It’s common to think that going to counselling means that you are broken in some way or wrongly believing you have something seriously wrong with you and that not coping is something to be ashamed about. These beliefs can be unhelpful and damaging as often people then don’t seek support and believe they have to struggle alone.
We have come a long way in addressing the stigma in mental health however there is still work to be done. In the past, there were many unhelpful ways in which society and mental health support services viewed and helped those struggling with their mental health. Even now, sometimes people don’t get the help they deserve and this can be offputting to reach out again. Private counselling and therapy can offer different options on how to access support.
With counselling support and safety of confidentiality, you can talk about your innermost thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged or given advice and told what to do. You make a serious commitment to a self-reflective journey to work thru and validate the life experiences you have survived (or are still trying to survive) and begin a process of self-discovery to heal from the past and make changes for the future, to feel more positive and content again.
You learn how to begin to acknowledge your own needs, and the importance of listening to your emotions, instead of depressing them. Instead of being so hard on yourself, holding onto negative beliefs and feelings of hurt/blame, you learn to question what has happened to make you feel and respond in the ways you do?
With the help of a counsellor helping you, to help yourself you can learn how to be more understanding and self-compassionate. It’s not easy work and takes courage to address where the coping mechanisms you have are simply no longer working for you however counselling offers support that can be life-changing. Your thoughts will become clearer and this encourages you to validate how you feel as well as offering a challenge of being aware of different perspectives, as this too is important.
By beginning to talk in-depth about the difficulties you are experiencing, it lightens the weight of carrying painful thoughts and emotions on your own, which often lead to feeling stressed, exhausted and sad. Talking to a professional counsellor can help you to process and heal from challenging life experiences, and you don’t need a diagnosis to be able to seek this help and support.
Some like to take care of their physical body by going to the gym, counselling can be seen as your personal development and taking care of the mind, body and soul!
Counselling, therefore isn’t just for mental health problems, it can help you to gain a new perspective on a situation you want to change or reflect on where you are in your life, and establish what you want going forward? By learning to understand yourself more, you gain confidence, renewed self-belief and self-esteem meaning you can set boundaries and lots more to begin to feel alive again.
If you are thinking about counselling, perhaps this is your message to reach out and do something that’s just for you, a form of self-care and remember the message that no one needs to painfully struggle alone.