Mental health has become a central concern in popular vernacular in recent years. Self-care, mental illness, neurodivergence and other such issues are becoming more widely understood and discussed. As the stigma surrounding therapy and counseling decreases, more people are seeking professional help. As mental health counseling grows in popularity, it is important to consider the roles of clinicians.
Recent developments in the role of psychotherapy, connections between brain and body, new technologies and increasingly diverse client populations all inform the role of mental health clinicians. The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Master of Science in Education – Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Track online program develop graduates with advanced competencies and skills that take new innovations and concerns into consideration in their careers.
The Role of Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy, the psychological treatment of disorders, really does work. While many people who struggle with mental health issues might turn to psychiatrists who can issue medication, the research on psychotherapy suggests it can be just as effective as medication, if not more so in some instances. As a result, people need counseling clinicians more than ever before.
According to Psychiatric Times, the benefits of psychotherapy extend beyond emotional and behavioral goals. Psychotherapy is also linked with positive changes in the body, resulting in less disability, fewer medical problems and fewer sick days from work.
Programs like UW-Superior’s MS of Education in Counseling, Clinical, and Mental Health online equips students to plan and implement psychotherapy assessments and treatments that can benefit patients’ minds and bodies.
The impact of psychotherapy on the body is most evident in recent developments surrounding trauma and how we understand it. In an article for Counseling Today, Jonathan Rollins posits, “I believe though that over the next 10 years, this will no longer be just the territory of trauma specialists. All mental health practitioners will need to have a solid understanding of the physiology of mental health and dis-ease if they choose to follow the latest research regarding health and healing.”
As our understanding of trauma and its effect on the body evolve, assessment and treatment approaches will need to develop. For example, assessment and treatments for developmental dyslexia, ADHD and other such disorders now take into consideration the role of the nervous system in functioning abilities.
Graduates of the UW-Superior program are offered myriad opportunities to better understand the connections between the brain and the body and employ them in clinical and educational settings.
According to the American Psychological Association, over 20,000 smartphone applications for mental health are available. Whether through telehealth services or consumer apps, Americans turn increasingly to their smartphones for therapy.
Many clinicians are still grappling with data privacy, usability and efficacy in digital mental health services. However, that does not mean it cannot be successful. According to a review of research published in Psychiatric Clinics, the efficacy, therapeutic alliance, satisfaction and safety of telehealth for eating disorders are all similar to those of in-person therapy.
Graduates of UW-Superior’s program can provide mental health treatment in a variety of settings, utilizing current research to inform crucial choices presented by digital mental health care trends.
Meeting the Needs of Diverse Populations
Counseling clinicians serve incredibly diverse populations, but disparities often hinder their ability to meet their needs. People from all backgrounds and experiences deserve access to quality mental health care.
Despite advances in equitable access to mental health care, such as with telehealth initiatives, the American Psychological Association suggests already existing population disparities often carry over into these developments.
Establishing and developing counselor-client relationships with diverse populations is vital to future innovations and developments in the counseling profession. UW-Superior’s expert faculty will help students navigate the counselor-client relationship with clients from various backgrounds and cultures.
The program empowers future counselors to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to provide mental health care to diverse populations in different settings. Recent developments in the importance of psychotherapy, the effects of trauma and the evolving capabilities and limitations of technology inform what counseling will look like in the future.