People face life struggles every day and it’s not unusual to find people who are anxious, depressed, and coping with a variety of emotional and mental health problems. Changes in attitude and behavior, as well as physical signs and symptoms, occur when a person is mentally disturbed.
It’s a good thing that mental health experts are already available. They provide counseling, therapy, prescribe medications, and recommend various options to help people get through mental health issues.
Being a mental healthcare professional is a noble job. Most of the time, it means that you get to be an emotional and mental sponge, responsible for absorbing other people’s problems and trauma. However, the sacrifice is also worth it—especially when you see your patients doing better and develop coping mechanisms that make them functional and productive for day-to-day living.
So, do you want to become a mental healthcare professional? Do you think you can find fulfillment in this line of work? If yes, then this article is a must-read. Learn the advantages of becoming a mental healthcare professional below.
Understand Psychology Better Through Practice
If you become a mental healthcare professional, you’ll be able to understand psychology or the ‘study of the mind’ at a more in-depth level through the theories you’ve studied and real-world experiences you get from your line of work.
Universities, colleges, and even online learning platforms such as RTT, offer comprehensive training in psychology and mental health therapy. For instance, you can study the best hypnotherapy training programs and apply them in your job as you gain clients. As you conduct more hypnotherapy sessions, your knowledge and skills also broaden.
But what are other important psychology concepts and therapies one must learn to become more confident as a mental health professional? The different perspectives in psychology are as follows:
- Biological Perspective: In the biological perspective, the body and mind interact with one another. Human feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are the results of physiological factors. For instance, violent behavior can be a result of a brain tumor, brain injury, or other physical condition.
- Learning Perspective: Psychologists also learn that behaviors are the results of a person’s environmental influences. It means that people may behave violently due to the violent experiences they encountered in the past—including domestic violence, abuse, and trauma.
- Cognitive Perspective: Mental health professionals also learn that behaviors result from mental processes. There’s always a cognitive explanation for any violent behavior. Some people may perceive scenarios or circumstances in ways conducive to violence.
- Psychoanalytic Perspective: In the psychoanalytic perspective, instincts and the unconscious mind dictate human behavior. Hence, violence can be seen as a form of acting out of natural human aggression. A mental health professional learns how to handle patients who might show aggression by understanding this perspective better.
- Sociocultural Perspective: Mental health experts can also learn that cultural and social aspects are major behavior motivators. That’s why violence is highly prevalent in communities where the crime rate is also high.
Get A Chance To Deal With Different Types Of People
Not everybody is given a chance to interact with different types of people at a personal level. Mental healthcare professionals usually help people by asking them to express their thoughts and feelings. They see people burst into tears, curse and even act violently.
Regardless of a patient’s age, financial situation, social status, and mental health condition, mental health experts remain versatile, strong, and approachable. By having the chance to deal with other people and resolve their problems, mental healthcare professionals often find self-fulfillment in their field.
Different people may show signs and symptoms of various mental health problems such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia. Mental health professionals are specialized in dealing with these types of patients. As you handle more patients, you also grow your knowledge and skills and become more confident helping and understanding people.
Help People By Conducting Therapy
As you grow your knowledge and skills through continuous studies and training, you’ll be able to offer more services that will benefit your clients and your professional career. Each person has unique psychological needs. By being a mental healthcare professional, you’ll be able to assess your patient’s needs and provide the best treatment possible. Take a look at the following procedures and therapies that most mental health experts offer:
- Psychological Evaluation: Psychological assessment allows you to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of a person and identify potential problems with emotional reactivity and cognition. After a thorough psychological evaluation, you provide expert recommendations for treatment.
- Group Therapy: The process of how group therapy works involve gathering people who have common problems. A good example of this is Alcoholics Anonymous. As more people participate in the group and religiously attend sessions, they start to trust one another and become more open to sharing their feelings, thoughts, and concerns. A psychiatrist or psychologist acts as a facilitator in a group therapy session.
- Hypnotherapy: Hypnosis is a very effective method to help relieve stress and anxiety using guided relaxation and intense concentration until the patient attains a trance state or heightened state of awareness.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This short-term collaborative therapy technique helps people find new ways to change their negative thought patterns and behaviors. The counselor and the patient work together in cognitive behavior therapy to attain these goals.
Become More Aware Of Oneself
When you become a mental healthcare professional, you realize many things about life and increase your self-awareness. Through your interaction with people from various walks of life, you become more aware of yourself as you also start to relate to their current situation.
By helping people recover through their darkest moments, you become more sensitive to your thoughts and emotions too. With all your realizations and lessons, you grow as a person and become more effective in conducting mental health support and therapy for your patients.
Below are some realizations you could have once you become a mental health professional:
- You can identify your problems clearer than before.
- You learn how past experience can affect your beliefs and feelings.
- You can see situations from a different perspective.
- You can better understand the motivations and actions of other people.
- You become more aware of your mood and other people.
- You avoid generalizations and stop self-blaming.
- You can focus more on how to accomplish things.
- You learn to describe, understand, and accept than judge others.
Become Part Of The Solution
Mental health professionals can help reduce the crime rate in a particular place. In some states, mental health experts and police officers work jointly to prevent crime and keep communities peaceful.
In a study, the correlation between crime and mental illness has been vastly documented. Generally, people with poor mental health are more likely going to commit crimes as compared to other individuals. In the United States, 50% of prisoners have been diagnosed with mental illnesses, which is double the rate of civilian adults. Furthermore, the number of people with mental illness housed in major incarceration facilities in the United States exceeds the number of patients in psychiatric institutions.
By becoming a mental healthcare professional, you’ll be able to help authorities reduce the number of:
- Mass shootings
- Suicide bomb attacks
- Social media bullying
- Rape and other types of sexual violence
- Senior or elderly abuse
- Child abuse
How To Become A Mental Health Professional
You’ve just learned the advantages you can gain from becoming a mental healthcare professional. But how do you become one? If you want to pursue a career in this field, it’s important to keep yourself abreast with the right education through theoretical and hands-on training.
Traditionally, mental health experts must complete any psychology or health-related course, undergo relevant hands-on training, and pass the licensure examination to become a psychiatrist or psychologist. Of course, this route is the best way to go in terms of credentials and working in healthcare settings like hospitals and long-term care facilities like rehabilitation centers.
More recently, the mental health profession also includes other professionals such as life coaches and relationship coaches with years of experience in dealing with specific types of people. However, these professionals don’t offer psychoanalysis, medications, or therapy. These professionals learn specific psychology concepts through short course training and undergo certification.
Even if you don’t have a college degree in psychology, you can still learn its concepts via short courses or training. You can take mental healthcare courses online such as hypnotherapy and apply what you’ve learned to help your family and friends, as well as other people.
You’ve just learned the different advantages of becoming a mental healthcare professional, such as being able to help other people, reduce crime rates, and raise self-awareness. The knowledge and skills you’ll learn from being a mental healthcare professional can benefit you and your community.
Whether you want to become a full-fledged psychiatrist or psychologist, you need theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience. So, it’s best to choose a psychology degree while in college, then get real-world experience from clinics and mental healthcare facilities.