Suppose you have been dealing with mental health issues or been going through an emotionally challenging time lately. In that case, you may have thought about or even been recommended to go to therapy or counseling. If your first reaction is to deny or deflect this thought, you wouldn’t be the first person. Counseling can seem intimidating to some, but this fear often isn’t rational and might hinder your ability to live a healthy future. Here, we’ll examine what you can do to overcome this fear.

Self-Inflicted Stigma

Many of us have an inner voice, and those of us experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues that can affect our self-esteem might find this voice can be our biggest critic. It can introduce worries about stigma and labels that can be applied to us if we go to counseling or therapy. We might want to think of ourselves well enough not to need it and also judge ourselves for needing that help in the first place. It’s essential to address that these subjective qualities that we attribute on our own (with some help from society) are different from objective facts.

Research Counselors/Therapists

When you’re looking for a therapist or a counselor, you might think that you don’t have much of an idea of what you need, which can introduce a bit of choice paralysis. How do you choose the right one? Some people will get recommendations from a doctor or another trusted individual. Still, you can also research services using the five qualities you should be looking for: qualifications, specialism, listening skills, a passion for helping others, and reliability. You can ease worries about your counseling experience by making sure you’re choosing the right help for you.

Help Doesn’t Have to Be Face-to-Face

Counseling has become much more accessible, thanks to the internet (and as a result of Covid-19). This can, in turn, make it a lot easier to arrange an appointment. Some people can feel a better sense of security when they’re in the comfort of their homes receiving virtual counselling, whether in Canada or the United States. You don’t have to be in an unfamiliar space, nor do you have to worry about the logistics of how you reach your appointment if that would typically be a concern. And, for those that don’t know, I also work with clients online and specifically on the topic of grief. I currently have a program called, Do Grief Differently™️, and in late November, I will launch an online grief recovery group program. If you’d like to keep up to date when registration becomes available, sign up for my newsletter, The Unleashed Letters, below this post. 

Afraid to Tell Others

You might want to tell your friends and family about your choice to seek counseling because you want the people important to you to know or because you would like their support, one way or another. Having that conversation alone can be intimidating, but there are scripts that you can follow that can help make it easier to explain your situation. That way, you can ensure you’re effectively putting your side across.

Some trepidation as you go to counseling is to be expected, but many people find that this fades away quickly when they start going. Hopefully, the tips above can help you feel more confident as you make a new choice for yourself and your future. 

much love, victoria

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