Mental health is still a taboo in our society. Most people still hesitate to approach a professional for help when they encounter challenges in life. The strong stigma prevents a lot of people from reaching out to professionals who are there to help. Ever wondered what your counsellor wishes you knew? Read on!
Myth 1: "Counselling is simply giving advice so why should I pay for it?"
Truth: The simple truth is, counselling is very different from giving advice. Well- meaning friends and family may give advice; however, counselling is a professional exchange. Your counsellor has probably gone through years of study, technical training and experience to assist you in the most effective way possible. Further, the role of a counsellor is not to give advice but to use therapeutic techniques bring you to a place where you are capable of solving your problems on your own.
Myth 2: "Only 'mad' people visit a counsellor."
Truth: Everyone visits counsellors- even counsellors visit counsellors! Stress, anxiety, depression are now lifestyle hazards. However, most people shy away from visiting a counsellor or letting people know because of the strong stigma surrounding mental health issues in our society. If you have the flu- you will visit your physician. Similarly, just like the lungs, heart, stomach; the brain is an organ. Hence it too, can fall sick and visiting a mental health professional is the same as visiting any other specialist.
Myth 3: "If the counselling is good, I will get instant results."
Truth: Just like all good things in life take time and work, so does recovery. Every individual is different and so are their problems. The human mind is a complex entity and to achieve full recovery takes time, patience and hard work- remember, the patient and counsellor work as a team!
Myth 4: "The counsellor will judge me."
Truth: Definitely not. A lot of people fear that they will be judged if they open up about the good and bad in their life. To the contrary, your counsellor is trained and used to handling difficult and complex life issues and it is their job not to judge. They are usually exposed to a variety of problems in their clients and this is something that they are used to. Your counsellor is bound by client-counsellor confidentiality and you can feel safe to disclose anything within that space.
Myth 5: "If other people get to know they will treat me differently."
Truth: Chances are, you or someone you know at some point has needed a little extra help. Such problems are more common than we think, and it is better to be open than suffer silently. You may be surprised at people's positive reactions and may even encourage someone else to get the help they need.
So don't worry, be happy!