Counseling Myths May Be Holding You Back from Seeking Help
Has anyone ever told you to find a therapist, so you have someone to talk to? While this comment about counseling is half true, it reveals one of the common myths about counseling. Working with a counselor is more than a passive consultation where someone nods their head and asks you “how does that make you feel?”
The most common myths about counseling have been created by what you see on TV and movie shows. These portrayals of counseling are typically not accurate and may interfere with people consulting a therapist. Contrary to popular belief, most counselors are not like Dr. Phil because they typically won’t tell you what you should do.
If you are hesitant to find a counselor near you, read through these deceptive myths to learn which ones may be holding you back from consulting with someone during your challenging time.
6 Deceptive Myths about Counseling that Many Believe
Myth 1: Counseling is only for the mentally ill.
People who come to counseling may be experiencing many different symptoms, including emotional, behavioral, and/or physical. But it doesn’t mean you have a serious mental illness. In fact, many people are coming to counseling to work on personal and/or relationship growth.
Myth 2: Counseling requires taking medication.
Taking medication for psychological reasons is a personal decision. Many people come to counseling because they want to explore alternative ways to manage emotions without taking medication. While others, utilize both medication and counseling.
Myth 3: The counselor will take my side.
While it’s great to have people on your side encouraging you, it can slow progress if they always take your side. There is value in working with someone trained to be neutral so that you can learn to manage your reactions better and improve your self-confidence.
Myth 4: Counseling is a place to get advice.
While a counselor may offer his or her perspective on people who are struggling with similar problems, they do not tell you what to do or not do. Instead, a counselor coaches you to help you find the best solution and/or strategy for you and your situation.
Myth 5: Counseling is never ending.
Many people don’t want to commit to counseling because they think it will take too long or be too expensive. You only come to counseling as long and as frequent as it is useful to you while exploring your progress toward your goals along the way. And you are not required to attend a certain number of sessions.
Myth 6: Counseling is like talking to a friend.
While you want to feel comfortable being open with your counselor, it is more than a place to vent about your problems. Often people may feel worse if they focus solely on expressing negative feelings. It’s when a person uses the challenges to find solutions or new ways of thinking and managing stress, that they start to thrive.
Are you ready to give counseling a try? Marci Payne, MA, LPC works with men and women who are struggling with anxiety, stress, and relationships. Whether you are struggling in your marriage, ending a relationship, or starting over, counseling may be the next step to help you react less and connect more. Schedule a free 15-minute phone consult with Marci and discover if she’s the best counselor for you.