We often live in a society that perpetuates the stigma of mental health. We are taught from a young age that we should be ashamed of our emotions and never let anyone know when we’re struggling. This is especially true when it comes to seeking help. It’s no wonder many people feel embarrassed to go to counselling, leading to many missing out on the benefits of counselling.
What if someone finds out? What will they think of me? Counselling is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health, yet so many people avoid it because of the stigma attached to it. In this blog post, we will discuss why you should not be ashamed to get counselling and the benefits of doing so.
Why is Counselling Important?
The reason why counselling is important is that it provides a safe and non-judgmental environment for exploring your emotions. It’s a place where you can be open and honest about what you’re going through without feeling like you must put on a brave face. Counselling is also an opportunity to learn new coping mechanisms and skills that can help you in your day-to-day life.
Have you ever wondered why commitment is required in counselling? It is a mutual agreement between a counsellor and a client that details the outline of the therapeutic working alliance. The agreement highlights the responsibilities of the counsellor and the client to each other. And it ensures that the counselling takes place in a safe and professional environment.
So, when you decide to get counselling, it’s also important to review this agreement to know the full extent of the benefits you can get.
Signs You Need Counselling
“Do I need counselling?” By the time you’ve asked yourself that question, you should seriously consider going to counselling, especially if you are dealing with issues that are hard to explore on your own. Everybody experiences mental and emotional struggles, and seeking help may be what you need. But if you’re still unsure whether you need to go to counselling or not, here are some signs that you could benefit from counselling:
Changes in appetite and physical health – Feeling a lack of appetite or increased hunger may be signs of underlying issues, such as stress or anxiety. Stress can often manifest as physical illnesses. So, if you’re experiencing unexplained headaches, skin irritation, or digestive issues, it could signify that your mental well-being is affecting your physical health. The same is true with disrupted sleeping habits.
General dissatisfaction with life – Do you feel irritable for no reason, or are you losing interest in activities that you usually find rewarding? Perhaps you also feel like your relationship is becoming distant or getting nowhere in your career. At times like these, it’s good to take a step back and re-focus on what matters most to you.
Counselling is often correlated with serious mental or emotional issues. However, it is just as beneficial when everything seems fine on the outside, but you just can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong or lacking. It works for relationship problems as well. And if you feel that you need help with yours, you may benefit from getting professional online relationship counselling.
Significant mood and behavioural changes – Is your anxiety or depression getting worse? Are you having angry outbursts more often, or you’re withdrawing from friends and family more and more? Significant changes in your mood and behaviour are big signs that you may need professional help.
At times like this, it’s okay to admit it and say, “I need counselling.” Through counselling, you will have a safe space to talk about your problems and support from a qualified professional.
Loved ones have suggested counselling to you – It’s natural to feel offended, upset, or defensive when this happens to you. But remember that your loved ones only worry and want the best for you. They know you better than most people around you and may have noticed that you are not your usual self.
They can also support you while you learn to cope with the issues you are dealing with instead of judging you for choosing to seek counselling.
The Benefits of Counselling
Counselling has many benefits that are often overlooked because of its stigma. But if you get the courage to get yourself the professional help you need, you will experience the following benefits:
Talk to Someone Who’s Listening
Opening up about your problems to your loved ones may feel like you are putting an unnecessary burden on them. But with a therapist, you can talk about yourself and your issues freely without consequence. Your therapist wants to listen to what you have to say, your fears, what worries you, or what upsets you. In fact, the more you say, the more they can help you.
Make Informed Decisions
People go to the gym to build and strengthen their physical health. Likewise, counselling helps you build strength in your mind. And the more mentally strong you are, the better you can confidently make sound decisions.
Learn to Navigate Difficult Times
It’s difficult to find clarity in tough times. But talking to a counsellor can help nourish yourself in a safe environment. Through them, you can gain the skills needed to overcome difficult situations.
Gain a Sense of Relief
Do you feel like crying it out? Then go ahead and do it. After all, it’s your choice how your session goes. Crying it out or venting all your frustrations can give you an overwhelming sense of relief. Moreover, you can talk to someone who listens attentively and helps you better understand what you need to do.
Gain New Perspectives You Haven’t Considered
Therapists can help you realise behavioural patterns and recurring issues that are linked together. Doing this will help you understand what you are dealing with and make your issues easier to resolve.
Nurture Mental Wellness
Engaging in counselling can help individuals better perceive themselves and develop healthier romantic and platonic relationships with loved ones. Moreover, counselling also offers strategies for proper stress management, which is essential to achieving stable well-being and happiness.
Develop Openness and Acceptance
Do you think your past traumas, failures and mistakes define you? If yes, then you are mistaken. Counsellors can help you ponder the reality that you don’t have control over everything in life and are bound to commit mistakes. They can also help you learn how to stand up from the fall when your past trauma holds you back.
Counselling can help you accept who you are despite your flaws while recognising your strengths. By doing so, you can identify your psychological needs and cater to them better.
Myths Surrounding Therapy
Therapy is deeper than counselling, but its stigma also affects the general public’s perception of counselling. Constant efforts to erase therapy’s stigma are now encouraging individuals to seek professional help. But where did its negative connotations come from? Let’s explore and debunk the top myths surrounding psychotherapy.
Therapy is for Crazy People
Unfortunately, one of the main reasons people who desperately need therapy refuse to get it is they may be labelled “crazy” if they seek treatment. Therapy is for all types of people, those with severe depression, anxiety, trauma, or who need someone to talk to and a support system.
Seeking Help is a Weakness
It’s often thought that talking about your problems is a sign of weakness because it shows that you can’t handle them on your own. But even though we learn to develop independence, we still learn through others. It’s alright to accept that we cannot do everything ourselves. For instance, doctors are there to treat minor to major physical illnesses, so how is therapy any different?
You’re Looking for Attention
Some people go to great lengths to avoid being discovered that they are seeking therapy because of the stigma associated with it. So, why would they seek attention by doing it? Moreover, this often happens in the medical field when someone suffering from a factitious disorder would fake symptoms of an illness to get attention.
You Can Just Take a Pill
Medication and psychotherapy are both effective for treating specific disorders. However, studies show that therapy is a safer treatment that lasts longer and prevents relapse. On the other hand, medications can have dangerous side effects ranging from vomiting, headaches, seizures, and chest pain to violent behaviour, suicidal thoughts, depression, and the like. As such, therapy and counselling’s benefits outweigh the risks of medical intervention.
Talk to Our Counsellors at DIPAC
DIPAC comprises a team of highly skilled professionals that provides counselling, therapy, mediation and life coaching services. We strongly believe that everyone can make positive changes in their lives. As such, we do our utmost to help our clients overcome challenges and reach their full potential by providing them with the support and tools they need to succeed.
Start your journey to overcome life’s challenges and book a session with our counsellor today. We understand that clients have various privacy preferences. As such, we offer face-to-face sessions in Canberra and online counselling Australia-wide. Feel free to choose the more convenient option for you. Call us for enquiries.