Counseling is a form of therapy that has wide-reaching benefits for all kinds of people and situations. However, common myths about counseling may keep you from even considering this option as you try to make improvements in your life and relationships. Recognizing these misconceptions can help you better understand the benefits of counseling—for everyone.
Myth 1: Counseling is only for people with a mental illness or serious problem
Counseling is all about growth and development—which means this type of therapy can be helpful for anyone. Although counseling is an effective treatment for most mental health conditions, the reality is that it can help people to deal with many types of problems. Counseling can help you strengthen your relationships, adjust to significant life changes like moving or changing jobs, reduce stress, and develop a more positive outlook on life. Counseling is less about ‘cure’ or ‘fixing’ and more about using the therapeutic relationship to ‘re-parent’ yourself and learn how to appreciate and love yourself, while improving the way you manage the ups and downs of life.
Myth 2: Seeking counseling is a sign of weakness
Nothing could be further from the truth. Seeking counseling is a sign of strength, wisdom, and good self-care. If you have a medical question or concern that has to do with your physical body, it’s natural to go to your doctor. In the same way, it is just as appropriate to seek help from a counselor or therapist if you want to improve your mental and emotional health.
Myth 3: Counseling will make me dependent on my therapist
The goal of any good therapist is to help you progress. During your sessions, the clinician’s job is to help you identify the positive changes you want to make in your life, better understand how the different components of your life interact, and develop tools to make improvements happen. In this way, your counselor is actually helping you to be more independent. The techniques you learn in counseling can often be applied in many different aspects of life, and most people find that therapy is an investment with far-reaching benefits.