April is Counseling Awareness Month. Is there really such a thing? This month gives people the opportunity to showcase the unique benefits of seeking counseling. This month also allows clients and potential clients to find out what benefit counseling can offer. April is another opportunity to raise awareness, promote advocacy for the counseling profession, and to recruit new clients.
During the month of April, I want to take a tri-pod approach to this special month. This month I would like to celebrate those in this profession, those whom this profession assist and other benefits that counseling offers.
Celebrate. First is a celebration of counselors and all of us in the helping field from Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), psychologists, clinicians, career counselors, substance abuse counselors, and school counselors. April is the chance to honor all of us in the helping field. It is such an honor to work in a field that serves the mental health needs of its clients. This is also a celebration for the current clients as well, those who have already made the leap into enjoying the benefits of counseling and understanding the necessity of prioritizing wellness.
Advocate. Second is an opportunity to promote some advocacy for what counseling is and to explain to some what it is not. Advocacy is an important portion of the field that is often overlooked. Counselors often provide advocacy efforts outside the office often making referrals for other agencies, or outside agencies that can help clients. Additionally, assisting those with being able to advocate for themselves for their needs. Whether it be support for a substance abuse group, referral for after school activities for children or where the nearest food bank is located, advocacy is an important function of counseling.
Recruit. Last but certainly not least is the potential clients. I personally believe this month was created for those in this specific category. Those who have not made the leap and are either contemplating or in the beginning stages of change to begin therapy. Even those who are still undecided, benefit from having an awareness of counseling and benefits. If one is in the pre-contemplation stage and considering therapy, I hope this month brings the awareness one may need to gain wellness through therapy.