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Counselling is Not For ME!!

It may sound like any oxymoron, but that is what I said when I was a student some years ago. So today, when I hear these words being echoed around me, I tend to be more compassionate.


In my case, my tutor had suggested taking up counselling, so as to have a deeper understanding both as therapist and patient.


After much deliberation, I agreed to go. Lets just say that I did not realise that I needed counselling. On reflection of my sessions, I realised that I had been supressing lots of childhood issues and it all came pouring out during the sessions, once I opened up. I also had some light bulb moments and to this day will advocate for counselling and with personal growth.


Here are some top responses about why people won't go to counselling:


1. Fear

Fear of being vulnerable and exposed, fear of telling other people what happened, fear of letting another race know, fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear that they may outgrow their friends, family, and loved ones.


2. Doubt

Due to inexperience, other people's perceptions or one's belief systems lead to doubt that it will work but the only way to find out is to try!



3. Judgment

Many people avoid counselling because they believe that it is a taboo. Some communities tend to ostracise members by judging their actions, more specifically, being seen as weak or even mad.


4. Pride

Sometimes people have a hard time admitting they need help. There is a belief that admitting that one needs help is a form of failure.



5. Misinformation

People also forego mental health treatment because they’re misinformed about what it involves and how they’ll be perceived by their therapist.


6. Instant Gratification

We live in a world where people want an instant fix, not realising that the issue that they are facing took a long time to develop and so it will take a while to treat and deal with it.

I usually say to clients that they should not expect magic but some uprooting, processing and time.

If clients are in a hurry and does not give themselves time, then chances are they would not have benefited from counselling. Therapeutic change takes time (on average 8-12 sessions)



Reflection:

Lots of organisations have been advocating for mental health lately. The topic is therefore more welcome in workplaces. If you feel unwell, it is worth having a conversation with a therapist. Sometimes hearing yourself speak to an impartial person can be all that's needed; other times, being heard, listened to and being understood without judgement makes the difference.


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