Common Counseling Myths

Common Counseling MythsAlthough 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:Β 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.
Dr. Jason Martin

Dr. Jason Martin

I have been a practicing psychotherapist and marriage counselor for 14 years. Beginning in 2013, I joined the UMHB faculty as Assistant Professor of Counseling and as Clinical Director of the Community Life Center.
Dr. Jason Martin

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Dr. Jason Martin

About Dr. Jason Martin

I have been a practicing psychotherapist and marriage counselor for 14 years. Beginning in 2013, I joined the UMHB faculty as Assistant Professor of Counseling and as Clinical Director of the Community Life Center.

  • http://lovekristinnicole.blogspot.com/ Kristin

    Thanks for this! I utilized counseling services at UMHB when I was a student. I was very thankful for it.

    I think one last myth could be: “I’ll just go talk to my pastor instead.” While pastors are incredibly Godly, wise, and discerning, they have not been trained in the same ways that counselors and therapists have. See the professionals for your mental health!

  • Jason Martin

    Kristin,
    I couldn’t agree more. In my former job, I worked a lot with pastors who would get calls essentially for mental health, emotional, or relational counseling. They often felt in over their heads with these issues. They could handle the pastoral counseling issues, but mental/emotional counseling went outside of their expertise. I became convinced that pastors needed a way to compassionately work with people on their pastoral/spiritual problems while having referrals at the ready when it went beyond their training and expertise. The pastors I worked with were very relieved to get these resources and relieved that their calling did not necessitate them knowing how to treat every single problem their parishioners brought to them.

    Use the right tool (and the right professional) for the right problem.