Deciding to begin counseling is the beginning of an amazing journey. Making the choice to begin your path to emotional and relational well-being opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities in self-actualization, healing and personal triumph. There are many things you can discover about yourself and the world around you through the counseling process and here are seven core discoveries many people can internalize from their counseling experience.
- It’s OK to have needs– Many of us are conditioned from an early age to think of others’ needs before our own. When your own needs are constantly not being met because you are compromising them for the benefit of your loved ones, it can take its toll on you. Counseling can show you how to continue to be thoughtful and care for the people in your life without sacrificing your own needs.
- It’s OK to have feelings– Our culture emphasizes that negative feelings such as sadness and anger should be avoided, and that happiness what we should feel most of the time. Undergoing counseling is a good way to get in touch with all of your feelings and learn that sometimes you need to sit with sadness or permit yourself to feel angry or hurt without pushing those emotions down or denying that they exist. We are multidimensional by nature… and cutting off the complexity of your feelings is like cutting off part of who you are.
- Nothing is “wrong” with you– Choosing therapy can be difficult because of the stigma that has been placed upon it. Nobody feels bad about having to go to the doctor for a physical condition, yet seeking professional assistance with an emotional or relational issue can make you feel like there is something wrong with you. This could not be farther from the truth!
- You have triggers– Through therapy you will learn the things that hurt you, anger you, or scare you in order to know how to work with them in future situations.
- You can learn from mistakes– “Mistakes” can lead a person to feel embarrassment, shame or a sense of failure. But in therapy you can learn how these experiences can be embraced and accepted because they often teach us valuable lessons that can’t be taught without them. They are actually an opportunity for growth!
- Recharge your batteries– People seeking counseling sometimes find that they have a hard time unplugging from the stress in their lives and enjoying down time such as hobbies, time with friends, relaxation. A therapist can help you explore activities you may enjoy and remind you that leisure time helps you to manage and tolerate your stress.
- You are enough– Feelings of worthlessness and depression can cause you to think of yourself as not good enough or unworthy of attention, affection, love or success. Your therapist will work with you resulting in increased self-esteem and help you with exercises to banish those negative thoughts and reclaim your self-worth.