Ever mention to someone they should consider looking into counseling?
The responses run the gamut—from I already been to counseling and LOVED it to I don’t “believe” in counseling to sheer offense at the question. You think I NEED therapy?!
Personally, I think everyone needs and would also benefit from counseling.
Think about all the different ups and downs we face throughout the course of life.
Losing a loved one. Financial worries. A bad breakup. Conflict in your marriage. Bad habits you just can’t shake. Issues at work. Struggles with your in-laws. Health worries. Feeling stuck in a rut. Who among us hasn’t faced some of these challenges? Adversity and conflict are inevitable parts of life.
No one who walks this Earth does not deal with hardship and pain. It is part of the human experience.
Sometimes in life we may feel we have lost our way.
Perhaps life has become too hectic and we may simply need to check in with someone to talk to.
You may have already tried talking to people in your own life–a spouse, a friend, a family member. Sure they listen. Or at least they attempt to. (Sadly it may be a half-hearted attempt). But they have opinions on what you are saying. Or when you share an experience they see it differently. Maybe they manage to turn the conversation back on THEM every single time you begin to share your feelings. Or worse–they minimize what you are going through. “You think that is BAD?! I have REAL problems.”
These are some of the experience clients have shared with me about trying to speak with loved ones about their struggles. I always ask clients during an initial intake WHO in life they can speak to or turn to for support. As well intentioned as our loved ones may be, they are not always the ideal people to turn to for emotional and psychological support.
For a multitude of reasons loved ones may not be able to be there for us on this level. Even people we care for (and know care about us) may not be psychologically or emotionally equipped themselves to truly help us. Quite frankly just because someone is our family member or a friend does not mean they are capable to offer up the type of support we need–emotionally or psychologically.
This is why counseling can be so beneficial to our well-being.
A therapist is trained to actively listen, hear what you are saying (and hear what you are not saying), and can help you to reframe some of your issues in a more psychological preferable way. When we get support to understand the reason we may feel as we do, this can considerably lighten the “psychological” load we feel like we have been carrying.
This is why I truly believe EVERYONE, even happy people, can benefit from counseling.
None of us are perfect. We all go through struggles. There are things we can all do better. None of us are 100% satisfied with EVERY aspect of our life.
Think about how much better our society would function if we worked on our own psychology before heading out every day into the world.
I would like to see our politicians, doctors, lawyers, police officers, teachers, therapists..all spend some time in therapy before they begin practicing their professions.
Imagine how much better our world would be if we all attempted to sort out our own issues instead of putting our stuff on others?
One selling point of therapy is that for those 45-50 minute sessions, you have a listener who is total focus is on YOU. That’s right—YOU! This is not a give and take relationship like the ones we have with our partner, family, and friends. A counseling session is all about YOU, your NEEDS, your FEELINGS, your FEARS, your THOUGHTS, your STRUGGLES.
Let’s be real here—how many of our daily conversations are solely focused on us, our needs,our thoughts, our feelings, our desires, our fears?
I hate to say it but even the people we are closest to are often bad listeners. How often have you talked to your spouse OR kids and you can tell they were only half listening? At best. Maybe not listening at ALL. In this day and age, many people do not EVER sit and listen with a 100% attention to the person speaking. People are checking their phones, on their tablets, reading texts, scanning the room, watching tv, giving their attention to anyone or anything BUT the person right in front of them.
This may not even be intentional. We are after all a society of multitaskers.
But in a counseling session, your therapist is 100% focused on YOU. Listening to you totally and fully is a requirement of the job.
Besides the fact that in our day-to-day lives we encounter people who may mean well but may not give us the due attention we deserve, the fact is everyone is our life is BIASED. They have a vested interest in us and our lives–our kids do, our spouses do, our boyfriends do, our girlfriends do, our friends do, our families do, our coworkers do. Everyone has an opinion and expectation of us depending on their respective role in our life.
Therefore, their advice is clouded by their own agenda. This may sound cynical but think of your own feelings and expectations of the people in your life. Can you honestly say you can listen to your daughter, mother, or spouse without a colored perspective? Can you really say you can be 100% objective with someone you love? Our emotions tend to cloud our ability to be rational and objective.
Your counselor is a neutral third-party who is trained to be nonjudgemental and actively listen to you. Counselors are also trained to listen for the subtle messages you are communicating that you may not even realize you are sending.
A well-trained therapist is an astute observer who can help you to help yourself.
Counseling enables you to figure out what you really feel, what you really mean, and what you really want without other people’s agendas being factored in.
Now–are there unethical clinicians out there who do not follow this creed? Unfortunately, there probably are.
However, a good, ethical clinician will put your best interests first. They will be a pillar of support for you. For some people, this type of support isn’t available in their personal life.
As Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
Counseling helps in a multitude of ways:
~it helps you know yourself better
~it can help you become a better spouse
~it can help you become a better parent
~it can help you become a better person
~it helps us through transitions and challenges
~it helps you better learn to love and accept yourself (the good, the bad, the ugly) 😉
~it helps us work through the conflicts in our life (or within ourself)
~it helps us mature
~it helps us grow
There are many reasons why having a session or two with a Professional Counsellor can help your life improve, benefit your day-to-day life, and support you in any transition or problem. We go to therapy to treat problems as well as improve an already pretty good life.
If we are honest with ourselves in the counseling process, we can see that many times our feelings, thoughts, and actions are not very congruent.
Counseling can help us better understand how we function in the world. Why we may feel one way but then proceed to act another. Why we think rationally but feel irrationally.
Many of us are not as rational as we may tell ourselves we are–most people are at least a bit neurotic.
Thus we all, at one point our another, can be benefit from therapy.
Counseling can help you…….if you are willing to give it a try.
To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):
Anew Counseling Services LLC
617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649