Ways counselors help you increase your hope.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Hope

Hope.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Seeing a therapist can help you develop more hope.

Many of the clients who come to see counselors tell us that they suffer from low self-esteem. Low self-esteem may create anxiety and depression, and it certainly makes those two problems worse. It’s hard to accomplish much if you don’t feel good about yourself.

One key component of low self-esteem is a lack of hope. Hope is made up of two parts, the belief that if you try something, you be able to do it, and the belief that you can generate multiple plans that will get you to your goal. Having more than one possible path forward gives you options and hope. The process of working with the counselor or therapist can increase your hope and raise your self-esteem. Here are some of the ways counseling may increase your hope and boost your self-esteem.

Counselors increase hope by showing unconditional positive regard.

If you suffer from low self-esteem, you likely have become hopeless, and don’t feel good about yourself. Sometimes this is because significant people in your life were abusive or negative towards you. It can also be the result of believing that one failure makes you a failure in life. Counselors call this black-and-white thinking. It’s an example of perfectionism at its worst.

Counselors are trained to see the potential in their clients, not the problems. Having the counselor believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself can provide you with another way of looking at your challenges. When you’re able to see things from a different point of view, the path forward looks brighter.

Counselors believe in your ability to make changes.

One thing that makes counseling helpful is the counselor’s ability to believe in your potential for change. The counselor frequently believes in your potential far more than you believe in yourself. While the counselor may not like some of the things you’ve done or are doing, a good counselor will continue to believe in your abilities to grow and change even when you don’t.

Counselors can help you see that you are not alone.

The technical term for this is normalizing problems. At many points in your life, you will face challenges that are specific to that time. It’s common to think you should be farther along in life than your chronological age. It can be helpful to hear that what you’re going through is common for other teenagers, new parents, people starting a new job, and so on.

One of the reasons self-help groups can be so useful is that you will meet other people who are going through exactly what you’re going through. It is reassuring to know that you’re not defective or crazy. That given what you’ve been through, how you’re feeling and acting makes sense. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any things you can do to improve your life.

Sometimes all you see are the problems, not the possibilities.

The counselor can help you by offering you other perspectives on the challenges you are facing. This process is sometimes called “a new pair of glasses.” The technical term counselors are taught is reframing. If you’ve gotten used to looking at the world through a dirty pair of glasses, the whole world begins to look filthy. Cleaning your glasses by using the counselor’s vision of your life and future can help you see new possibilities.

Being honest and genuine increases hope.

The counselor can teach you how to be honest and genuine by demonstrating those characteristics. There may be other people in your life who were dishonest and lied to you. Knowing the truth can set you on the path to change. Hopefully, the counselor will tell you these hard truths in a general way, and at a time, you can hear them. That process of experiencing someone in your life as extremely honest can help you grow.

Counselors can help you learn needed life skills.

You only know what you know, and sometimes the biggest impediment to growth is not knowing what you don’t know. Many of the most useful skills in life are not taught in school. If your parent or caregiver had their own problems, and they almost always do, you may have learned some things about life that worked when you were a child, but don’t work now that you’re an adult.

Counseling can be a corrective emotional experience.

You may have had damaging emotional experiences in the past. The counseling room is one place you can work through those experiences without having to worry about living with or seeing this person after the processes over.

The process of sharing your deepest secrets with another human can be freeing. If your past relationships have been one-sided or abusive, meeting someone whose primary concern is helping you may be a new experience.

The therapy or consulting room is inherently a unique situation. It’s a place where you can reveal your darkest secrets and know that the counselor is legally and ethically bound to keep those secrets unless you are harming someone who is helpless and can’t protect themselves. It’s important to remember that the counseling room is a laboratory where you can learn new skills and practice them, but it’s not real life.

As you begin to change and grow, your counselor should help you to transfer the skills you’ve learned as a result of the counseling process into your life outside the counseling room. Ideally, your counseling experience will have increased your level of hope and raised your self-esteem.

For more about hope, please see – Hope

For more on the process of counseling, please see the category – Counseling and Therapy

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

2020 First-Foot.

2018 First-Foot.

By David Joel Miller.

1st foot.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The first-foot through the door each year sets the tone for the rest of the year.

There’s an old tradition; they say it comes from Scotland, that the first person through the door each new year sets the tone for the rest of that year.  Because of that, I wanted this to be my first post for the new year.

If this is your first time reading counselorssoapbox.com, I hope this post will start off your year in a good direction.  Longtime readers will know that this blog’s premise is having a happy life.

Life can have its struggles.  At some point in their life, everyone is likely to experience a mental, emotional or behavioral issue.  Because of this, I write a lot about mental health, mental illness, substance use disorders and overcoming the bumps on the road of life.  Here is hoping that this new year will bring happiness to you and yours.

