So after my Dad passed away in 2016, I went to counseling for five days and that was it. Over the course of three years, my friends tried encouraging me to go back but I always refused. I didn't see the purpose of it until one day I decided to randomly give it another shot. The reason I didn't see the purpose initially was because I was still hurting and wasn't in the mental position to see a counselor.
What I realized was everything that I thought was true about counselors turned out to be the total opposite. I'm here to share my top five misconceptions about seeking counseling based on my experience.
After seeking help for months and seeing the changes and progress I had made, the look I had on my face about counseling is displayed in the GIF of Tiffany Pollard.
Misconception 1: It's only for people who have problems or are crazy. Whew...that's so far from the truth. I think because of the stories we heard from other people and the shows we watched, we were left to believe seeking help was only for those having problems. Counseling is for everybody-- whether our problem is big or small, whether we are battling our own demons and battles, or simply because we need someone to hear us out and give an objective opinion.
Misconception 2: Seeking help makes me weak. Now we all know, we don't like to ask for help especially when it comes to our problems because we don't want to appear weak or appear that we don't have our life together...ESPECIALLY WHEN WE ARE COMPARING OUR LIVES TO SOMEONE ELSE. I believe that when we ask for help it makes us stronger rather than weaker because we know how hard it is to put our pride to the side and allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
Misconception 3: The person will judge me. When we go see a counselor, therapist, life coach, or ministry leader, we are probably apprehensive because we feel they will judge us. We have every right to feel that way; however, the thing is that they understand that we all go through our peaks and valleys at some point. They, too, have their own issues that they seek help for. They are taught to be objective to the situation and be unbiased/non-judgemental when dealing with client's situations. It takes a lot to open up to someone and be vulnerable so the last thing we need to worry about is them passing judgement. God is the only judge over all mankind.
Misconception 4: It's too expensive and it's just a waste of time. I realized counseling is not a luxury item but rather an investment. We have the power to determine how much to invest. Counseling sessions are mostly purchased on an individual or bundle package basis. We can cancel any time and we can purchase as many sessions as we desire. I don't believe it's expensive because we are investing in our minds which is a powerful tool. The people who think it's a waste of time are the ones who want instant change and don't want to work for it. #LAZY
Misconception 5: What a counselor can do, a friend can do it for free. Yes, friends can offer advice or help us through a situation. However, friends can't be objective to our situation no matter how much they say they are. It's hard because their thoughts and emotions are already impacted by the type of relationship they have with us. Friends can only look at the surface level of a situation but aren't trained to dive deeper into the causes AND be able to provide guidance objectively. Friends are great to seek advice from but we should also seek professional help, too.
When someone is intentional about seeking help, it's a sign that they are in tune with themselves, their sell-worth, and have self love to know that they deserve a better life.
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Watch this inspiring video on on self-love!