Therapy is becoming an acceptable (and sometimes trendy) thing to do, yet there is still a lingering sense of stigma about seeking professional counseling. Many people find themselves thinking things like I’m not crazy or weak, I can just talk to my friends, or This isn’t anything I can’t figure out in a self-help book.
I won’t list all of the counter points (such as… Asking for support doesn’t mean you’re crazy, or It takes courage to ask for help, or Your friends can’t be unbiased or objective with you). I’d rather focus on the GOOD reasons why people seek counseling, in the name of wellness and living a more fulfilling life.
How Can Counseling Help Me?
There are many positive things one can get out of a counseling relationship. So if you’re wondering, “What’s in it for me?”, here are 12 GOOD things can happen because of therapy. Remember–you can’t thrive in your relationships if you’re not taking care of yourself.
You can learn to:
- Fully understand, love, and accept yourself. Therapy can help you explore roadblocks to self-esteem and help you find practical ways to help you strike a healthy balance.
- Make wise decisions. Guidance in identifying your motivations and a healthy dose of discernment leads to confidence and contentment.
- Get along with your parents or family. Or, if you’re a teenager, you can learn how to talk openly with your Parents. Counseling can bring mutual understanding in family relationships.
- Make a good marriage a great marriage. Many relationships are functional, but no longer fun. Couples counseling can help improve communication and offer strategies for returning passion and excitement to your marriage.
- Be a fantastic parent. Many of us, in spite of vowing not to, revert to parenting patterns we observed in our own childhood. Therapy can help you break old patterns and become the parent you want to be.
- Succeed in your career or start a new one. If you feel unhappy where you are and wonder why you can’t achieve your career goals, therapy can help explore your personal and professional obstacles and be a catalyst for a positive change in your career.
- Choose the right kind of people to date. If you are single, dating can be a fun (but sometimes daunting) adventure. Making sure you are choosing the right people for the right reasons brings peace of mind.
- Devote time completely to yourself. Therapy is a course where YOU are the subject matter. You can explore your own thoughts and delve deeper into your feelings and understandings, and/or just sit and be heard without other demands for your attention.
- Reach a personal fitness, career, or relationship goal. Therapists can help you focus on achieving your personal goals, step by step.
- Let go of past hurts and forgive yourself and others. You may have trauma in your background, and counseling provides you a safe place to explore, understand, and heal past wounds so you can move forward in your current life.
- Safely practice assertiveness, expressing emotions, and finding your own voice. Therapy is a “laboratory” to explore, experiment, and practice behaviors that are difficult to navigate. When you’ve tried some new ways of relating, you might be ready to take on the world.
- Understand your purpose in life. A great counselor will encourage you to identify and pursue your passions in ways that give your life more meaning. It is a time for self-reflection and creating positive change.