Today I’d like to make a case for seeking out professional counselling help; and with an opening like this, it’s more than possible I’ve already lost a significant number of readers. Why? I feel it’s because some readers may not want to read about the topic as it would force them to think of their own challenges. Other readers will feel they’ve got no issues to share; and certainly not with a Mental Health Counsellor. Then there’s the stigma isn’t there; some readers wouldn’t want someone to walk by and catch them reading an article urging people to visit a Counsellor. In short, people have various reasons for not seeing or speaking with a Counsellor to unload.
If you’re still reading, I congratulate you and I thank you. I thank you not so much for reading my piece, but more for reading what may be helpful to you. It could be that this is the piece that gets you thinking for the first time about seeing a Counsellor, or perhaps this is the piece that finally gets you to take action after having thought about it and read about it for a long time. Either way or for any other reason, thanks for reading on.
First of all, I’m not a Mental Health Counsellor; I’m an Employment Counsellor so I’m not drumming up business for myself. Whereas I help guide people to finding employment, a Mental Health, Family or Individual Counsellor provides help to those who are experiencing a wide range of issues that keep them from moving forward; who struggle dealing with things arising from everyday living.
If you feel weighed down dealing with what’s on your mind; you find it increasingly difficult to fit in when it comes to family, work or social situations or you’re just not coping with things the way you once did, it might be a good idea to speak with someone and work through things so you can get on with life and enjoy things as you perhaps once did.
Counselling is confidential and that’s an important thing to know and remember. When you share what’s on your mind, what you talk about goes nowhere beyond you and the Counsellor. If you decide what you’re sharing should in fact be shared with someone else in whole or in part, you make that call. Ethically, morally and contractually, Counsellors don’t tell others what you say, so the more you open up, the more they can help. You can start by sharing the smaller stuff on your mind or delve right into the major things that you’re trying to cope with.
You may imagine as you go about your day that you alone have somehow come to the point where you’ve got more than your share of problems. How did it get to this point? Why does everyone I talk to seem to have it together except me? What did I do to deserve this? Why only me? Why can’t I handle things anymore? Why am I so sad all the time or suddenly start crying for no apparent reason?
These questions – and many more like them – are examples of the kind of questions other people are asking of themselves; questions you may believe you alone are struggling to answer. You’re not alone in asking these however, you’re surrounded by people throughout your day that may be thinking and asking themselves the exact same things. As you look at other people and think to yourself, “not them”, they might be surprised to learn of your struggling too.
Still reading? Good. If you decide to give a Counsellor a try, you should know you can seek out a male or female Counsellor. Depending on what you want to talk about, you might be best with a specialist such as an Addictions Counsellor, or you might look for a Mental Health Counsellor and see if they recommend someone highly trained in what you disclose or meet with you on an ongoing basis.
One thing you should definitely know is that the stigma about seeing a Counsellor has changed and continues to change. While there will always be naysayers who look down on people who see a Counsellor, more and more people have come to view those who seek out support and help from a Counsellor as courageous, strong and wise. It’s true! When you need your brakes looked at you go to a professional; if you suspect you’ve got a cavity, you see a professional. Seeing a Counsellor to regain and improve your mental health and talk about things that are troubling you is no different.
So how long does it take and how much will it cost? Good questions. It takes as long as it takes because you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to counselling services. You’ll know when you’re once again comfortable and able to deal with things alone. As for cost, these services could actually be entirely free. Many organizations have counselling fees and services built right into their benefit plans. If you’re on social assistance and money is an issue, you should consider asking for the availability of counselling from the person you interact with there. Finally, if you do pay for services, view this as an investment in yourself the way you would anything else you do to feel good.
Counselling may be what you need both personally and professionally to get or hold onto employment.