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Counseling Awareness Month

Counseling Awareness Month Counseling Awareness Month
April 2006

What is Counseling Awareness Month?

Counseling Awareness Month is an annual observance celebrated in April to educate the public about the importance of counselors and the services they offer. The observance, sponsored by the American Counseling Association (ACA), directs attention to the significant contributions that counselors make in helping individuals live healthier, happier, and more productive lives.
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What is counseling?

According to the ACA, “Professional counselors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health.” Counseling is a technique that can be used by individuals coping with a mental illness, recovering from a trauma, managing stress, or dealing with family issues. Every day, some form of counseling makes a difference in the lives of individuals around the world.
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When should someone receive counseling?

Counseling can be beneficial in many instances. It can be a road to recovery for someone with a mental illness. Counseling also can help when a person is making a life-changing decision and needs assistance with putting things in perspective, or when a person needs help with improving or developing life skills. ACA offers this rule of thumb for anyone thinking about seeking counseling: If someone is questioning whether to go into counseling, that is probably the best indicator that he or she should.
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How much does counseling cost?

The cost of counseling services varies greatly depending on whether one goes to a public or community-based facility, or chooses a privately-run facility. Community mental health centers tend to charge less, because they receive funding from their local and State governments. Another factor to consider is whether the individual has health insurance that covers mental health services. For clients without mental health coverage, some counselors will charge on a sliding scale basis or work out a payment plan.
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How can I find out more about counseling and counselors?
To learn more about counseling and the work done by counselors, or to find a counselor near you, visit the American Counseling Association (ACA) web site. You also can obtain a copy of the Counseling Awareness Publicity Packet by calling ACA Member Services at (800) 347-6647.
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