Knowing When To Seek Professional Help

[quote type=”center”]Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. ~Victor Hugo, Les Miserables[/quote]

Have you ever felt like you’re standing on the edge of a very rough place in your life? There come times in life when we simply need more help to deal with situations. Death of a loved one, relationship issues, anxiety, anger, depression, job loss, teenager issues, and the list can go on.

It’s great to talk with friends or family (if it’s possible in your situation), but the truth is, they are always going to be biased. They usually can’t see things from a completely objective perspective because they have a personal relationship with you.

Seeking help from a professional counselor or therapist (or clergy) is one of the best ways to get through some of life’s greatest challenges. They can give you mental & emotional tools to deal with things in a way you haven’t been able to before – often by gaining a new understanding. They are well-trained & experienced in what they do.

It’s Hard At First, But It’s Not Really So Scary

If you haven’t visited with a professional before, the thought of it can be pretty intimidating but there really isn’t anything to fear. Here are a few things to keep in mind when seeking professional help.

  • They truly have a desire to help you.
  • No need to be embarrassed or ashamed – you don’t have to tell anyone you’re going & you should be proud of yourself for taking steps to make things better.
  • You visits are held in confidentiality.
  • Counselors, therapists & clergy are objective listeners (or they should be) – able to provide a helpful, neutral, 3rd-party perspective.
  • Church organizations can often recommend a counselor to you.
  • You can’t change someone else through counseling. You’re going to help YOU.
  • Counselors specialize in different areas. You can find one that meets your needs on the internet or in the phone book.
  • Stay open to what they have to say. Sometimes it’s not what you want to hear, but they are objective & can see things you can’t always see.
  • Stick with it – when they give you ideas to try. Do the homework.

The Voice of Experience

Over the years I’ve visited with counselors, therapists and clergy to help me deal with life issues more effectively. At first, I thought, “I don’t need help!” I was also embarrassed about going to lay it all out there in front of a stranger. Truth is, it’s almost always helped. I say “almost always” because there were times when I wasn’t open to receiving what they had to teach me. I didn’t always use the tools that they gave in the form of coping strategies. When I have been open minded & receptive, it has been well worth the time, money & personal effort. Again, do the homework and don’t give up.

[quote type=”center”]You don’t have to be great to start…but you have to start to be great.[/quote]

I would highly encourage anyone who is going through extreme challenges to seek some kind of help like this. It takes time to get through most personal issues in our lives. The time is yours, though – make the most of it!


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