Hello and welcome to my first blog post!
I have been a counselor for over 10 years and I often hear the same excuses for not seeking mental health help. There are a lot of myths about what we (counselors, therapists, psychologists) do and these make people stay away from our offices.
Well, I am here to clear them up. If you or somebody you know needs help, I want you to find that help and not believe the myths people say about what we do. Therapy can be a wonderful experience and help you move forward.
1. Only crazy people need a counselor. I hear this so often, it makes me want to scream. Of course we see people with serious issues such as suicidal ideation and trauma but we can help with so many other parts of life. We are here to help with emotional problems, career issues, self awareness, trauma, emotional problems, assertiveness, school stress, grief, and many other issues.
2. Going to a counselor means you are weak. Many people think they shouldn't seek help because it is admitting that they can't handle life on their own. Talking to a health professional isn't seen as weak so why is it different for a mental health professional? It helps to talk to a trained counselor who is outside of your situation and support group.
3. You must have a mental illness to go to therapy. Of course people with a mental illness go to therapy, but we also help clients through every day issues. Refer back to #1.
4. Counselors/Therapists are just head shrinkers and quacks. To become a counselor, a person needs a graduate degree, completion of a national certification test, thousands of hours of internships, and a supervisor for over a year. They must be highly trained to help before they open their doors to you.
5. There is no need for therapy when you have a good support system. Therapy is extremely different than talking to friends. A counselor has spent many years studying different types of therapies, diagnosis, and issues. While in therapy, you will not be judged for what you say (most of us have a no-judgement super power that gets activated in our offices). Also, a counselor is a professional secret keeper so everything you tell them is confidential BY LAW.
I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions you had about counseling. Every professional is different so please try to find somebody you truly click with in therapy. Just like in life, you will not like everybody so do not get discouraged if you don't like the first counselor you meet. If you have any questions, please contact me through the site. I would love to hear from you!