by Maddie Lukens, MA
Some of our ideas about what a counselor does come from comics, cartoons, sitcoms, or even reality TV shows. Picture this: a client walks into a small office – there is a couch and a desk, probably one thousand books line the shelves of the dimly lit room. The counselor looks up from his desk (he has glasses and frizzy hair) and encourages his client to make himself comfortable. The client eases himself down, lays with his head rested on the arm of the couch. Then the session begins.
Counseling has come a LONG way since this form of therapy was the only option for people to consider when it comes to finding guidance, healing and support. However, a lot of what we imagine about experiences we’ve never had are left up to our imagination and interpretation – informed by the things we’ve seen or heard rumored.
In this blog, we want to dispel some long-standing myths associated with counseling.
Myth #1: “There is something ‘wrong’ with you if you go to counseling” FALSE.
- Counseling is one of the BEST preventative measures you can take to keep you from “needing” to go later. Just like eating healthy and getting plenty of water, exercise and rest keep your body healthy, regular visits with your counselor can help keep your mind and heart healthy as well. Even during times of transition in life – a change of job, beginning retirement, finding that it is just you and your spouse in your house again – counseling is a great option because you might need more support to enter into the next season of life successfully. Have you ever heard the saying: “how you leave one season sets you up for how you begin the next?” This is true for your emotional and mental state – make sure you have the support you need to successfully transition into the next season of your life.
Myth #2: “All counselors are weird & eccentric.” FALSE.
- You’ve probably thought it – heck, I’ve thought it and I’m a counselor myself! I think many reasons people forgo counseling is because of the idea they have in their head of a counselor as an eccentric person with frazzled hair – you go into their office to lay on a couch and talk about your unconscious. Counselors are people, just like you – we have favorite hobbies, colors, and food. We like to be outside, play sports, and hang out with our families. Reminding yourself that you are going to be talking to a human who also has struggles being human at times might be what you need to take the next step & get the support you need.
Myth #3: “You only need to go to counseling once.” FALSE.
- For some people, they have gone to Christian counseling and worked through their trauma, yet they find themselves still struggling with anxiety, or that depression they just can’t kick. Think of counseling as a “tune up,” instead of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We all move through life in seasons – some seasons are busy, some slow, others hurtful and exhausting, while some are enjoyable and freeing. Whatever season you are in, make sure you consider if you might need a “tune up” to get you back on track – heading in the direction you want your life to take you.
Myth #4: “Counselors can read your mind.” FALSE.
- Although it may feel like your mind is being read at times, the key to being a great counselor is using empathy. Empathy is what allows a counselor to understand where you are coming from and learn how to support you best. Deep down every human desires to feel known and understood – empathy is the key to unlocking that experience.
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Now that you know the truth behind these myths – take the next step and make an appointment at Lime Tree Counseling today! Our team is made up of experienced, down to earth people who have chosen to be counselors to serve our community and help you find freedom from life’s challenges. Reach out to make your appointment in our Ambler, PA office today – we’re also available via telehealth during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. You are not alone.