The fear of being labeled crazy, weak, or just afraid of confrontation, are a variety of reasons why people are afraid to seek counseling.
Psychological counseling has been attached to a social stigma for years that is hard to break, even with more and more people turning to therapy in times of need.
It may be hard to talk to a complete stranger about intimate details about your life, when you can’t do the same with someone you’ve known for years. But that’s the exact reason why it helps to speak to someone that doesn’t know you.
It helps you open up to know the person sitting in front of you listening to your plights won’t have any further interaction with you outside the confines of the office. It’s hard to confide even to the best of friends because the fear of being judged is always there.
Friends are not always objective. They tend to be on your side and for a friendship that may be a good idea, but one might need to hear the truth no matter how harsh it may sound.
While family and friends could help you get through a painful event, sometimes it’s not enough. It’s important to realize this and know professional help is available. More importantly than realizing you need help is the will to act on this, taking another step forward and seeking counseling.
If you feel you need to speak to a counselor there shouldn’t be an issue too small for you to discuss with them.
Another reason why people might be reluctant to seek counseling is being seen as weak. Many counselors say it takes more courage to admit you have a problem and ask for help than to sit on it and let it fester. As easy as it is to ignore the issue, if you continue to dismiss it you may not only hurt yourself, but those around you.
Take it from someone who grew up with a depressed family member. For years we couldn’t figure out why they were afraid of doing everyday things and carried an air of gloominess around them. It wouldn’t only affect them, but the family as a whole was beginning to fracture.
We fought constantly and as a child I was confused. I wondered if I were to blame or if I did something wrong.’
I was never to blame, but that goes to show how even though people who have problems think they’re only hurting themselves they tend to hurt those who care about them the most.
When they finally spoke to a counselor about the issue and got the help they needed it was as if we were living with a completely different person. The hardest part was having the counselor identify the source of the problem.
I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if they had continued down the path they were heading. But it made me realize, even though I was young, that counseling wasn’t only for people who needed to be confined to padded rooms.
One would be surprised at the load they could take off their back by admitting they have a problem. Just saying the words out loud is a release and having a professional there to further listen and provide feedback will have an even deeper effect.
Often times it’s the fear of admitting there is a problem that keeps people from seeking help and the worry that addressing the issue will only make it worse. The reality is the more you internalize a problem the worse it gets. Even though you don’t want to face the facts, in the long run it can only benefit you.
In the end, if you or someone you know needs help, fear should not keep you from taking the next step and getting help.
University Counseling Services
Bayramian Hall, Suite 520 Phone: (818) 677-2366 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 5:00PM, Tuesdays until 7:00 PM