Why Do People Avoid Counselling?
For many people, the idea of seeing a counsellor for the first time is daunting, to say the least. Often, before attending a counselling session, people have very little idea of what to expect; and the idea of talking about personal issues with a stranger is enough to bring on a nervous sweat.
Whether you’re considering seeing a counsellor for serious issues such as anxiety or depression, or simply hoping to get some help with goals and personal success, there are many ideas about counselling that stop people from picking up the phone and making that first appointment.
My issues are not serious enough to need a counsellor
Perhaps the most common misinterpretation about counselling is that it’s only suitable for ‘serious’ issues, or for when we are at breaking point. Of course, counselling can be a useful and even vital tool in overcoming significant personal struggles; however, it can also be of great help in our everyday lives. Did you know that counsellors can provide help with life coaching, personal empowerment, goal-setting, weight management and even overcoming addictions such as smoking?
Counsellors are experts in helping people to self-actualise and reach their full potential; no matter their personal struggles. Practitioners at Integrated Health Specialists offer holistic counselling services on the Gold Coast, which incorporate a number of different techniques, in order to help you reach your own goals. You can read more about the range of services offered by Integrated Health Specialists here. And explore the various ‘Personal Accelerator Programs’ on offer here.
I don’t like the idea of talking to a stranger
When we are struggling with serious personal struggles or emotional issues, it can be hard enough to disclose our problems to friends and family, let alone a stranger. Little do many people realise just how liberating this process can be. Counsellors and psychologists are experts in compassionate and non-judgemental therapy, and their techniques involve engaging their clients as the driving force behind their own personal growth. As an objective party, with only your best interests in mind, an effective counsellor can help you to open-up about your personal issues without fear of judgement or discrimination. In fact, many people report that this is the most beneficial element of their counselling.
I have heard about some bad experiences with counsellors
We have all heard horror stories about bad experiences with counsellors and psychologists, just like with any profession such as doctors or teachers. The unfortunate fact is that not every therapist will be suited to you. It is important to find a counsellor with whom you feel comfortable and can relate to. Any professional therapist will understand that you need to find a good ‘fit’, and will ensure that you are feeling at ease with them in your sessions. Do not be afraid to ask questions about their experience, techniques and philosophies on the type of therapy you are undertaking.
Many therapists’ websites will give you a good understanding of the type of services they offer, and on their approach to counselling and psychology. Taking the time to peruse this information can help you to make an informed decision about the therapists’ suitability to your needs.
Most importantly, you are at the centre of your therapy. Client-centred therapy is an approach to counselling that sees the client as the most important aspect in their own recovery. Your counsellor cannot (and will not) solve your problems for you, or dictate to you. They will work in conjunction with you, and help to guide you through your therapy. You can read more about Integrated Health Specialists and our approach to therapy here.
Talking about my problems will not solve them
For generations, counselling and psychology have been considered by many to be something that only people with serious mental health issues seek out. And for that matter, simply speaking openly about and ‘admitting’ mental health concerns has largely been taboo. In recent years, however, mental health issues have garnered some much-needed public attention. Many high-profile personalities, sports stars and celebrities have spoken openly about their struggles with mental health, including depression, anxiety and addiction. Thankfully, the stigma around such issues has started to dissipate and people are gradually finding it easier to come forward about their own struggles.
Former Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett AC is perhaps one of the most recognisable faces of mental health advocacy in recent times. In 2000, Jeff became the inaugural chairman of Beyond Blue as he openly discussed his own battle with depression, which had consumed him for years. (You can read more about Beyond Blue and their ambassadors here).
It is important to understand that mental health professionals such as counsellors and psychologists are trained in proven, effective techniques to overcome the struggles that so many Australians face today. Tried and tested methods such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy), Hypnotherapy, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) are just a few of the therapeutic techniques offered by practitioners, which can make real and lasting change in the lives of counselling clients.
An experienced practitioner will employ a range of therapies to suit your needs and personal goals. Find out more about our counselling services here.