What is Counseling?
The terms therapy and counselor (as well as therapist and counselor) can be used interchangeably.
They essentially mean the same thing. Webster defines counseling as “the provision of assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties, especially by a
Although it’s “cool” to say “my therapist says,” there are valid fears when it comes to actually going to counseling. The stigma of being labeled as “crazy and opening up to a stranger is real.
We can cite all kinds of statistics about the benefits of counseling but a personal experience from Lisa's* point of view can really shine a light on the benefit of counseling. "As a young adult, I was going through so much and my friends and family weren’t being as helpful as they’d once been with their advice. I went on Google and searched for therapists, I checked Psychology Today for a therapist, I asked friends, mentors and even co-workers for a therapist. By the time my research was complete, I had received the names of about ten therapists. I didn’t call one of those suggestions until about 8 months later! Although I was okay with going to a therapist I had a lot of fears. I was afraid of having a stranger judge me and all of my mess.
I was afraid that I wouldn’t get a therapist that understood me. I was afraid that I was too far gone and a professional couldn’t even help me. I was just plain afraid."
All of Lisa's fears were valid but fears should never stop you from seeing someone who can help you. Therapists are not going to judge you! Chances are they’ve heard everything that you’ve been through and guess what, they may have been through it themselves!
If there were a medicine that would help you feel better, would you take it? Absolutely! So why wouldn't you get the emotional help you need via counseling?
The same way that not all hairstyles are for everyone, all therapists aren’t for everyone either. You can and you will find a therapist that will understand you and you and your therapist will understand each other.
All in all, beginning therapy can be a fear inducing process but therapy is a careful dance between a therapist and a client. When both the clinician and the client are working together towards to the same goal, it’s a beautiful process!