by Laurie Conaty, LCSW, LCAS, PA
COVID presented us with many opportunities and lots of time (too much sometimes) to consider the path we are on—in jobs, self-care, our relationships with others and just things we would like to have different in our lives! Mental health and well-being were the focus of much attention during the most active phase of the pandemic and now we are all trying to develop a “new normal.” The use, and sometimes misuse, of alcohol and other drugs was prevalent as a way to cope with the stresses we all faced. If you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed by any of these things–don’t hesitate to consider counseling or therapy to get “unstuck!”
Picking up the phone to make a therapy appointment, let alone walking in the door for that first appointment, is intimidating for most everyone…but, know that you are a courageous person for making that appointment or accepting the concerned suggestion to “see someone” offered by a loved one or healthcare professional. Think of consulting a therapist as you would going to a healthcare provider with an earache that does not go away despite your best efforts to get it to do so—you wouldn’t give that a second thought, right? Therapy should be the same–noticing a concern you have that won’t go away or that you are not sure how to tackle? Consider therapy.
The goal of a therapist is to understand what YOU would like to have different in your life and to help you identify solutions…they are not picking out your flaws- they want to help you resolve whatever concerns brought you to their office. Therapy can help you overcome barriers to creating the “new normal” or making the changes that you might have had lots of time to think about as you navigated the pandemic.
A therapist has heard a lot of stuff, so don’t think you’re the first. Tell the truth from your perspective and the whole story. You owe it to yourself—it will help you both identify the source of problems and resolve them more quickly. And along those lines….
Your sessions are confidential…information is not shared with anyone without your informed consent-there are a couple of exceptions to this when it comes to protecting your life or that of another or of protecting a dependent child. But, you can ask about this (and you should be told anyway) before you disclose anything to a therapist.
Finally, what is a therapist? A therapist is licensed to independently diagnose and treat emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric disorders. The largest group of professionals licensed to do this in the USA is LCSW’s (Licensed Clinical Social Workers) who provide approximately 68% of all psychiatric care. The next largest group is PhD/PsyD-Clinical Psychologists. Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHC) also provide behavioral healthcare services. Psychiatrists (MD-Medical Doctor) with a specialty in Psychiatry, provide both therapy and medication consultation and management.
BHA, LLC has these providers under one roof–including a Board-Certified Child and Adult Psychiatrist. We are happy to answer any questions you have, and you do not need a referral! Sometimes we all need help with creating a “new normal!” Please call us at 919.292.1464. behavioralhealthcareassociates.org