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5 Things Counseling Can Do That Medication Can Not

Benefits of Talk Therapy

  • Avoid Negative Physical Side Effects
  • Discover the Root of the Problem
  • Provide Possible Solutions
  • Prevent a Lifetime of Pharmaceutical Costs
  • Reduce the Chances of a Relapse

Sometimes referred to as "talk counseling," counseling can do many things for patients that medication can not. Counseling is any situation where a person in need of help visits someone will listen to a person's problem, or problems, to seek a solution. While the counselor is sometimes a member of the clergy, a teacher or an academic advisor, many people visit psychological counselors for objectivity and relevant experience to their clients' needs.

Talk counseling is often offered in conjunction, or in lieu of, medication. Many patients can benefit from pursuing counseling for meaningful healing, but it may help to understand why many people find it so effective to talk through life's issues, as opposed to taking medication, when possible.

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1. Avoid Negative Physical Side Effects

The side effects lists of many medications are often extensive, unpredictable and unnerving. Psychology Today cites the seemingly endless stream of television commercials, as well as their potential side effects, for medications aimed at treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. The article goes on to discuss how confusing and disorienting such a list is for someone struggling just to feel better, emotionally. With talk counseling for depression and anxiety often proves highly effective and may eliminate the need to take any accompanying medications.

2. Get to the Root of the Problem

While medication can alleviate some of the initial symptoms of depression or anxiety, patients can not necessarily continue using those medications forever. Most people want to find a lifelong solution, which talk counseling has a better chance of providing. Drugs sometimes dull feelings to the point where patients cannot tap into those crucial feelings to find the source of their unhappiness to work through them.

3. Provide Possible Solutions

Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications can offer suffering patients much-needed initial relief from their condition, but they do not offer a long-term solution and other benefits of counseling. Counseling is often uncomfortable, in terms of the topics patients must dig into, but patients often experience meaningful breakthroughs when exploring that discomfort with a trusted professional. A counselor serves as a sounding board, allowing the patient to safely mine their past to understand the reasons for their current condition. Together, the two can work toward developing proper responses and coping mechanisms to begin to heal.

4. Prevent a Lifetime of Pharmaceutical Costs

It is no secret that medications are expensive. Most people would prefer to avoid becoming saddled with a long-term pharmacy expense. While counseling can go on for several months, or even years; it is not the lifelong commitment that a prescription medication often becomes. When patients skim over learning the source of their condition, there is usually no real solution, which generally makes continuing taking medications necessary.

5. Reduce the Chances of a Relapse

Patients who commit to meaningful counseling often walk away with a tool chest full of critical information about the reasons for their condition. More importantly, once ready to leave counseling, the patient often feels confident enough—armed with high-impact coping skills—to face the ups and downs of life.

Patients who need relief may want to continue investigating the many benefits of counseling that can help clear their mind and offer concrete solutions for healing.

Source: Huffington Post