Counseling is good

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, February 15, 2006, 2:34 PM | comments: 4

I've had conversations with friends lately who are ridiculously opposed to seeing a counselor. They perceive it as something that only really fucked up people need, or some other lame reason.

The irony is that the most well-adjusted people who are proactive in improving their lives are the people that get the most out of it. Seeing a counselor, shrink or whatever, is like meeting with someone that can act as a tour guide through your mind. They don't make decisions for you, they just help you get to the root of your feelings, and offer suggestions on how to process them.

I've personally gained to learn about everything from relationships to dealing with college instructors trying to crush me to understanding my own personality traits to identifying when to rise above my surroundings. If I kick ass, it's probably because of the things I've learned about myself through counseling.

It's not something just for the mentally ill. I don't know why people are so apprehensive about it.


James, February 15, 2006, 8:00 PM #

I have a good friend who started going to a counselor after his girlfriend broke up with him (citing his lifestyle as a lot of her reasons for doing so). His first session was about four months ago and I know he was reluctant to attend at first. It was only because of his mom's pressuring that he went through with it.

It's amazing to see the changes he has made in his life since then. Through counseling he has decided to lose weight, quit smoking, switch to a more fulfilling part-time job, and get more involved in his studies at college. Any one of those changes should be proof enough that "counseling is good," as your title says.

I think people are so adverse to the idea of counseling because they don't like admitting that there might be a "problem." It's as though people have a negative connotation with the idea of asking someone else to help them change for the better. I guess the whole "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality doesn't always work when it comes to our lives and how we live them.

Jeff, February 15, 2006, 8:07 PM #

Yeah, I think pride has a lot to do with it. Feeling you have everything under control, or maintaining the illusion that you have everything under control, is important for people. Also ironic, that very thing keeps people from breaking through the comfort of that illusion in order to achieve actual control.

CPLady, February 16, 2006, 1:04 PM #

I'm all for counseling and, in fact, have been to counseling twice in my life. It made a huge difference for me, helped me to realize where I needed to make changes in my life and learn to deal with situations beyond our control.

If it weren't for counseling, Gordon and I wouldn't be married, and Gordon wouldn't have learned how to deal with his depression.

It is a control thing. If you go to counseling, you are admitting you no longer have control of your life. And that's very difficult for some people to do.

Jeff, February 16, 2006, 1:51 PM #

I don't even think it's that. I went in college even when I was (relatively) in control. It just provided an ongoing sanity check for me.

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