Mental health problems such as alcohol addiction, anxiety disorders, depression, or substance use disorders are very common in Grand Rapids, MI. In recent years, there has been an increase in mental health problems in the US in general. However, as a study conducted by Insurance Provides shows, Grand Rapids has the highest rate of depression in the US. In fact, 25% of the population is diagnosed with depression, not to mention other mental health problems.
Considering this, it’s not surprising that a lot of people in Grand Rapids reach out to mental health professionals. Unfortunately, not everyone manages to cope with their problems. One of the main reasons is that not every counselor is reliable and qualified enough. In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to look for counselors that have advanced training, how the competence of therapists affects the quality of counseling, and what important skills all counselors should possess.
Counselors in Grand Rapids
Due to the increase in mental health problems and the reduction in psychological well-being, nowadays counselors are available all around Grand Rapids. However, not all of them are equally reliable. Today, looking for counselors and therapists that are dedicated to providing best practices and have advanced training is crucially important.
Counseling is a field that significantly changes throughout time. Over the last decade, there have been critical advances in the field of clinical mental health counseling. Specifically, as time goes by, more and more new strategies are implemented in counseling practice. Experienced therapists use various new techniques in order to help their clients deal with mental health issues more effectively.
Unfortunately, many counselors in Grand Rapids don’t try to advance their skills once they start working in the field of mental health counseling. As a result of using old strategies and focusing on time instead of quality, sometimes people feel even more depressed after counseling. Even more. Some therapists in Grand Rapids don’t take care of a nonjudgmental attitude, providing a safe environment, protecting clients’ rights, or building rapport. Consequently, clients might think that counseling, in general, doesn’t work.
However, counselors who receive advanced training and take care of their professional self-development actually help clients to overcome their problems and improve their psychological well-being.
Why Does Advanced Training Matter in Counseling?
Numerous studies show that therapists who continually receive new trainings, work hard on professional development, and gain more and more education have better outcomes. In fact, a 2011 study shows that a therapist’s competence has a significant effect on therapy quality (Fairburn & Cooper, 2011). As technologies develop, new evaluation strategies and modern counseling techniques are implemented in advanced counseling centers worldwide.
For example, in the past, not much was known about the ways the brain and body respond to the effects of trauma. Decades ago, the majority of counselors used only traditional methods such as talk therapy and didn’t pay attention to the physiological changes that accompany mental health problems. However, today, scientists have proved that trauma significantly affects our memory, impulse control mechanisms, and emotional reactions.
Therefore, professional therapists always wish to receive training and provide the best possible practice in order to help their clients actually get efficient results, deal with their specific problems, and gain the results they need and desire.
Therapist Competence & Therapy Quality
The competence of the counselors has a direct effect on the quality of the therapy and, respectively, on the outcomes clients receive. Even though every client is an individual and has diverse needs and necessities, there are some essential skills that successful mental health practitioners should possess.
- Nonjudgmental attitude – Therapists should be able to demonstrate acceptance and support of an individual, regardless of what they say or do. Unconditional positive regard is a term introduced by famous humanist psychologist Carl Rogers that is still commonly used in practice.
- Ability to listen – A counselor needs to listen to everything a client says. However, they need to be able to listen “between the lines” because it’s not only words that matter. They should keep a trace of their clients’ emotions, facial expressions, or tone of voice too, in order to deeply explore their problem.
- Genuine interest – Professional therapists are fully committed to their clients. They have a genuine interest in helping others deal with their problems instead of just performing their duties. Expressing genuine interest is a sign that the therapist is responsive and reactive.
- Empathy – Developing an empathetic attitude is crucial for gaining the client’s trust. And trust is vital for clear communication, listening, and problem-solving. Counselors who express empathy towards clients find it easier to connect with them emotionally and move forward in the counseling process.
- Practical and theoretical skills – Counselors should be up to date on the findings of recent studies and the latest technologies that are used in different types of therapies. Having proper practical and theoretical skills helps them choose suitable strategies during the process of therapy.
How Unqualified Therapists Put Clients At Risk
Not only in Grand Rapids, but unqualified therapists in general often put clients at the risk of developing even more severe mental health issues they already have. Many therapists don’t even understand how complex a specific problem is. Frequently, they can’t spot the significant signs in order to address the problem immediately and make the correct diagnosis.
For example, therapists who don’t maintain a nonjudgmental attitude tend to lower their clients’ self-esteem, and as a result, they become more vulnerable. Also, sometimes they refuse to support clients who are at risk of suicide, and as a result, they might lead to fatal consequences. Still, nowadays, anyone can call themselves a counselor even without any proper qualifications or experience, which makes it hard for people to differentiate between professional and unreliable counselors.
Therapists in Health For Life Counseling Grand Rapids
Our counselors at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids regularly receive advanced training about the most advanced findings and techniques in the field of counseling. The main purpose of the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center is to engage our counselors and help them understand the effects of trauma on people’s everyday lives, functioning, and psychological well-being.
We acknowledge the importance of continuous development and, as a result, are committed to advanced trainings and practices. Based on practice, trauma-informed counselors have a better understanding of various problems and tend to help their clients get better results.
Each counselor at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids has years of experience. They have been using various proven techniques and strategies to help individuals with different types of problems. So, if you’re looking for professional therapists in Grand Rapids but have difficulties choosing the right counselor or suitable therapy, reach out to our team at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids. Our counselors will help you deal with your problems and get the desired results.