1. “Counseling is just for ‘crazy’ people.” Most people immediately seek professional medical assistance when they are in great PHYSICAL pain — and yet there is still deep shame associated with the need to seek professional assistance for deep EMOTIONAL pain. Psychological or relationship counseling can help to alleviate and heal that emotional pain (which can be as debilitating as physical pain). Mental health is at least as important as physical health in one’s overall sense of well-being and quality of daily functioning.
2. “I don’t need to talk to a stranger about my problems — I can just talk to my friends.” Have you ever been in the situation where a friend going through an emotional crisis calls you several times a day over a period of weeks or months (or even years!) to vent or complain on and on about the same thing? A competent and experienced mental health professional can help people focus on what is causing their emotional crisis, and figure out what specific steps to take toward addressing and resolving that crisis.
3. “I don’t want to be psychoanalyzed by someone who doesn’t even know me.” Renowned family therapy pioneer, Virginia Satir, once said, “We can’t see our own backside.” Many times, we are so emotionally close to a particular situation or person, that we cannot clearly see all the different angles and perspectives regarding that situation or person. Even our friends and family are emotionally invested in our lives, and cannot provide an objective perspective. A competent and experienced mental health professional CAN provide the unbiased third-party objective perspective that could help people initiate positive change in their life.
4. “Counseling takes too much time.” As long as there is no immediate threat of suicide or other medical crisis, even a few sessions with a competent and experienced mental health professional can help alleviate emotional pain. The therapist will work together with each client to mutually figure out how many sessions would be appropriate for their particular circumstances.
5. “Counseling is too expensive.” As with other things, people will always have enough money for what is most important to them. People who realize the importance and value of seeking counseling to alleviate their emotional pain are willing to allocate financial resources to get it. Having said that, there are several payment options to obtain counseling services. These include: 1. full fee payment, 2. health insurance coverage, 3. sliding-scale fees, and 4. group counseling. Payment options vary with each therapist.