Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

General Counseling

Diagnosis and Treatment - General Counseling

When most people think of psychological or psychiatric therapy, what they think of is general counseling, sometimes referred to as "talk therapy." In this form of treatment, a trained professional can address a number of mental and emotional issues by discussing any number of issues with his or her patient, including family issues (sometimes dating from the patient's childhood) to current life stresses and behavioral problems. This broad-spectrum approach to therapy is particularly effective for many types of patients, including:

  • Patients who may have an underlying disorder or combination of disorders, but for whom identification is somewhat difficult (in many cases, this therapy can help identify conditions which may need additional forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or medication therapy)
  • Patients who lack a normal social and familial support system that would otherwise help them express their emotions and relieve their stress
  • Patients who may not have a classifiable mental health disorder, but whose conditions are related to stressful life circumstances (such as the death of a loved one, work or financial pressures or family/marital strife)
  • Patients who are in need of techniques such as stress management or building self-esteem
  • Patients who are in need of longer-term therapy due to the duration or severity of their suffering
  • Patients whose additional conditions, such as substance abuse or eating disorders, require a broader approach to therapy in addition to their treatment for the concurrent disorder
  • Children and adolescents, who are less likely to be aware of or identify their own condition, and who are more comfortable with open exchange

Some individuals avoid therapy because they are afraid that once they begin therapy, they must continue with it for the rest of their lives. This is nothing more than a myth, as therapy is meant to be a solution with a definitive end result. Depending upon the condition, counseling may last for only a few sessions, or be performed on a more frequent and longer-term basis (as in more severe cases). In every case, however, the goal is to restore the patient to good mental health and normal functioning. At Houston Methodist Hospital, our staff is trained to recognize and encourage progress and help you to realize your full potential, in the shortest possible time for your particular case.