Tuesday Tips for Caregivers ~ How Counseling Can Help

How Counseling Can Help

Caregiving takes a toll on our mental health. Why? Because of all the stress the role and responsibilities of caregiving entail, many caregivers over-exhaust themselves and burn out. Being overly stressed can lead to anxiety, depression, and negatively impact your social relationships. Additionally, the emotional toll caregiving takes can start to assault our confidence, happiness, and overall mental stability. However, family caregiving does not have to lead to such an unfortunate result. Today, ElderCare at Home wants to go over an important resource that can often be underutilized: mental health counseling. We will define what mental health counseling is and how it can help family caregivers manage the stressors in their life.

Mental Health Counseling

Mental health counseling is a process when a patient meets with a counselor to achieve mental and emotional well-being. Mental health counselors are appropriate for a variety of people, not just individuals who have a diagnosed medical disorder. Licensed mental health counselors are there to help anyone and everyone find happiness in their lives through therapy.

In the context of family caregiving, there are even counselors whose role is specifically to help family caregivers either through one-on-one meetings or through support groups (comprising multiple family caregivers in one room). The goal of meeting with an individual counselor is to allow you the time and space to express your thoughts, what challenges you face, and how you have been feeling overall. This is a space that is confidential and private, and it gives you the time to share your thoughts openly and freely in a judgement-free zone.

Many times, people are afraid to share some of their deepest feelings because they are embarrassed or ashamed. But, when you are in a therapy session, you should not feel embarrassed or ashamed because the goal is to address the thoughts you have been afraid to express with others. Therapists and counselors help you analyze and reflect on your thoughts and feelings, and they can guide you through a process of finding appropriate solutions. One of the major benefits of speaking with a counselor is that they help you find effective coping mechanisms to help manage stress, like mindfulness practices, critical thinking, and communication tips.

There are a variety of counselors that have different specialties. Ideally, if you find a counselor that specializes in caregiving matters, they may be best positioned to provide you with the specific insight and feedback you are searching for. However, there are many counselors that are available or all kinds of mental health concerns, so do not limit yourself.

Organizations like the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center offer support groups that involve you meeting with a group of other family caregivers and a discussion leader to which you express what is on your mind. The goal of support groups is to allow group participants share their experiences with others in similar situations and to allow everyone to give their perspective on topics that are brought up. Support groups allow dialogues to be had, which can result in new perspectives on problems many individual caregivers face.

If you have any other questions, please call ElderCare at Home for more information on counseling services that exist in your community. Call us at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.

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