Do I need a counselor? Yes? No? On the fence? We could all give ourselves a long list of reasons not to talk to a counselor, and some of them might feel like legitimate reasons to avoid it. When we really try to justify that we don’t need help, our own mental blocks can be the biggest obstacle to the help we actually require.
If you’re not on board with engaging in counseling, take some time to self-reflect on your reasoning. At some point in every person’s life, counseling can offer incredible benefits and will improve mental health, so now might be the optimal time to reconsider.
If you’re debating starting counseling and telling yourself a dozen reasons you don’t need it, take a look at the following arguments that refute our excuses to skip out on counseling.
If you’re telling yourself “I can solve things on my own.”
Yes, it’s true, you can solve things on your own, but mental health isn’t like other problems. Mental illness or life stress is always better handled with professional support (by the way, you don’t need a diagnosis of a mental health disorder to receive counseling services).
Counseling can offer you help that you won’t be able to access on your own, whether it be connection to community resources, an objective perspective on your experiences, professional knowledge in the mental health field or even a diagnosis or medication prescription.
Trying to address mental health concerns on your own is a much more difficult and lonely journey. You’ll have a much easier time making and tracking progress with the help of a treatment plan and a counselor on your side.
If you’re telling yourself “my mental health issues aren’t as bad as some people’s.”
Many people run into the roadblock of ranking their concerns against others’. The idea that someone is struggling more than you doesn’t justify delaying treatment. Just because there will always be a faster runner than you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for a jog.
Learning about others’ struggles can put yours into context, but counseling is designed for everyone and every level of need. An assessment with a professional will set you up with appropriate services catered to you. There’s no need to compare your mental health struggles; they are all valid and worthy of treatment.
If you’re telling yourself “I don’t have time.”
Counseling does take a chunk of time out of the week, but in the long run, it’ll save you time. The time we spend stressing and dwelling on emotional issues without therapy might far outweigh the time we would actually spend in counseling addressing those same issues. With the added option of teletherapy, mental health services are now more convenient and accessible than ever.
Many people engage in counseling services once a week, for around an hour. If that seems like a big commitment, look over your current schedule and see if there’s anything you can cut out. Maybe one less television show – or one less night out – is worth investing in your mental wellness.
If you’re telling yourself “I don’t think counseling will help me that much.”
Counseling has different benefits for every individual, but here are some common perks you can expect from counseling:
- Improve social skills
- Learn better communication
- Grow in self-awareness
- Learn coping strategies
- Reflect on past experiences
- Develop in emotional intelligence
- Set and track goals
- Cut out unhealthy behaviors
- Enhance self-image
- Find a sense of purpose
- Feel supported and validated
- Find healing and peace
- Learn how to resolve conflicts
- Find motivation
- Decrease negative symptoms of mental illness
This list is by no means exhaustive, and other counseling benefits can be expected for more specific circumstances, like decreased suicidal ideation or decreased substance use. The pros of counseling are diverse and can significantly impact a person in all areas of life.
If you’re asking yourself “Does counseling work?”
The effects of engaging in mental health services have proven to be effective in dozens of studies. According to the American Psychological Association, psychotherapy (or talk-therapy/counseling) is a successful method to address mental health problems that is more cost-effective, longer lasting and beneficial than medication.
Research published out of Scotland also found that counseling not only can help to treat mental illness, but it plays a large role in preventing concerns worsening and requiring more serious intervention.
If you’re interested in online counseling services, there’s evidence for its effectiveness, too. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found no difference between the positive outcomes attained through in-person services and virtual services.
Starting counseling can be a frightening step for a number of reasons, but convincing yourself you don’t need to engage in counseling isn’t doing you any good. Take advantage of the numerous counseling benefits and evidence-based treatment that could change your life.
If you want to find peace and mental wellness through counseling, check out Mazzitti & Sullivan. Mazzitti & Sullivan Counseling Services can help you address any mental health concerns, whether or not you’ve tried counseling before. Getting set up is easy; just visit the website and reach out or call 1-800-809-2925 to get started today.