As we celebrate Counseling Awareness Month, I can’t help but feel proud of being a part of the wonderful community of helpers that is devoted to the service of others. As a counselor, this profession plays an immense and integral role in my life and my identity. To echo my sentiments, I’m sure I’m not the only one in this field who will agree that therapy should be viewed and treated as a routine healthcare activity – just like physical health.
When it comes to mental health care, our body and mind are undeniably connected and this calls for the de-stigmatization of the concept of taking holistic care of ourselves. Contrary to popular belief, therapy isn’t only meant for individuals suffering from mental health issues; even if the challenges are of a short-term and solution-focused nature. For instance, if you’re in an argument with your mother, or suffering from stress-induced insomnia, a session with a therapist can be of great help to get over the hurdle and be on your way.
When we think of therapy, it’s easy to conjure images of sitting with a psychiatrist while they probe us with questions; but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Visiting a therapist is actually like seeing an objective personal cheerleader and best friend. Someone who offers their undivided attention, encouragement, and counsel without any judgments. It’s a place to talk and work through our emotions, feel secure, and cry if needed, and a great platform to give us the strength to find the solutions we need to tackle life’s challenges.
All this being said, I hope my reflections on the subject have been of help and encourage anyone who may be reading this to consider giving therapy a try. Even if you’re just trying to open your mind to the concept, that is just as good. There is no shame in seeking assistance and assistance is exactly what mental health care is all about.
By: Marianne Middlebrook