Why Seek Counseling
By: John Cothron
Why Seek Counseling
There are many reasons people should seek out a mental health counselor; substance abuse, depression, anxiety, anger, relationship problems, behavioral problems, self-esteem issues, infidelity, post-traumatic stress, and pre-marital counseling just to name a few.
Counseling can help us through difficult stages in our lives, allow us to gain clarity on why we behave in certain ways and improve our relationships. The job of a counselor is not to solve the patient’s problems; it is to help the patient come to their own solutions. It should be a safe place to go and say what needs to be said, even if we are afraid to say anything in other situations.
If you have been told by family or friends, on several occasions, there seems to be a problem, chances are there is. If you continue to have the same issue with more than a couple of people, you could be the issue. Regardless of how highly we think of ourselves, we are not always in the right, or handle things in a healthy way. When you do find a counselor, you may not feel comfortable unloading everything immediately, that is ok and expected. Trust needs to be developed so therapy can help you with whatever is going on in your life.
Let us face the facts, we hide who we really are from the outside world, from our families, even though we may tell everyone, “I am an open book”, God forbid anyone really knowing who we are. How relieving would it be to talk to someone you can be you with? It is a process and takes some time for you to let someone in and see the real you. Counselors are trained to be empathetic and objective. You see a therapist to help you navigate what issues are going on in your life, it may take quite a few visits, and you will find a safe and accepting place you can go when everything else seems overwhelming and chaotic.
Going to therapy is nothing to feel ashamed of, it can help clear your mind and get an objective perspective on a situation. Depending on the situation, confiding in friends can make this harder, because they tend to jump on your bandwagon. Therapists are also confined by laws about breaching confidentiality, so that is one thing not to worry about. Therapy is also not something you need to do every week for the rest of your life, however, you will know who you can talk to without any condemnation toward you.
When you look for a counselor, read their biography to find out about relatability, the fit may not be right if you just call a random office and make an appointment. Counselors understand the need for the patient to be comfortable enough to open up and give some trust to a stranger. There may be perspectives you have not considered. We do not get through this life all on our own.