Benefits of psychotherapy & counseling

Page updated 08-10-2018. By Lucrezia Mangione, LCPC, NCC, BC-TMH, DCEP.

The benefits of psychotherapy and holistic counseling are unique to the person in counseling. In short, the benefits are highly personal. That said, there are some common factors. These fall into broad categories of:

  • A Beginning
  • A Middle
  • An End

Theses categories create a story and the story is real.  It’s the story of You.  It's the conscious discovery of what makes you act, think, feel, and be.

While the list of benefits are presented in a straight-forward way in this article, the act of actually experiencing counseling is much more of a non-linear, spiral experience.  The following benefits are not “steps” in counseling but rather human “processes” that contribute to the human experience of re-balance and improved wellness. Or said another way, it's your experience of self-healing because all healing is self-healing.

Empowered benefits of psychotherapy
Woman journaling about the benefits of psychotherapy
Positive benefits of psychotherapy & woman smiling

In the beginning, the benefits of psychotherapy & counseling include:

Safety: A safe space to be you

The space within a counseling session is a healing place of safety.  Safety is a real fundamental need we all have.  According to Stephen Porges, a neuropsychiatrist in social psychology,

Safety is the body’s detection of certain features in environment that tells our body that it doesn’t have to be vigilant . . .  Feeling safe is really our goal in life.

Understandably, safety and feeling safe can and does take time for some people.

In a safe space, you feel heard, you are listened to, you are seen.

Counseling provides an opportunity, a gift you give yourself, to be seen, heard, connected to and received by another human being who is a trained professional. Holistic psychotherapy and holistic counseling that is non-judgmental, non-critical, empathetic and non-pathologizing is powerful and empowering. 

Experiencing genuine support from a place of no criticism is a bit mind-stretching in our current culture. Judgment as attitude of criticism towards a client whereby the counselor's view is superior and is used demean a client subtly or obviously is a microaggression and is oppressive.  Being judgemental is not the typical style of professional counselors.  Being accepting non-judgemental is.

Self-discovery: Discover more about you

Sharing what you are comfortable sharing. Expressing yourself in ways that allow you to speak and share your truth is incredibly fulfilling.  This simple act of expressing yourself leads to discovering more about you.  One of the many benefits of psychotherapy and counseling is that it becomes a doorway into exploring what you know about you and discovering new aspects of who who really are.

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Emergency Numbers

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call:

  • 911
  • 240-777-4000: Crisis Hotline, Montgomery County, MD
  • 800-422-0009: Maryland state-wide Crisis Hotline
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline website

Clarity: Getting clear on what you need & want

The act of being in a safe space, being seen, heard and discovering more about you helps you get even clearer on what you want out of therapy.  It helps you gain clarity on the reason for coming. It helps you set your goal or goals. It also helps in identifying steps to get there and working towards achieving them.

Collaborate: you are not alone

Counseling offers an opportunity to collaborate with a skilled helping professional who works together with you as an ally to help you help yourself and attain your goal(s).

In this way, the collaboration between a counselor and client is about building therapeutic relationship skills that are supportive and beneficial.

In the middle, the benefits of psychotherapy & counseling include

Learning new things

During the process, learning happens.  You learn about yourself and also the counselor will likely offer information to educate you about your situation.  Your counselor may help you hone existing skills or share new ones for you to explore.  Your counselor may provide you with new data about something that concerns you or offer additional info about it.  All in all, teaching, learning and honing skills are a part of counseling.

Depth diving, gaining insight

Sometimes we may realize we don’t know why we behave the way we do. Understanding the underlying causes of our thoughts and behaviors involves going deep into our psyches.  Holistic psychotherapy and holistic counseling safely and gently helps a client go deep within themselves, to reflect on our  “unconscious motivations and historical explanations for your current patterns" as Dr. Marla B. Cohen shares.

Connecting the dots & patterns of behavior

When you discover patterns of behaviors you were unaware of before, you can work to change them.  Yes, you can. It’s not easy yet it’s extremely rewarding.

Making change

Working to change patterns of how we act and behave that no longer serve us into proactive healthy behaviors that do serve us is making real change.

Choice-making and freedom to choose

One of the many benefits of psychotherapy and counseling is that it may help you to make better choices.  Choice is empowering.  As you uncover unconscious motivations to things that you do that don’t serve you, you can choose what to do next.  Choice is profound.  Choice is freeing. Choice is proactive. Choice leads to solutions and self-healing. The choice is within you.  Counseling may help you to activate your conscious choice-making.

At the end, the benefits of psychotherapy & counseling include

At the end of therapy, typically, some improvement in wellness and health occurs. Throughout the process of counseling, the following four benefits can naturally occur . They are an organic part of the experience of consciously feeling our inherent wisdom.

Self empowerment:

The act of counseling helps us face ourselves and actively work towards our goals.  No one else is doing it but you. Only you can do it.  The counselor is a helping professional that helps you to help and heal yourself.

Self awareness:

Uncovering fears and the causal reasons that underlie the behavior that keeps you from your aims and living the life you want is empowering. This leads to becoming aware of yourself.  Once you bring to light that which was hidden and in the dark, you become more self-aware.

Proactive conscious choice making:

From self-awareness, you have a choice. You can choose to behave in ways that are informed by what you know about yourself.  Choosing a new path towards improving a behavior and starting a new habit.  Counseling can help you to be proactive choice maker. 

Quality of life:

Ultimately,  your quality of life and living can be improved.  Doing all the active work of self exploration, self-discovery, self-empowerment and improved choice making helps you towards attaining your goals. It can gently help you change your behavior which naturally enhances the quality of your life.

The bottom line is that it's all about you. The benefits of psychotherapy and holistic counseling are in allowing yourself the gift of receiving help; safely exploring whatever you wish and discovering solutions which may help you handcraft your own healing and health holistically.

If you'd like to learn more about the counseling therapy available at Handcrafted Health click here.

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Lucrezia Mangione is in private practice. She is a board certified licensed professional counselor, board certified telemental health provider, counselor supervisor and educator, and nurse wellness education consultant. View her profile.