College students have their own unique set of problems, as is typical for any group of individuals participating in a set of pre-determined goals that are tightly focused around narrowly defined objectives. In the case of a typical college student, the pre-determined goal is surviving college or graduate school with the objectives of mastering a subject area and completing a degree which symbolizes the effort and sacrifice that was made by the student over an extended period of time.
During such an academic tenure, college students may need help in a variety of ways that include but are not limited to:
Adjusting to the college environment
Dealing with professors they may not like
Managing time for homework/classes/relaxation
Assessing a drug or alcohol problem
Coping with relationship stress
Figuring out if counseling should be utilized
Accomodating parents with their own set of problems
Handling a roommate problem
Contemplating suicide, self abuse, or quitting school
Coping with OCD
Dealing with anxiety and panic attacks
Figuring out how to handle eating disorders (binging, bulimia, anorexia)
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The subject is Psychology.
Counseling involves a professional relationship between the counselor and an individual, couple, family, or group. The purpose is to achieve mental health, overall wellness, educational or career goals, or other relevant goals pertaining to the individual or group.
There are five career paths which enable a person to provide counseling and/or psychotherapy. All of these careers require a Master’s degree, a Ph.D, or in the case of a psychiatrist, an M.D. These professions are:
-psychiatrists: medical doctors trained in assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. They can also prescribe psychiatric medicines and admit patients to hospitals.
-psychologists: are trained to do psychotherapy, psychological testing, and research
-counselors: have a specific specialty (gerontology, education, school, marriage and family, addiction, mental health, career)
-licensed clinical social workers: do a variety of activities such as psychotherapy, advocacy, education, linking clients with services, research, etc.
-advanced psychiatric nurses: have a degree in nursing and extra training to work in mental health settings; can provide psychotherapy, and in some states provide medication
There are of course undergraduate degrees offered in psychology, social work, and sociology. Students take these classes or majors often to prepare for their graduate work. Psychology studies thought, behavior, and emotion. Social work focuses on human problems, life-threatening situations, and tries to help the human condition and society at large. Sociology looks at the behavior of human beings as they relate to other people, groups, and society.
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I’ve been a therapist for 20+ years. Whether working with schizophrenics or the general public, self-esteem is an issue for the majority of my clients.
Self-esteem, as described by the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that self-esteem develops in childhood if the following elements are present:
-sense of security, sense of trust
-sense of belonging, sense of acceptance
-sense of purpose, having support
I think the easiest way to obtain self-esteem is if our parents could have given it to us in childhood. But it seems that very few parents know how to do this, and they cannot give us what they do not have themselves.
If you are a person of color, LGBT, disabled, or different in any other way, you will have to work harder to improve your self-esteem. It’s a difficult job under the best of circumstances!
I work on self-esteem with many of my clients because it affects how they behave towards themselves, how they permit others to treat them, and it can color the way they perceive the world. If we disrespect ourselves, we will probably allow others to disrespect us, as well.
I am suggesting that as difficult as it is, find yourself a support group, a good role model, self-help material, and/or a professional of some sort, and do this work if you need to. Change and growth are scary, but you can do it, and you are worth it!
I have been working with police officers since the start of my practice over twenty years ago. It is important to understand what happens to police while on the job, especially in relation to whatever personal issues they might already have. Add 9/11 to the pile, and you may see some very traumatized individuals.
While in high school, two friends of mine had gotten into a physical altercation with two local cops. Although the two friends were acquitted, this situation actually went to trial and my friends could have served jail time. Watching this unfold, I developed fear of the police, and an unfavorable impression.
When I started my social work career, the negative perceptions still existed. Now after so many years in the field, I have had the opportunity to work with many officers. The cops that come in for therapy, for the most part, are well-meaning, kind individuals who are in a great deal of emotional pain.
