Overcoming the Stigma of Counseling

Let’s face it; there’s a stigma towards counseling services. Many people do not want to see a therapist due to the negative connotation that comes with therapy or counseling. The last thing we want is to be seen as crazy, weak or unstable. However, everyone can benefit from counseling regardless of age, gender, race, financial status, marital status, etc.

If you’ve ever told yourself any of these lines, it’s time to change your outlook on counseling services:

“I don’t need to go to counseling. I’m not crazy”

First of all, going to counseling does not mean you are “crazy.” It actually shows you are quite the opposite. It takes a lot of courage and wisdom to acknowledge that you need some help with certain areas of your life. Even if you do feel “crazy” or “unstable,” that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Going to a therapist shows that you care about yourself and want to make a few changes to improve your life. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best version of yourself.

“I don’t need to see a therapist. I can deal with it myself.”

Yes, maybe you can deal with it yourself. You may be perfectly able to “deal with it” yourself. However, talking with someone else helps you organize your thoughts and induce catharsis, the feeling of “getting it off your chest.” You can vent to friends and family and ask for their advice, but a therapist has professional training to listen and understand what you’re dealing with and offer further insight. A therapist can provide you with new tools or advice that you may not have considered, and you may feel a lot better than if you kept it all to yourself.

“It’s embarrassing to need couples counseling. We should be able to solve this on our own.”

Every single relationship has its struggles because life is not a romantic blockbuster. Wanting to go to counseling shows that you love your partner and want to make a change because the relationship is too important to give up. Your partner will appreciate the fact that you want to put effort into improving the relationship. Every couple has fights or setbacks, but couples that want to make a change display commitment and love to their partner.

“My problems aren’t that serious. Therapists only deal with important issues.”

It’s true that therapists deal with “important” issues, but just because your problem may not be life threatening doesn’t mean you can’t seek help. You don’t need to have a severe mental illness to see a therapist. People seek counseling for a wide range of reasons. Whether you want help dealing with a relationship, death of a loved one, stress at work, or just advice on how to reach your goals, a therapist would be more than happy to talk with you.

“I don’t know what my family and friends will think.”

What happens during your session with a therapist remains completely confidential unless you want to tell someone about it. Although there is nothing to be ashamed of, it is your choice to disclose information to friends and family. Good friends and family members will support your decision to improve aspects of your life. The people who truly care about you will not judge you or think any differently of you for going to counseling.

No matter what obstacles you are facing, you are definitely not the first person to experience it. Understand that you are not alone, and it is very normal to seek help. You can help overcome the stigma of counseling by educating yourself and others about the services that therapists offer. No one is perfect, and admitting that you have areas of your life you’d like to work on is a very admirable quality.

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