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April is Counseling Awareness Month!

Each April, the American Counseling Association (ACA) celebrates the importance of counseling. Not only is it a time to acknowledge the contributions made by counselors to improve the lives of individuals, but it is also a time to promote awareness of counseling and the resources made available by counselors.  

What are counselors? 

The ACA states that counseling is a professional relationship that assists individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.  

Professional counselors are licensed or certified by the state where they work and/or by a national organization such as the National Board for Certified Counselors or the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. 

How can counselors help? 

Professional counselors help people with solutions to the challenges they face in everyday life. They are trained and credentialed professionals who work with clients to improve their wellbeing. In 2020, more than 70% of individuals who sought counseling reporting doing so because of feelings of isolation and depression brought on by the pandemic. 

Counselors use a variety of therapy techniques based on their understanding of the client’s needs and their opinion on what may best help them. Counselors use a wellness-based philosophy and although they are trained to diagnose and treat mental health disorders, they are also committed to improving your overall wellbeing to create strategies that are unique to your personal goals.  

Where can I find a counselor? 

There are more than 665,000 counselors working in private practices, health care centers, community agencies, schools and colleges, and other organizations throughout the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Depending on your needs and the community you live in, there may be a variety of settings where you can find a referral for the appropriate provider. There are also options online—many for no charge!