Counselors work in different settings and focus on different specialties. Here are just a few examples: some counselors work in agencies with a specific focus such as domestic violence, couples and families, depression, addiction, grief and loss, etc.; some work in schools and colleges working with students; and others work in private practice.

Counselors may also choose to focus on one area of expertise, such as Trauma/PTSD. Other counselors choose to work with people who share certain qualities (this is what I do). I enjoy working with people who are willing to try something different to increase their quality of life, whether it’s for personal growth, an exploration of relational style, making meaning of their lives, exploring childhood issues, wanting to connect on a deeper level, or a recognition that something is blocking their success. Sometimes people want to re-discover themselves after feeling as though they have “lost” their true identity through parenting or relationships. These people can have any combination of the concerns that bring people to counseling (trauma, depression, anxiety, relationships, panic attacks, chronic pain, etc.).

Lastly, it isn’t “weak” to seek counseling or ask for help. It actually weakens us to keep trying to do it all or be “perfect,” much more than seeking specialized help from a qualified professional. People who seek counseling and work through their concerns are often much more centered (stronger) than those who try to “tough it out” on their own.

For the record, I think everyone benefits from counseling. “Wait, does that include counselors (doctors, lawyers, pilots, etc…)?” Yes! Because we are all people first, and we all experience similar emotional and psychological difficulties throughout our lifetimes (grief, trauma, stress, relationships, childhood, and adulthood). Sometimes we need guidance working through these issues for a short period of time, and then we’re off and running again. Here’s to your health! Be well!

~RuthAnne Alexander, MS, NCC, LPC