If you are reading this page it is possible that you or a loved one is interested in learning about mental health services specific for athletes. We are very glad you have come to us for information about how counseling can benefit athletes. At Suffolk Counseling Services, we offer sport specific mental health services as one of the many niches we are qualified to assist.

What is mental health counseling for athletes?

Mental health counseling for athletes is a specialized service catering to the unique psychological challenges prevalent in the world of sports.  Whether it is recovering from an injury, preparing for athletic retirement,  the mental side of services are often underlooked.  For athletes living with mental health needs, mental health services can provide an outlet for emotions that are otherwise not able to be expressed.  Through various modalities of therapy, coupled with an understanding of the dynamics of sport, we aim to provide the most well-rounded mental health services for athletes.

baseball player

Sport scenarios related to mental health:

  • Mental side of injury recovery
  • Pre-performance anxiety
  • Anxiety related to adjusting to new team
  • Stress due to being distant from family during season
  • Anxiety related to expectations
  • Disordered eating related to sport requirements

Mental health diagnoses common in sport:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Disordered Eating
  • Substance Abuse

What is different about counseling for athletes?

Mental health services for athletes differ in their tailored approach to address the unique psychological challenges associated with sports. These services recognize the specific stressors and pressures athletes may face, such as performance anxiety, competition-related stress, and the emotional impact of injuries or retirement from sports. Therapists specializing in mental health for athletes understand the intricacies of the sports environment and work collaboratively to develop strategies for managing these challenges.

Moreover, the counseling process may involve discussions around identity, transitions in athletic careers, and the balance between the demands of sports and personal life. Overall, the distinction lies in the nuanced understanding of the athlete’s experience and the targeted strategies employed to support their mental health and performance goals.

Mental health in professional sports:

In recent years, there has been a noteworthy shift in the sports world as athletes increasingly open up about their mental health struggles and actively work on improving their psychological well-being. Renowned athletes, from  Kevin Love, Dak Prescott, Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Aly Raisman, and Naomi Osaka, have courageously shared their personal journeys with anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. By speaking openly about their experiences, these athletes have not only helped break the stigma surrounding mental health but have also become powerful advocates for destigmatization and support. Their willingness to seek professional help, engage in therapy, and prioritize mental well-being has inspired many within and beyond the sports community. Their stories highlight the importance of acknowledging and addressing mental health in the athletic realm, fostering a culture that values both physical and mental fitness.