receive treatment. For the vast majority of people, treatment will include some form of counseling, therapy or psychotherapy. Mental health counselors can help you in a variety of different ways.

In some cases, counselors provide core services used to treat symptoms of mental illness. Those services come in the form of talk therapy. therapy of this type allows you to work through issues that may be driving your illness. By doing so, it helps you gain better control over your mental health.

Mental health counselors near you may also look at other areas of your life that might be causing you problems. That include things such as:

  • The state of your intimate relationships
  • Your relationships with your children
  • The way your household functions from day to day
  • Your financial and employment status

The counseling they provide makes it easier to identify how these issues can contribute to your illness. It also gives you practical methods of overcoming such issues and thereby improving your well-being.

Following Up After You Complete Treatment

After you complete your time in primary treatment, you still must take steps to support your mental health. Without doing so, you can easily fall back into old habits and patterns. In turn, this return to your old norms can lead to the return of your mental health issues.

Why do problems recur? Mental health conditions are sometimes chronic. This means that they are not short-term illnesses. Instead, they continue to affect you for extended periods of time, or maybe even for life. If you stop taking care of a chronic illness, the result may be a flare-up and a return of symptoms.

To stay vigilant, it helps to take part in something called continuing care or aftercare. These terms are used to describe periodic, follow-up treatment for your condition. Such treatment may be crucial to your health and well-being. Why?

Aftercare keeps you in touch with important treatment resources. This means that retain access to professionals familiar with your condition. For many people, such professionals include a mental health counselor. A periodic check-in with a counselor will help you address any new issues that have arisen. It will also help you identify anything that might become a problem in the future. In addition, your counselor will provide treatment that helps you prevent or recover from any setbacks.

mental health treatment near me - the follow up

How to Find a Mental Health Counselor In Your Area

You may wonder exactly how to find a mental health counselor who can provide you with any needed services. The good news is that, in most places across America, the process is fairly straightforward. That is true because there are multiple ways to find help.

Talk to Your Doctor

Typically, the best place to start is a conversation with your primary care physician. Most doctors today know how to conduct brief screenings for mental health issues. That includes any problems you may have with drugs or alcohol. It also includes problems that stem from other causes. Doctors also know how to refer you to mental health professionals. That includes a mental health counselor near you.

Your doctor may refer you to mental health counselors who work in a number of settings. Some counselors are self-employed and maintain private practices. Others work in partnership with other mental health experts and medical professionals.  

There are also other differences in the work environments of mental health counselors. Some counselors work in facilities that do not treat substance problems. Instead, these facilities focus solely on mental illnesses not related to substance use. In addition, some counselors work in facilities that only treat substance problems. However, there are also counselors working for providers who offer a wider range of services. It is common for these providers to treat both substance problems and separate mental illnesses.

Check With Local, Regional or National Experts

Most places in America have local agencies that specialize in mental health issues. These agencies may be able to refer you to a mental health counselor in your area. Similarly, you may have access to regional agencies that provide the same kinds of references. National sources like the National Institute of Mental Health may also provide useful information.

Talk Directly to a Local or Regional Provider

It is also possible to speak directly with reputable local or regional providers of mental health services. High-quality facilities and programs will take the time to answer any questions you may have. They also work with experienced mental health counselors who provide state-of-the-art treatment.

Seek Counseling Help for Dual Diagnosis

When thinking about how to find a mental health counselor, you must be aware of a condition called dual diagnosis. The condition combines the symptoms of substance problems with at least one other mental illness. Dual diagnosis is common among people affected by addiction. It is also common among people with a non-substance-related mental illness.

Why is dual diagnosis something you should know about? If you are affected by it, you likely have more total symptoms than you would otherwise. This means that you may have an especially hard time functioning in everyday life.

Unfortunately, it also means that you may have a harder time recovering your health and well-being. You can overcome the symptoms of dual diagnosis with the right treatment. However, you will typically need more help than people who only have substance problems. You will also need more help than people who do not have substances along with their mental illness.

In many cases, a mental health counselor you will form part of your dual diagnosis treatment team. Proper treatment for the condition addresses your substance problems, as well as your other mental health problems. This reality can have an effect on where you receive treatment.

If your program only treats addiction, you may need to go to another location to see your counselor. The same holds true if your program only treats other types of mental health problems. However, in a program that addresses both issues in one location, your counselor will always be nearby. This convenience may add to your comfort while receiving treatment.

Learn More About Finding a Mental Health Counselor Near You

Need more information on how to find a mental health counselor? Just contact the experts at Emerald Isle. Our expert staff is standing by to provide the assistance you need. We also offer convenient, top-rated counseling services for all manner of substance and mental health problems.