“Thoughts on counselling “by Charmaine Arnold
In spite of the openness now attributed to mental health issues, some people still believe that there is a stigma attached to seeking help through counselling. Others may believe that they should be able to resolve their problems without outside help and that seeking outside help somehow denotes failure.
I was therefore encouraged and hopeful when I heard two MPs stand up in the House of Commons two weeks ago and openly speak of their mental health issues. One referred to his long term battle with depression and the other to his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Both men described how they had learnt to integrate their health problems into busy working lives, although this had been difficult for them and their families.
I wonder if the stigma of seeking counselling is only part of the problem or whether the prospect of change is a more unsettling feeling for some. Sometimes it is easier to stay in a difficult relationship or situation because we are familiar with the patterns of behaviour that we experience each day. Although we may be unhappy, there is also a sense of safety in knowing we can deal with situations that have happened time and again. Sometimes fear prevents us from taking that first step.
Yet taking that first step and seeking help can lead to new freedom: you will gain the ability to rethink your life choices and gain confidence and greater self awareness so that you are better able to make informed decisions. Counselling is not something to be feared, rather a process to embrace as a step to leading a fuller, happier life.