Throughout this year on counselorssoapbox.com I plan to bring you tips about having a happy life, coping with emotional and mental issues and the impact that using and abusing substances might have on your mental and emotional health.

We will also present posts to help you with being a success. However, you define that success.  With over 1600 posts on counselorssoapbox.com so far, you’ll find plenty of tips in the past posts with more to come this year.  You might even want to consider subscribing to counselorssoapbox.com.

Thanks for being my lucky first-foot this year.

P.S.  If it takes you a while to get around to reading this post I will understand.  Whenever you get to it, please drop me a line.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Most read blog posts of 2019.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Blog

Blog post.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Which’s counselorssoapbox.com blog posts were read the most in 2019?

As the year 2019 comes to an end, I thought it would be worthwhile to look back at the most-read blog posts here on counselorssoapbox.com over the last year. As you can see, these posts cover a wide variety of topics.

Over the next year, counselorssoapbox will continue to bring you information about mental health, substance abuse, having a happy life, and generally coping with the ups and downs of modern life. If you have any questions, please send them on to me. I am hoping to see you all again in 2020.

In addition to the counselorssoapbox.com blog, we plan to publish additional books both in paperback and e-book formats, as well as expand the videos available on the counselorssoapbox YouTube channel.

Reasons Counselors and Therapists Lose Licenses               

6 ways to recover from Complex Trauma or Complex PTSD         

Is nicotine a stimulant or a depressant?

How much should you tell a therapist?

Levels or types of Borderline Personality Disorder

What if you go to the hospital drunk or high?

Do therapists have to report a crime?

What do therapists tell the police?

Do therapists tell parents what kids say?

Do counselors report rape?

Can you force a teenager to go for therapy?      

What do drug dreams mean?

Are you a Parentified Child?

Do people really forget what happened when drinking? – Blackouts 

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Drug Counseling Video #11 Recovery.

Drug Counseling Video #11 Recovery.

What is recovery from addiction and alcoholism? After drug treatment comes recovery. Recovery involves many dimensions. This video explores how we measure recovery, the role of feelings and recovery, and relapse triggers. Unhelpful thoughts can be detrimental to recovery and it’s important to recognize when you’re having unhelpful thoughts. Recovery also involves learning how to handle urges and what to do if the recovering person should have a relapse.

Drug Counseling Video #10 Individual Counseling Skills.

Drug Counseling Video #10 Individual Counseling Skills.

Two basic drug counseling skills involve the use of motivational enhancement and the knowledge of the stages of change a client may be moving through. Stages of change include pre-contemplative, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and possible relapse. Skills needed for motivational interviewing include the ability to express empathy, develop discrepancies, roll with resistance, and support self-efficacy.

Drug Counseling Video #9 Counseling Skills.

Drug Counseling Video #9 Counseling Skills.

What are the counseling skills that a beginner counselor needs to develop? In this video, we will look at the core conditions to make counseling effective, some brief therapy methods, how to work with feelings, and the use of nonverbal skills. The counselor needs to teach the client what to expect from the process of counseling. Important counselor skills include listening skills, leading skills, avoiding rumination, self-disclosure, and influencing skills. The counselor will be looking for change talk, doing appropriate confrontation, disputing unhelpful beliefs, dealing with emotional baggage and boundary issues. The counselor also needs to know how to document counseling and how to pair the client for the end of counseling.

Drug Counseling Video #8 the drug counseling field.

Drug Counseling #8 An overview of the drug counseling field.

Drug counseling involves a lot more than just talking to clients or giving advice. This video explores some of the skills and knowledge a drug counselor needs to develop to be successful on the job. Topics include: what makes drug counseling effective, working with mandated clients, the differences between drug counseling and mental health counseling, modalities, ASAM patient placement criteria, what happens after treatment, and collateral services.

Drug Counseling Video #7 Records and Ethics.

Drug Counseling Video #7 Record-Keeping and Ethics.

Drug and alcohol counselors need to know about record-keeping and ethical issues. Record-keeping includes documentation, writing monthly reports and preserving copies of intake paperwork, assessments, and treatment plans. Counselors need to know about their specific code of ethics as well as general ethical issues involving scopes of practice and competency and boundaries.

Drug Counseling Video #6 counseling sessions.

Drug Counseling Video #6. Individual and group counseling sessions.

Drug and alcohol counselors need to become skilled in both individual counseling and group counseling. They should be familiar with best practices, multicultural counseling, counseling theories, counseling techniques, and feelings work.

Drug Counseling Video #5. Case Management, Crisis Intervention, and Education.

Drug Counseling Video #5. Case Management, Crisis Intervention, and Education.

Drug counselors need to understand the tasks involved in case management, crisis intervention, and education. This video discusses how to determine the dangers in the situation evaluate client’s resiliency and the process of placing clients on a legal hold or involuntary commitment. Drug and alcohol counselors often need to provide education to the client, their family, and the community.