1. “My life should be fine; why should I have counselling?” Because prevention is Better Than Cure
Updated: Jan 31
Who has counselling? Lots of people, for all sorts of reasons. In the introduction to this series I said that the process is unique for everybody, and so are the mixture of reasons they might have for trying it out.
I’m aware of an idea that counselling is something that is a ‘cure’, which suggests that you have to feel ‘ill’ to benefit from it. And counselling absolutely can help people with enduring mental health issues, either on it’s own or as part of a wider treatment plan. It can save lives.
What counselling can also do, is be a preventative measure that helps you to work through problems and fears before it all becomes too big and overwhelming, and feels impossible to manage.
In my previous work with a charity I was part of a team who counselled people categorised as having ‘mild to moderate mental health issues’. I saw how counselling could have a huge impact on these clients in a relatively short period of time, helping them to work through the issues that brought them to see me and leave feeling stronger, with more resilience, stronger personal boundaries, more confidence and more self-esteem.
So if “My life should be fine; why should I have counselling?” is a thought that rings bells for you, I would say that counselling is likely to be something you’ll find helpful. If you’re considering it, that suggests you’re open to the experience of trying it out for yourself.
I’ve heard many variations of “My life should be fine; why do I need counselling?” over the years. They might sound something like this:
“I have a good job, a nice house and I love my family. I don’t know what I have to feel bad about.”
“I just don’t feel like me at the moment, but I don’t know why. It’s not like anything bad is happening.”
“These are such first world problems. You must think I’m just moaning”
“I don’t know why I’m here, really.”
“I feel selfish for being here when other people need it more than I do. I feel like I’m wasting your time.”
I hear a lot of negative self-talk and harsh judgement in these statements. Being in this mindset can make it difficult to find the patience to start working through things. I talk a lot about the importance of selfcare and self-compassion and being able to offer yourself some of that would be useful here.
Self-compassion, selfcare and creating and holding personal boundaries are important for strengthening self-esteem and allowing you to value yourself enough to meet our own needs. So these ideas are in the counselling room often as I encourage clients to apply them to themselves.
I also know that it’s not an easy thing to do to put yourself first and attend to your own needs. It’s not something that comes naturally. But is absolutely something that counselling can help you work through.
Look out for the next blog in the series: “My Life should be fine; why should I have counselling?” Because stress can creep up on you, for a hypothetical case study of what you might talk about in your first sessions.
I hope you find these blogs interesting and helpful. If you’d like to read more of my musings you can subscribe to my blog at https://www.tranquillocounselling.com/blog, follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tranquillocounselling or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/toniahiggins/
New blogs will be published on Fridays.
*These blogs are based on a hypothetical issues that can be explored in counselling and not on specific, real-life client cases.