Imagine these officers going to work each day, knowing they may be shot, knifed, disabled for life, or killed. They might be the unintended or the intentional target of someone’s rage. Cops witness people dying and see other very disturbing scenes at car accidents. They have to investigate foul odors that may in fact, be decomposing bodies. Because of the support they offer fellow officers, whether they have died of natural causes, or been killed in the line of duty, they attend numerous wakes and funerals. In other words, seeing a dead person in a uniform (like theirs) is a regular occurrence.
The spouses, significant others, and children of cops live a difficult life as well. Every family faces each day with the fear that their loved one may not return home after a shift. They hear a news bulletin describing some horrible event or tragedy and naturally wonder if their beloved is safe. The issue of the officers’ ever-changing schedule also often leaves them sleep-deprived, and their families extremely frustrated.
Many officers are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One officer I treated stopped eating pasta for a while—the pasta reminded him of brains he saw. Another officer would see faces of dead bodies when she saw pale-looking artwork or garden statues. They report flashbacks, anxiety, panic, nightmares, and exaggerated startle response. Officers can feel detached from others, have outbursts of anger, and can worry about a foreshortened future for themselves and/or their families.
The unfortunate issue here is that many officers are doing their jobs and trying to balance home and family with their work, while truly suffering in silence. They are often afraid to seek help because they fear being labeled weak, sick, or unstable. They don’t want to use their health insurance for mental health treatment. They will not see a psychiatrist, and they most definitely will not take medication. It could be that this silent suffering is what leads many cops to excessive drinking, extra-marital affairs, anger control problems, and even suicide. Police can actually feel as though they are losing their minds.
An interesting aspect of an officer’s self-image is revealed when she is asked, “What kind of work do you do?” Many officers almost whisper their answer, “I’m a cop.” I suspect that police have received a variety of responses when they share this information, obviously, not all good. They can appear nervous about what the reaction will be. I believe that cops deal with a great amount of prejudice, and for the good cops, that’s a real shame.
If you search the internet for “police stress” you will discover many sites having to do with job-related issues including physical, social and psychological problems.
In summary, it is not only the police who are suffering in silence, but most likely firefighters and EMTs as well. Many of these folks do not recognize that they are in distress. Some will deny their emotional pain until they can’t take it anymore. This can result in full-blown anxiety and panic, feeling unable to work, or maintain control.
Since the 9/11 attacks, PTSD is more visible to the public. It is good to recognize and treat traumatized workers and other affected people as we would veterans. It is, however, for those individuals being traumatized on a regular basis, that this article was written.
Are you in an abusive relationship? Would you know it if you were? I am often amazed that people either do not recognize they are being abused, or hints of this enter their consciousness and they quickly proceed to block it out.
Abusive relationships result in one or both parties being damaged. This can be physically, sexually, verbally, and/or emotionally. These relationships are dysfunctional. The abuse is often repeated and can last for years. Neglect, cruel behavior, pressure, and abuse, are all illegal.
Domestic violence statistics reveal that a woman is assaulted or beaten in the U.S. every nine seconds. The leading cause of harm to women is domestic violence, which tops car accidents, rapes, and muggings. More than three women are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands in the U.S. each day.
Physical abuse of course, is the most obvious type. But sometimes the victim will make excuses for the abuser, i.e., “I know he didn’t mean it” or “I know she’ll never do that again.” After all, this is ugly stuff to deal with, so maybe if we ignore it, it will go away.
Ask yourself if you are made to have sex when you don’t want to. Are your phone calls or visits with family or friends monitored or prevented altogether? Are you constantly criticized? Does your partner try to control, limit, or have power over your activities? Do you have access to joint money and credit cards? Is your partner too angry or too jealous? Are you verbally threatened or physically hurt? Are your personal items destroyed? Are you publically humiliated? Has teasing gone way beyond so-called fun?
If you suspect you are a victim of abuse, or if you think you are abusing your partner, look up “domestic violence” in your county or state. For an emergency situation, dial 911 (United States). For further information on this subject read four facts about about abusive relationships; or read about domestic violence statistics. If you have suffered from domestic violence, and need safety and support, check out the Center for Safety and Change. All websites were were checked and verified correct in March 2016.
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