Counseling or Psychotherapy is very effective in treating mental health issues. Science has shown that counseling even works better in the long-run and is more enduring than medication. Unfortunately, counseling still remains a veiled and stigmatized practice in India, with many myths and misconceptions attached to it. There’s probably little or no stigma attached to going to a doctor when you feel sick, but it’s taboo to get help from a counselor. In reality, a counselor treats your mind and emotions in the same way that a doctor treats your body.
These misconceptions actually stop some people from seeking the help that they need. Let’s bust some of these myths about counseling and bring the hard facts out.
1. Only ‘Crazy’ People Go For Counseling
Most people who go for counseling are ordinary everyday people, just like you and I, not violent, dangerous and “crazy”.
Counseling helps you cope with everyday stress, improve relationships, broaden your perspective and give you more clarity of thought.
2. Counseling Is Only For People With Mental Illness
Most people seek help so that they can cope with disorders, stress, relationships and grief. They wish to figure out who they really are and how to live life to the fullest.
You can seek counseling for your career, sexual wellness and self-improvement too. So, counseling is not exclusive to people diagnosed with mental illness.
3. People Who Go For Counseling Are Broken And Emotionally Damaged
Everything may not be perfectly fine in your life, but that doesn’t mean you’re broken or emotionally damaged. Remember that it’s not the end of the world and that you can seek help for the same and heal.
Counseling is a tool for people to explore themselves and learn to lead a better life.
4. It’s Too Expensive
Counseling may often be expensive but it’s an investment that you make for your physical and emotional well-being.
If you want affordable counseling, you can always talk to our experts at YourDOST. You can chat with with 800+ experts on our platform.
5. Only ‘Weak’ People Go For Counseling
If someone has fractured their hand, what would you do? Ask them to go to a doctor, or tell them to “man up” and deal with it on their own? You would ask them to visit a doctor, right?
So, isn’t it wrong to tell people suffering mentally and emotionally to toughen up, instead of advising them to seek help?
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It just means that you’re taking action. Infact, knowing when to ask for help is actually a sign of strength and self-awareness.
Successful and ambitious people like Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar have sought help. So, there’s no need to shy away from it.
6. People Get Counseled Only After Some Tragedy
People can seek counseling for navigating through life’s cross-roads, relationships, mental ailments and self-improvement.
People get counseled to sort out their personal issues in order to live a happier life. So, tragic events need not act as catalyst for you to go and seek professional counseling. You might be physically and mentally healthy and still seek counseling to maintain or improve it.
7. It’s For People Who Have No One To Talk To
Counseling is different from talking to your family and friends and taking advice from them.
Counselors are highly trained and qualified professionals. They have spent years learning and practicing how to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioural issues.
A friend or family-member may not be able to understand and help you out in certain sensitive matters. It’s crucial to reach out to an expert in such cases.
8. They’ll Prescribe You Medicines
Psychologists are not permitted to prescribe medicines. If they feel that you require medication, they refer you to a Psychiatrist who takes a call on whether or not you need to take any if at all.
In the end, the choice of taking medicine or not is still yours.
9. Counseling Is Endless
Do you visit a Doctor every week or just when you have cold (or other physical ailments)? You will only visit a doctor when the problem occurs and persists, right?
Similarly, counseling is not an eternal process that you will have to undergo everyday for the rest of your life. You would have to seek help till your issues get solved and then you can go back to live a normal life.
10. Counseling Is Common Sense
You would often hear that counseling is a pointless process as counselors would just rework common knowledge. But common sense is wisdom that applies to everyone. Whereas counseling gives an insight that is specific to you and your needs.
Counselors utilize techniques, modalities, and theories that have been rigorously studied and researched. With the support of a professional, counseling focuses only on you and works to understand and guide you to achieve your goals.
Counseling is more than a treatment. It is a lifestyle choice. It is one of the many ways in which we learn to cope with life and enjoy it.
So go out there and seek help if you need it! There’s no shame in wanting to live a better life.
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