Why it is OK to Ask for Help
Mental health struggles are part of being human yet so often we feel bad about seeking help or are nervous to get started with counseling. While it is perfectly normal to be anxious about seeking help, speaking with a counselor can offer many benefits.
October is a month of mental health awareness days. National Depression Screening Day is on Oct. 7 and World Mental Health Day is on Oct. 10. It’s a great time to talk about the benefits of seeking help and how to combat any nerves or anxiety about taking that first step.
At CW Psychological Services, we work with clients daily who are struggling with everything from life challenges to traumatic events of the past. Our counselors offer guidance, tips, and support.
Benefits of Seeking Help:
1.) Often our thoughts run away from us. Sometimes those thoughts cannot be trusted. You might tend to experience negative thoughts about yourself or the world. Your mind might think these thoughts are true just because you are thinking them. In counseling, we can show you how to change those thoughts.
2.) Thoughts and emotions are not permanent. Sometimes it feels like they are, though. We get caught up in life circumstances and feel like we will never get out, but there is always a way. In therapy, a counselor can help you find a way.
3.) Getting help is a sign of personal strength. If you are seeking counseling you might feel fragile, unstable, and down on yourself, but the simple fact that you are considering help is a sign of your strength. Reaching out for help is never a sign of weakness—it’s the opposite. It is you taking action to feel and live better.
What if you are nervous about seeking help?
It is perfectly normal to be anxious about seeking therapy. You might not know what to expect or you may be worried about sharing personal details with a counselor. All of these feelings are OK. First off, be proud of yourself for even considering taking the step to seek help. Simply considering seeing a counselor is a great first step.
1.) Schedule your appointment at a convenient time. Feeling rushed is only going to add to your anxious feelings. Make sure your first appointment is at a time when you have plenty of time to get there and some wiggle room after, especially since you may have some lingering emotions that can make it hard to jump right back into life obligations. After a few sessions, you might find that you feel refreshed and then you can determine if you are ok returning to work or school. But, to be safe, give yourself plenty of time for your first session.
2.) Be realistic. Your problems are not going to be magically solved in one session. Your first session might not even get into some of your real challenges. It is a time to get to know your counselor and for your counselor to get to know you. It will likely take a few sessions before you see and feel progress. Good things take time.
3.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask away. That is what your counselor is for. If there is something on your mind, say it. If you are worried about billing or insurance, that is understandable. Ask your counselor for details so you know what to expect.
4.) Be honest. Attending therapy is a great first step, but it won’t help if you are not honest. We all have things we are embarrassed about and things we are ashamed to have done or been part of, don’t hold back. Sharing these things will help to put them in the open and enable your counselor to help you to the best of their ability.
5.) Therapy is a safe space. What you say in therapy is between you and your therapist. It is private and confidential. It is a judgment-free zone.
6.) It is ok if you don’t like your therapist. Not everyone gets along with everyone. It is crucial that you feel comfortable and safe with your therapist. If you dislike them, your sessions will not be as productive. We suggest giving it a couple of sessions and then requesting a change of providers if it is not a good fit. Trust your gut.
Counseling and therapy can go far in approving your mental health and overall well-being. It can bring clarity, problem-solving, and healing, among other things. If you are struggling with what to do, we encourage you to give us a call. You never know unless you try.
Ready to begin counseling in Pennsylvania?
Counselors and associate-level clinicians at CW Psychological Services are professionally trained. We have openings for online or telehealth therapy appointments. Email us at [email protected] or call (610) 308-7575. We are here for you.