Do I (or We) Need Professional Counseling?
Many people hesitate when considering counseling because they aren’t sure they really need professional help. Keep in mind, if you have thought about seeing a counselor, this could be a good indication that it would be of some immediate help to you. Those who schedule a counseling appointment often feel an immediate relief just knowing they will have a time to give voice to everything that is on their mind – and be heard in return.
Here are some ways to determine if professional counseling is a good step for you or your loved one:
If you have tried to cope or understand your life circumstances, and feel depleted or in a “crazy cycle,” speaking with an outside source could give you insight, support, and helpful recommendations. A good friend, parents or other relatives, a pastor or spiritual leader, or a close co-worker can all lend an ear and provide experience and insight.
Some common life issues that might need help from friendly support could be:
- Communication issues in marriage
- Parenting issues in dealing with children
- Issues with in-laws and families of origin
- Sexual differences in marriage
- Financial issues and budgeting
There are many resources that address issues that are common life struggles. Try not to fall into the trap that you are the only one who experiences difficulty and disappointment. Isolation can heighten your discomfort. Talk to someone. Pray. Read helpful articles. Don’t go it alone.
If you have reached out and continue to need more confidentiality or help with an acute issue – find a local counselor or speak to your pastor to help you find one. Both offer confidentiality and an impartial perspective, along with insights that come with a dedication and focused experience and education to help with life distress and desperation.
Some issues that suggest professional counseling would be helpful are:
- Serious communication breakdown between you and your spouse or family member
- Marital issues are repetitive, causing distance and separation in your marriage
- Disagreement in how to parent, or regularly arguing in front of your children
- Feelings of depression or despair that are cyclical or cause isolation and shame
- Frustration or strong emotions over issues that affect your daily interactions
If you are experiencing any of the following, seeking intervention is needed. Call your pastor or a counselor to start a good foundation to protect yourself and your family from harmful choices or experiences:
- Communication between you and your spouse are completely cut-off, or separation/divorce has been mentioned
- Anger and hurt feelings are prevailing issues in your home
- Joy is replaced by the feeling that you just need to make it through another day
- You have a child in full rebellion, no matter what age
- Financial issues cause heated disagreements and possible loss
- Sex, drugs, or alcohol are creating an atmosphere of abuse
- Loneliness and exhaustion drive you to despairing thoughts
Many people who consider seeing a counselor, eventually do. However, it could be years later, after additional stress, harmful patterns, and disappointment have added to the pain and problem.
Remember, everyone needs help now and then. The best recourse is to know where you will go when you need to talk to a friend, to reach out for spiritual guidance, or to get help from a counselor who can go deeper with you in a confidential, professional way.
If you don’t have someone in mind for each of these, start today to find a way to reach out in your time of need. Don’t go it alone!