Life is full of struggles, stress, challenges and obstacles. Getting through life’s challenges isn’t easy, especially when you feel you’re alone. There are many ways to overcome obstacles and achieve well-being.

Whether you call them counselors, therapists, or even “shrinks,” many people wonder what happens in the office of a therapist. Did you know that April is Counseling Awareness Month?

If you ever found yourself wondering if counseling is right for you, now may be a good time to try. There are lots of misconceptions about what happens in a mental health counselor’s office, but the reality is that, most of the time, it is really just a conversation between two people, one of whom is educated in helping people when they are going through difficult times or want to figure something out.

If you decide to see a counselor you may get help in identifying what you want to address or change in your life. A counselor will not solve your problems, tell you what to do, or impose his or her personal beliefs about you or a challenge you may be experiencing. Instead, counseling can provide a safe, impartial and non-judgmental place to talk with you and listen.

Many people who visit a counselor simply want to improve their lives. It is not a weakness, nor is it a crutch. Visiting a counselor shows strength! It shows that you are ready and willing to tackle issues in your life that you want to change or are impeding your ability to be well. Check your own mental health before visiting a counselor by taking a brief self-assessment.  Taking a free, online anonymous screening can be the first step to promoting behavior change and optimal mental health.