One of the biggest problems with the modern counselling industry in the United Kingdom is the way in which there is so much conflicting information doing the rounds. Not that this is entirely surprising, given the fact that it is often interpreted as something of an awkward or even taboo subject. The vast majority of people firmly believe that counselling isn’t necessarily for them, but instead exists for other people with problems much more severe than their own.
The problem is, most people are naturally pre-programmed to keep their problems to themselves and live in a state of denial, even if they know something isn’t quite right. On top of this, there is also a great deal of misunderstanding and confusion when it comes to the subject of counselling and therapy. One of the reasons for this being that there are quite a number of highly established untruths that continue to paint an inaccurate picture of what professional counselling is all about. The more you buy into these misconceptions, the less likely you are to seek the assistance you need, when and where you need it.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of just a few highly common and longstanding counselling myths you have probably come across one time or another:
Counselling exists only for those at rock-bottom
Perhaps the single most common myth of all when it comes to professional counselling is that which suggests it is a service suitable only for those with extremely serious problems. While it is true to say that counselling certainly has the potential to transform the lives of those in rather desperate situations, this doesn’t mean that you have to be at the end of your rope to benefit from professional counselling. Just as Harley Street addiction counselling can help those with severe drug addictions, there are counsellors that specialise in relationship issues, self-confidence, anxiety, stress and so on. The simple fact of the matter being that there’s really no such thing as a personal issue too insignificant to be brought to the attention of the professionals. If it is something that could improve your quality of life, it is something worth talking about.
You already know what the counsellor will tell you
There will always be those who assume that as they believe they already know the kind of advice a counsellor would offer them, there is really no sense speaking to one. Instead, it’s a case of finding their own way around their problems and dealing with things solo. In reality though, it’s actually quite to the contrary as it’s the job of the counsellor to bring up, discuss and suggest things that you yourself may never have thought about otherwise. Counselling isn’t about stating the obvious and telling people what they already know, but rather about challenging, educating and steering clients in the right direction.
Professional counselling is impossibly expensive
While it is perfectly possible to pay a hefty price for counselling, this does not necessarily mean that all counselling is prohibitively expensive. Contrary to popular belief, most counsellors are not in their chosen line of work simply for the money, but rather for their lifelong passion for helping people. When you work with a truly reputable and dedicated counsellor, you’ll find that they will work in accordance with both your requirements and your budget. Even if you only have very limited finances available, this does not in any way mean that you cannot benefit from truly outstanding counselling. If you don’t ask, you will never know.
To seek professional assistance means to admit weakness or failure
While the basis of this particular myth is reasonably understandable, it is also enormously misguided. The reason being that while it is technically easy to hold onto your problems and pretend they aren’t happening, it takes enormous strength, courage and confidence to bring them to the surface and discuss them with a professional. Asking for help when help is needed is not a sign of weakness, but more a sign of common sense and proactivity. When there is something that can genuinely make a real and lasting positive difference in your life, there is absolutely no sense whatsoever in sidestepping it.
It would be better to speak to a friend or family member
Last up, while speaking to friends and family members about personal issues can certainly be helpful, it is an entirely different process and encounter than a professional counselling session. The reason being that when you speak to an individual who is in any way emotionally connected with you, it is unlikely that either of you will remain 100% honest and impartial. The advice you need is advice that comes from those who can look at you and your situation entirely objectively and free of emotion – not friends or family members.