Have you ever really struggled with a relationship? Do you find yourself getting nervous about something that might never happen? Have you ever felt powerless to change something in your life? Has a bad habit ever become a problem? Has a medical provider ever suggested that you need to make lifestyle changes? What about body image- are you comfortable in your own skin? Is your career fulfilling? Is your work-life balance just right? Have you ever had a hard time letting go of something in your past?
If you have ever found yourself in a situation like one of these and so many others, there’s a good chance that at some point in your life, you might have benefitted from counseling!
If we’re honest, most of us can say that we’ve experienced at least one of the things I described. Are we crazy, are we damaged, should we feel ashamed? Of course not! These experiences are so common that many people think they have to deal with them on their own. But the truth is that for each of those situations, there are mental skills that might make difficult circumstances easier.
Too often, people are reluctant to ask for help because they worry what others might think or because they think that they should “toughen up” and just “get over it”. Many times, other people in our lives offer suggestions such as “Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps” or “quit whining and do what you need to do”. The trouble with this advice is that sometimes you don’t know where to start, you lack the motivation to make changes, or you may be held back by fear or the past or even by your loved ones.
This month is Counseling Awareness month. For me, this means enthusiastically dispelling myths about seeking help. I feel so strongly about encouraging people to reject antiquated ideas about mental health as a taboo subject. There are times that we can all use some help creating new patterns of wellness. Let’s continue to develop a culture of respect for our minds as well as our bodies. Let’s remember that wellness grows from the inside out. And let’s stop thinking we should do everything on our own.
Written by: Susana Marikle, PsyD