While there are a plethora of benefits that you can receive from counseling, did you know that counseling can improve your communication skills? When you take the time to learn about yourself and process the things that have happened in life that have made you who you are, it can be easier to healthily share these experiences with others. Before we dive into the specific ways counseling can improve communication, we first need to discuss the basics.
When people talk about counseling, they are typically referring to a form of psychotherapy. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) explains, “Psychotherapy (sometimes called talk therapy) refers to a variety of treatments that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.” Furthermore, NIMH details, “Most psychotherapy takes place when a licensed mental health professional and a patient meet one-on-one or with other patients in a group setting.”
Speaking with a licensed professional can help you healthily process difficult emotions, memories, and experiences. By processing these feelings, it reduces the chance of stress and toxic thoughts manifesting in unhealthy or otherwise detrimental ways.
There are multiple varieties of counseling treatments for various diagnoses. Fortunately, many types of counseling can be beneficial in communicating with others about your recovery. Common types of counseling that are used most often include individual counseling, couples counseling, and family counseling. What type of counseling is needed depends on your individual needs as well as the clinician’s expertise. Each type of counseling can improve communication skills in different ways, and these skills can easily transfer over to various areas of life.
One-on-one or individual counseling offers you a safe space to process the difficult things you have been through. During sessions, your clinician will help you acknowledge and healthily deal with any unresolved trauma or undiagnosed mental disorders. Furthermore, if any concerning or destructive behaviors are keeping you from a healthy lifestyle, your clinician will help get to the root of those choices.
For example, consider someone trying to heal from a substance use disorder (SUD). A good counselor will know that substance use is often an attempt to treat a symptom of something deeper, like unresolved trauma or an undiagnosed mental health disorder. As a result, the counselor would help this person learn how to healthily deal with their trauma or mental health disorder instead of turning to substance use to self-medicate.
Individual counseling is beneficial for all aspects of life, as the more self-awareness you have, the easier you can identify your needs. In addition, the more you can understand how you operate and what your triggers are, the easier it will be to communicate it to others. Moreover, learning how to healthily communicate your needs, wants, and experiences can lead you to form and maintain quality, healthy relationships.
Learning how to communicate your needs and triggers is an important part of any healing journey. Maintaining healthy, supportive relationships while you heal is necessary for a successful recovery. While you don’t have to share your entire life story with everyone you meet, it is important to know how to effectively communicate with people you’re close to. This may include close relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. It could also include clinical relationships that may develop over time, such as the relationship you have with your doctors, healthcare professionals, professional counselors, etc.
In addition to improving communication and awareness through individual counseling, couples and family counseling can help improve communication among those closest to you. Difficult experiences such as substance use and trauma often drive wedges between you and your close loved ones. It may not be intentional, as conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are usually associated with substance use and trauma. PTSD may cause you to:
Couples and family counseling can help improve communication among all people present, as having a third party facilitating the conversations can ensure that everyone is heard and can share equally. This can make vulnerable conversations not feel as intimidating. A good counselor will acknowledge all feelings and healthily encourage honesty. It doesn’t mean the conversations won’t be uncomfortable or hard to hear. However, this type of counseling does ensure that you can feel safe enough to share and learn how to communicate your feelings with your loved ones.
Attending this type of counseling can prove to be beneficial to couples and families because mutual vulnerability and honesty can lead to deeper, higher-quality relationships. It can also clarify any boundaries that need to be set and uncover unhealthy relational dynamics that need to change. These skills can easily transfer over to other areas of life, as vulnerability and honesty are two crucial pillars in any type of relationship.
Here at Sage Recovery, we place deep value in the power of counseling. That’s why we offer so many forms of it in our treatment programs. We know it works and have seen amazing results. While we do offer evidence-based approaches like individual and family and couples counseling, we also offer more innovative forms of therapy, such as:
Additionally, our weekly group therapy sessions have proven to be an effective way to help people heal and learn how to communicate healthily. Some of the group therapy sessions we offer include:
No matter what brings you to Sage Recovery, we have masters-level clinicians and compassionate staff ready to help you. We know how difficult it is to take the first step toward healing from the hard things you’ve been through. That’s why we’re ready and willing to walk alongside you every step of the way. Our trauma-informed staff is extensively trained to treat every patient with dignity and respect as they heal. Whether you need an outpatient, residential, intensive outpatient, or partial hospitalization program, our customizable treatment plans are sure to help you heal healthily. Whenever you’re ready, reach out to us at (512) 306-1394. We’re here for every step of your healing journey.