This post I am going to dedicate to talk a bit about the stigma that often surrounds therapy. People are afraid of being judged, that they will appear as weak or that there is something wrong with them if they go to a therapist. Unfortunately I hear this much too often. Let me start off by saying that we all have issues, challenges and baggage that we carry around, some larger than others. Having issues are normal and it is human. Wanting to improve yourself by either heal old wounds or change old beliefs makes you smart and it makes you strong. It means that you don’t accept things just the way you are, it means that you are a fighter.
Yup there sure is a lot of stigma attached to mental health and it is not deserved one bit. As a matter of fact, one of the most common reasons for people to not seek treatment is concern about stigma and what people will say or think of them, or worse what they will think of themselves. However, let me simplify and de-stigmatize this for you; If you have pain in your leg you would go to the doctor right? So if you are experiencing emotional pain, why would that be any different? Your brain and emotions need to be taken care of like any other part of your body. Sometimes, getting support and guidance from an unbiased and neutral professional is exactly what we need because often times we are so in our own head that it is hard to see it from any other perspective.
Stigma, just like prejudice and discrimination, often stems from ignorance.
We are afraid of what we don’t know so let’s clarify a few things about therapy. Most people who decide to seek counseling do not have a serious mental illness. They may have serious life challenges or may simply be going through a rough patch and need some help and guidance to get through and get to where they want to be. Other people may realize that they have core beliefs about themselves, life and relationships that stem from previous experiences that are hindering them in life and lead them to miss out on the good things in life. And trust me when I say that all of us have core beliefs that we are not aware of and how they may or may not affect our thoughts and perspectives, our emotions and our behavior.
Life challenges are part of the human experience and it is part of life
Examples of life challenges where one might benefit from a bit of therapy are those we all, at one point or another in life, experiences or will go through such as dealing with career issues, financial problems, insecurities, health issues, family or parent/child conflict, breakups and divorces, addictions and self-destructive lifestyles, or decision-making challenges related to life choices.
Therapy is simply a safe, nonjudgmental place where a qualified professional can help you look at things from a new perspective, help you heal old wounds and give you the tools to become a happier person which in return will affect your career, relationships and improve your overall well-being.
Seeking therapy does not mean that you are crazy, it means that you are human so don’t let stigma keep you from the help you need. It is my personal belief that everyone should go to therapy at one point or another in life. Where else can you go and talk about yourself and your concerns in a confidential and safe environment completely free of judgment where someone listens to you attentively and can help you see things in a different perspective. Where someone can give you tools, advice, and techniques that will help you to make the changes you want to see in your life.
Take care of your mental and emotional health the same way you would your physical health because it allows us to cope with the normal stresses of life and enjoy life to the fullest.
Lots of love and blessings