When many people think about therapy, movies like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Girl Interrupted” come to mind. Although more attention from the media is helping to lift the stigma on receiving counseling, what we see on the silver screen isn’t always accurate.
“Counseling sessions on TV and in the movies are often dramatized to be more entertaining,” says Aqeel Khan, MD, psychiatrist with Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. “In real life everything is much more formal and individualized.”
Who can therapy help?
There is still a stigma attached to who receives counseling and for what reasons. We tend to think about people suffering with eating disorders and addiction, but counseling can also help those dealing with:
“If you feel overwhelmed with a problem or situation, counseling can help,” Dr. Khan says. Especially in today’s rocky economy, many people can benefit from talking to someone about their problems – whether they are worried about losing their job or not being able to retire. “Asking for help puts you in control of your life,” Dr. Khan says.
During a typical therapy session, a counselor works with a patient one-on-one to talk through his or her problems. They work together to improve coping skills, stress management, conflict resolution and control during everyday life. “During therapy, people feel empowered because their problems are acknowledged,” Dr. Khan says. “The goal in counseling is to help patients accept themselves and identify goals for the future.” For these sessions to be successful, patients need to be open and honest with their counselors, as well as take an active role in their care.
To get help, all you have to do is ask
At Adventist Midwest Health, specialists provide counseling and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, seven days a week through qualified and experienced individuals. From outpatient consultations to inpatient mental health programs, they provide treatment to people of all ages.
According to the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, over two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental disorder don’t seek treatment. Yet Dr. Khan says getting help is the best thing someone can do. “Adventist Midwest Health counselors are here to support you and give you the encouragement you need to accomplish your goals,” he says.