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Fears About Counseling

Fears About Counseling

It is normal to have fears about scheduling your first counseling appointment.  At times, it can feel so scary that people cancel the first appointment, as the anxiety of sharing personal, private experiences with a stranger may be frightening, understandably so.  It may also be feared that what is being shared will be misinterpreted in some way and that increases the stress and pain. This fear is natural, counselors are trained in all aspects of listening, have undertaken years of rigorous training. 

It is also natural to have a stigma attached to seeing a counselor, "I'm really not well if I have to see a counselor" and yet self-care is healthy, and having a safe person to share your struggles and pain, will help you grow, and promotes healthy living in the most holistic sense. 

Understanding Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a process of meeting with a trained mental health professional to help understand your concerns more clearly and work towards accomplishing your goals. You will learn valuable tools and techniques to help you learn more about yourself, better understand your personal values, improve how you relate to others, and gain greater self-confidence, self-respect, and self-acceptance.

 Counseling Myths/ Giving Advice

Counseling is not about giving you advice. Counseling is about having a counselor listen to your needs, listen to your struggles, teach new coping skills, and allow you to identify your own faulty thinking. The counselor knows that you are an expert in your life, and is able to work at your pace. It is essential to know that you do not have to talk about in-depth aspects of your life if you don't feel comfortable doing so.

I Do Not Have Time

The time you schedule for counseling is your time, and space, it is all about you, and self-care.  In counseling, you develop a trusting relationship and respectful relationship. It is a safe space with a designated time to discuss whatever you need to discuss. It is a space where you are valued.  

I Have to Be Sick for Counseling

Counseling is not a place you go because you are sick. All people have the ability to benefit from counseling. It is a gentle place that is welcoming and kind. Not an experience to be feared, but a journey that promotes a better way of understanding self, others and relationships in general. It enhances self-awareness and provides greater freedom.

Benefits of Counseling 

The benefit of counseling is that it provides a safe space that is devoted to being heard. A place to be yourself, without judgment, and feel accepted for being a unique individual.  

Counseling is being heard and feeling safe to be yourself. It is crucial to take time to find the right counselor.  It really can be life-enhancing and enriching.

What to Expect During Therapy 

During initial visits, the emphasis will be on understanding the nature of your concerns and creating a plan of action. It is important to begin therapy by providing you with relief from the symptoms that are negatively impacting your life. The goal is to work in partnership with you to develop realistic goals and plan a course of action to achieve them. 

Because life happens outside of the therapy room, you may be offered ‘homework’ projects to help carry on your work between sessions. These projects may include reading, tracking behaviors, feelings, and attitudes, or practicing new techniques. You are encouraged to discuss any difficulties in accomplishing these projects with your therapist. To ensure that therapy is delivered in the most helpful way, please ask questions at any time. The more deeply you understand the process of therapy, the more effectively you will be able to grasp concepts and incorporate positive changes into your life. Additionally, you may find it helpful to take notes during your therapy session or keep a journal of the skills and tools you gain. 

It is important to recognize that therapy is not magic, and change does not occur overnight. Your consistency in carrying out homework assignments, your willingness to be invested in your treatment plan, and the extent to which you are open and honest with yourself and your therapist will play a large role in how quickly you accomplish your goals.