What is counselling and why would I do it
Why go to counselling?
It seems to me that our culture is still a bit hung up, maybe even in denial about getting help for what happens in our heads. We go the doctor when something is not right in our body, to the dentist when our tooth hurts, to the salon or barber when our hair gets too long or out of control. So it seems natural that when we have emotional distress that doesn’t go away on its own, we would get professional help.
Let me admit right up front that I am biased. I became a counsellor because of a growing awareness as I went through life that everyone, even myself, has times when the problem in front of us is too much to handle on our own, when we can’t get rid of feelings, thoughts or behaviours that don’t serve us well, when we have tried everything to solve a problem but it still won’t go away.
People go to counselling when they need help figuring something out, with someone who has tools and strategies that work, who knows how to listen carefully and deeply, in a safe and confidential space.
Myths about counselling:
Only weak people go to counselling.
People who go to counselling are in fact both strong and courageous. It shows strength to reach out for help when you need it. It takes courage to face difficult problems and deal with them. No one can do it all on their own.
Maybe I am crazy if I need counselling?
Most people who go to counselling are ordinary everyday people with ordinary everyday problems. Adjusting to major life changes, experiencing grief, processing anger, improving relationships, working on self esteem and addressing core beliefs about body image are common examples of what brings people to therapy. It is normal to feel worried about not being normal! Going to a counsellor for help managing difficult emotions, behaviours or experiences doesn’t mean you are crazy.
It will just go away if I ignore it:
Ignoring problems doesn’t always make them go away, in fact it often makes them worse and harder to deal with. Sometimes they go away for a while and next thing you know, there they are, back again. Different day, same old problem. Of course some problems do go away on their own, but having someone to listen and support you while you go through hard times helps you get through until it does go away.
The benefits of counselling:
Mental health is just like physical health – both are constantly changing because both are affected by events, injuries, illness, the environment around us, and our genetics. Some of these things are under our control and some are not. Counsellors help you care for your mind health like doctors help you care for your physical health.
What can counselling do for you?
- Counselling gives you support so you can tackle difficult problems and issues and find ways to solve or come to peace with them
- Counselling helps keep small problems from becoming big problems
- Counselling gives you perspective so you can see the “big picture”
- Counselling takes you out of “auto-pilot” and puts you in control of your life
- Counselling helps restore and engage your natural strengths and abilities
- Counselling gives you new tools and strategies to approach problems with
- Counselling can bring you back to a natural state of wellness and wholeness so that you can thrive – whatever your circumstances