I have shared countless times before how, from a young age, I have struggled with my mental health. It wasn’t until the age of 18 when it manifested into something which was no longer within my control and over the following decade I found myself in a very low place, battling a whole range of mental health issues, and I genuinely believe that counselling saved my life at that time.
Knowing how much counselling helped me to overcome some of my biggest hurdles, it often amazes me to speak to those who are struggling who refuse to seek the help they so desperately need. It strikes me that there are five excuses I have heard time and time again about why others can’t seek counselling, and I want to dispel those reasons and tell you why anyone can see a counsellor, at any time.
1. I don’t have time
I hear this time and time again, especially by those who work long hours, have a young family, or have no means of travel to visit a counsellor. The truth is, there is always time to see a counsellor, be that via phone, via the internet, or face to face with the help of family, friends, and public transport. BetterHelp offer an online service so you can speak to a counsellor from the comfort of your own home or workplace, and receive the help and support you need at that time.
2. I’d rather just talk to my friends
I hear this a lot, from those who struggle to see the benefits from a trained therapist as opposed to chatting through their problems with friends. And whilst it is so important to be honest and open with your friends, family, and partner, therapists are trained in all areas, and as listeners, to know how best to help you process your thoughts, without judgement.
3. I wouldn’t know what to say
The first time I went to counselling I had no idea what to say and I think we sat in the most awkward silence for the first twenty minutes, and that’s okay. Sometimes we don’t have the right words to know how to express how we feel, nor are we able to identify the issues or triggers which have led us to feel the way we do. That’s the benefit of speaking to a counsellor – they are able to help you identify the areas you need support in and discuss how to make positive changes.
4. Seeing a counsellor is a sign of weakness
It saddens me when I hear others say this out loud, and this is one of the reasons I share my mental health battles so freely. There is nothing weak about admitting you need help, in fact it takes someone incredibly strong to reach out and get the help they need in order to get better. It takes real courage to face those painful feelings, or events in your life, and work really hard to overcome them, and I have so much respect for anyone who has been through therapy and out the other side.
5. What will taking achieve?
This is such a common reason why many reject the idea of counselling, believing that simply talking about your problems cannot help to over come them. Infact it couldn’t be further from the truth and talking about our feelings is a huge release and it can be extremely enlightening for those who are needing to make sense of those feelings. As someone who has been through countless therapies over the years, talking therapy has been the most beneficial for me, absolutely.
I know that many of us make excuses out of fear, or shame, or because we simply aren’t ready to face our issues head on. But honestly, counselling was the best thing I ever did and it allowed me to move forward from a very dark time in my life to somewhere far brighter, far more positive, and far more hopeful for the future.
** This is a collaborative post **