The Most Common Reasons People Seek Counseling

Many people visit a counselor over the course of their life and there is a wide range of reasons people seek counseling.

The first question I ask a potential new client is, “What is bringing you to counseling and if I can help you with one single thing in your life, what would it be?”

I think this is a question that helps narrow down the focus to one single, MOST pressing problem in a person’s life. It is also an open question which helps me to get real, elaborate, and intimate answers.

Everyone is different, and we all have unique circumstances and problems. Yet there are some common threads of human psychology that stand out as presenting in clients from various walks of life. Thus, what are the most common responses to this question? Below are the top reasons people seek out counseling.

1)Increase self-esteem

We all want to be confident–nothing can make or break your ability to create the life you want as your self-esteem. There are clear links between the way we feel about ourselves and our overall mental and emotional well-being. It is also very intricately linked to your self-image: how you see the world.

2)Find and/or Improve a Relationship

Love is a HOT TOPIC. Finding and creating a great relationship is a life goal many amongst us have. Whether it is improving the relationship one is in or finding a healthy partner, relationship concerns often drive people to counseling. Counselors will work with clients to understand why things have gone wrong and how problems can be overcome.

3)Improve Career and Job-Situation

Finding a career one loves or improving your current job situation is a pressing life problem for many. It can be especially challenging to find a new orientation for your career. Sometimes people are thinking about quitting their job and starting their own business, others want to find more satisfaction in their current occupation.

4)Be Happy

Many people seek out counseling with the vague goal of being happier. Talking about what is bothering you can really help in and of itself. The goal of therapy is to help you live a more fulfilled, functional, and happier life by helping you deal with your thoughts, emotions, and the daily stresses of life. Often over the course of treatment, clients often discover that happiness in and of itself is not the goal but comes as a by-product of something else in life.

5)Eliminate Negative Thinking and Be Positive

A negative mindset cannot create a positive life. Yet many struggle to limit their negative self-talk. Getting aware of your negative thought patterns and reframing them is a key to getting the negativity out of your life. Awareness is the first important step. The second step in identifying, reframing, and implementing change.

6)Find Inner Peace

It is quite common for a client to report feeling restless or dissatisfied with their life. Often people can’t put their finger on why as on paper their life seems to be going well. Many clients are looking to develop peace of mind and live at harmony with themselves and the world around them. This can be achieved by working on one’s inner psychology.

7)Find and Live with Passion

Many people feel their life lacks passion–whether it is their relationship, professional life, or their day-to-day experience in general. Many come to counseling to tap into the passion that may have long escaped their life.

8)Improve Ability to Focus

One’s mental focus is important to being successful in life. Where your focus your attention, one’s time and energy goes. Being able to concentrate and effectively use one’s mental focus, is a key skill that can really improve your overall life.

9)Mental Health Issues

Counseling is an effective way for people with mental health problems and to work through their symptoms in a supportive environment. Whether it is an anxiety disorder or mood disorder, many issues can be alleviated through talk therapy.

10)Life Transitions or Important Decisions

People who are in periods of transitions or are facing down a pivotal decision, can benefit from counseling. Common transitions include adjusting to adulthood, starting a new career, marriage, becoming a parent, retirement, etc.

11)Self Discovery

As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Counseling is a good opportunity to reflect on past experiences and explore feelings and values. Having the insight to understand what makes us who we are; why we respond the way we do; what excites us and drives our passion; and what challenges us and produces negative thoughts. Self-awareness is the basis for doing well life well.

12)Feeling “different” from family, friends, etc.

Many people feel those around them do not understand them. Sometimes they feel alone. It is normal to be different and it is worth exploring. We all experience the world through our own eyes, and from our own perspective-life is our own movie and we all view ourselves as the main character. Naturally, this makes it difficult for us to step outside of ourselves, and realize that everyone also experience their world as their own movie. Yet connection is important and the feeling that we “fit in” are basic human needs. A counselor can help you celebrate both our differences and embrace our commonalities.

If you are struggling with any of these challenges or considering counseling for reasons not listed above, please feel free to reach out to me:

Theodorou Therapy, LLC

Erin Doyle Theodorou, M.Ed., LPC, NCC
590 Franklin Ave.

Suite 2

Nutley, NJ 07110


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