Mental health affects many people globally, and many delay seeking help due to their misconceptions about counselling. In this post, we challenge the top three myths about counselling:
1) "I am weak; therefore, I seek help from a counsellor."
People often do not come forward to seek counselling support because of the fear of being labelled as "weak". In my opinion, coming forward to seek help is always seen as "strong" instead of "weak" because it takes a lot of courage for anyone to admit that they need support. The real weakness here is the act of hiding and masking this vulnerability, thinking that seeking help is shameful. Everyone will be vulnerable at a certain point in their lives; hence, it only makes sense to seek help when needed before the situation gets worse. Instead, one should be proud of themselves because only emotionally strong people can open up and share their difficulties with someone.
2) "Counsellors will help you solve your problems."
The goal of counselling is to resolve issues presented by the client. However, it is not the counsellor who will intervene and solve your problems on your behalf. Instead, a counsellor's role is to help you analyse the situation you are in and work together to develop options or actions to be taken to achieve the ideal outcome. The counsellor empowers you to take ownership of your issues. In short, the counsellor serves as the GPS while you drive your car.
3) "Only someone with similar experience will be able to understand me."
If this statement is true, it would mean that a counsellor would need to go through a lot in life to work with clients who present different issues. Some clients prefer to talk to their friends who have experience and have been through similar topics, which can also be helpful. However, remember that advice coming from a friend is usually based on their perspectives/experiences and may not be objective. On the other hand, a professionally trained counsellor can help you objectively gain insights into the situation and manage your feelings surrounding it.