Unfortunately, in our society it is not always easy to seek professional counseling. This challenge does not stem from the lack in availability of these services, but rather the negative stereotypes that can be associated with the decision to seek help. These labels tend to discourage people from making the decision to begin therapy.
Many of the negative stigmas about counseling are not only incorrect but also contradictory in nature; and Cornerstone is here to set the record straight! If you are one of the doubters or know someone who is uncertain, here are some tips on how to address the most common hesitancies.
- “If I go to counseling, it means that something is wrong with me or that I am crazy.”
There are certain people who believe that those that attend counseling are ill or unwell, but that is not the case. There are many people who seek therapy as a safe outlet to address stress and navigate the every-day challenges that life can present. It is healthy for people to seek the counsel of someone else when coping with these matters and it is often best to do it with a professional. There are times when a correlating condition is discovered, but that should not be a deterrent from beginning therapy.
Think about it this way: If you or your loved one were showing signs of the flu, you would take them to the doctor to receive treatment. Counseling works the exact same way. Just as the flu can worsen with time untreated, so can mental stressors and conditions.
Regardless of your circumstances, Cornerstone encourages you to view counseling not as a submission to being unwell but an assurance that you are healthy.
- “If I see a counselor, it means that I am weak.”
We live in a highly independent society. People are often discouraged from seeking the help and support of others because there is a stereotype that suggests it in some way makes them inadequate. At Cornerstone Counseling we would like to make an argument for the opposing viewpoint.
Taking the initiative to be the healthiest version of yourself makes you stronger than those who choose to ignore those needs. It is a sign of strength to take charge of your physical and mental wellness by insuring you receive the guidance and support you need. With the assistance of a therapist many people become more confident and capable than they were beforehand.
- “I am afraid to trust a stranger with my most personal thoughts and feelings.”
Most people can agree that it is scary to let someone into our personal lives, especially someone that we have never met. What many people do not know is that sharing things with a counselor is the safest outlet for this information. All professional counseling organizations must comply with some form of Client/ Counselor Confidentiality which will keep your discussions confidential so long as they are not life threatening in any way.
We would also encourage you to do your own research when selecting a therapist. Review their strengths and areas of focus to determine what will be the best fit. Most organizations offer bios on their counselors so that you are able to better select someone to speak with. Preparing yourself with this information will likely help the relationship develop more organically when you attend your first sessions.
And remember, we are here to help! Judgment is not present in our offices so do not be concerned with the depth of information that you will share. The purpose of therapy is to become a better you, and we are fully on board with that task, no matter what!
- "I cannot afford to go to counseling"
It is very common for people to deny counseling due to the concern of financial cost. However, most insurance companies offer coverage for these services in some capacity. We encourage you to go online to your insurance agency or give them a call to clarify the coverage options that you have within your benefits program.
Uninsured? Not to worry! There are still ways in which you can take advantage of these services. There are public mental health organizations that offer services for those without insurance; and if you qualify for Medicaid you should be able to find a counseling organization that will cover your visits. Go online to Medicaid’s website to figure out what the qualifying factors are in your area so that you are able to take advantage of the care you need. And of course, if you have any other questions about coverage, feel free to give us a call for more information.
At Cornerstone Counseling, we see a variety of individuals for many purposes, but our goal is always to make our clients feel supported in their journey toward wellness and healing. Whether you are nervous, hesitant or confused—please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions for you and alleviate any further concerns!