The American Counseling Association 20/20 Division (2010) defines counseling as, “a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”
But what does that really mean? What does that look like?
Counseling is one tool you can use to help you achieve your life goals. For some that means finding your perfect career. For others it means managing high levels of anxiety that come before a test. Or navigating through difficult decisions, boundary making, and relationships. Or coping with a loss. Or managing a crisis. It could be a number of things, big or small.
As the ACA’s definition states, counselors are highly trained to help you accomplish all of your goals, including mental health, wellness, education and your career goals. Counselors have a belief in being preventative in our wellness and to treat our wellness from a holistic approach.
Exercise to Measure Your Wellness
The first step in feeling better and living a healthy life is to gain awareness about your life. One way to do that is to measure, subjectively, where you believe your wellness is at by breaking it down. Once you have measured each section separately, you are able to compare the different areas and create goals to improve areas and achieve wellness in your life.
On a piece of paper, draw out seven equal columns like the one you see here. Label each section as shown : Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, Social, Environmental, and Financial.
Next, read each section above in the colored boxes. Think how that corresponds with your life currently. Think about the aspects of that section that you are doing well with and not so well with. On a Scale of 1 to 10, rate what your current score would be.
For example, under the Physical section:
1– Not at all satisfied with your current level of physical health. You do not eat nutritious food. You do not exercise. You do not sleep on a regular sleep cycle or get enough sleep. You haven’t been to the dentist in a couple of years. You do not practice safe sex.
10-You are VERY SATISFIED with your current level of physical health. You exercise 3-5x per week and eat very nutritiously. You seek preventative health care, like regular check ups. You maintain a healthy sleep cycle.
Once you have a measure 1-10 on each section, color each pillar in that corresponds with that number like a bar graph. If you rated your environmental health a 5, color the column halfway up, for example.
Here is a sample of what it might look like:
Reflect on this. Where do you want those ratings to be at in 3 months? 1 year? 5 years? What areas are most important to you? What action could you take today to improve just one thing?
Want a physical copy? Download the PDF here.