Although perceptions are changing, many people still consider counseling to be the last resort for mentally weak or dysfunctional people. They believe that we should be able to manage our personal and relational problems without involving some stranger who does not even know them. That is a common myth about counseling, and nothing could be further from the truth. Here are six more common myths about counseling:
Myth: My friends and family know me better than any counselor, which makes them more able to help.
Fact: Our friends and family have an important, personal investment in us. While they certainly care about us, they can’t (and shouldn’t) have the objectivity to help us see our problems in a way that facilitates the greatest improvement.
Myth: Counselors only want to medicate me.
Fact: While medication can be helpful in some circumstances, it certainly is not right for everyone. A counselor’s job is to help clients think about their problems in new ways, to elicit solutions that may not have occurred to them otherwise.
Myth: Counselors just give advice.
Fact: You are the expert on your own life, and counselors understand that you must live your own life. Rather than tell you what to do, a counselor helps you work through problems systematically, helping to uncover options and opportunities you had not yet considered.
Myth: My biggest problem is with my spouse/child/parent/whoever, and a counselor can’t do anything about that.
Fact: Although not all counselors work with relationships, many do. They can help people learn to communicate more effectively and live with each other in mutual love and respect.
Myth: I tried a couple of sessions, and it didn’t change anything.
Fact: Problems are often complex, having developed over many years for many reasons. Important changes take time, and counseling can be an important part of the change process.
Myth: I don’t need counseling because it won’t do any good.
Fact: Although not everyone needs counseling, everyone experiences times when it could be beneficial and bring about improvement more efficiently and more deliberately than without counseling.
All people, regardless of geography, income, race, or religion, experience times in life when the obstacles and problems seem too great for our resources and emotional fortitude to manage. While some difficulties are more challenging than others, all of us experience times in our lives when we begin to lose hope and doubt that an acceptable resolution will emerge. These are the moments in life when seeking a professional counselor can be helpful.The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor provides high quality, affordable counseling services to Belton and the surrounding communities through the Community Life Center. We also offer outstanding graduate programs in counseling.