10 Reasons People Put Off Counseling
Going to counseling shows I am weak.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Going to counseling takes great courage! Entering counseling is the first step in resolving difficulties, to address problems and openly discuss feelings.
Counseling is for crazy people!
Counseling is not for people who are sick; it is for people who feel stuck. Counseling helps when you have tried to address an issue in all the ways you know how but nothing has solved the problem. Strong people ask for help!
What if someone finds out what I talk about.
Counseling is strictly CONFIDENTIAL. Licensed Professional Counselors abide by strict ethical standards that are regulated by the State they are licensed. Unless your counselor is concerned about protecting you or others from serious harm, counseling is strictly confidential. (See point #10 below)
I wouldn’t know what to say.
You don’t need to know what to talk about before you come. People examine whether there are ways they think, feel and/or behave that they can improve. In the process of exploring that, people often discuss any number of topics that come to mind.
I can’t afford counseling.
Cost does not equal value. There are other ways we can help people in financial hardship.
I can always talk to a friend.
Friends are wonderful. They can be very supportive. However, a counseling relationship is different because a counselor is a trained professional focused on you and your well-being.
Just talking won’t help anything.
Actually, talking can do a lot of good. Keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself can cause great emotional pressures. Talking things over with a caring, non-judgemental professional often helps a great deal.However, counseling involves much more than just talking. You will grow in your understanding of yourself. You will learn new and better ways of looking at your problems… and in doing so, you very well may find great new ways of dealing with the issues that you face.
I’m letting my family down.
Our professionals are extremely sensitive and respectful of your concerns about family traditions and privacy. Such issues can be discussed in the very first session if you prefer, even before more personal matters are addressed.
Talking about my problems just makes them worse.
Actually, examining suppressed issues helps reduce the pain. It leads to understanding ourselves and our problems better. This in turn leads to a wider array of options and possibilities. Talking about your problems with the help of an experienced professional counselor ultimately leads to better decision making and problem solving.
My new job requires a background check. Does counseling leave a trail?
No employer, or anyone else, can access your counseling records. You can authorize levels of access to doctors or pastors through a release form that you sign and gives your counselor approval to share your information. One exception: Psychologists have a legal responsibility to disclose information without your consent to protect you or others from serious harm. These include a serious threat of physical violence toward him/herself or someone else, or cases of child abuse or elder abuse, for example.
Original content by Jeannie Miller Clarkson, MA, NCC, LPC