Walk with us through a few of the most common misconceptions we hear regarding counseling, mental health, and mental wellness.
- If we need relationship/marriage counseling something must be wrong with our relationship.
FALSE: Ask any successful couple and they have likely had some sort of guidance along the way. Routine relationship counseling allows couples to build on strengths, identify unhealthy patterns, strengthen communication, and build life-long strategies for maintaining a healthy dynamic. Think of it like routine car maintenance… you can wait until the tires fall off, but you are going to have a lot more challenging work to do to get back on the road than if you had done maintenance work along the way.
- I’ve prayed about it and sought spiritual counseling/advice, so it would be wrong to seek out clinical mental health counseling.
FALSE: A well-known pastor in the community and global teacher said this week that mental health is the greatest illness the church is facing today. The partnership of faith, spirituality, and mental health counseling is beautiful and powerful. Just like I would trust my church leaders to pray with me while I sought the professional expertise of a cardiologist for a heart condition, we welcome partnership with your spiritual leaders who wish to come alongside of you as we equip you with evidence-based counseling for your mental wellness. Several of our counselors offer Christian counseling specific to your needs at your request as well.
- My child is too ________ (young, bad, old, smart, high-achieving) to need counseling.
FALSE: We work with all kinds of children, adolescents, and young adults, starting with play-based therapy as young as 2. We are happy to offer an intake session to meet with you and evaluate your child’s needs, and if we are not the appropriate level of care we can help connect you to the person who is the right fit. Our favorite myth to debunk is that high-achieving children don’t need counseling. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Often times the high-achieving individual is one who faces tremendous stress, pressure, anxiety, and self-doubt, all while trying to internalize and hold it all together. Counseling can be so powerful for all walks of life.
- Needing counseling is a weakness; it means that you haven’t tried hard enough or you’re “too negative” and just need to focus on what is good in your life.
FALSE (though our jobs would certainly be easy if this were true): Mental health diagnoses like anxiety, depression, PTSD, adjustment disorder, and more are all clinical diagnoses. This is the same “seriousness” or credibility level as getting a diagnoses from a medical doctor for diabetes or hypertension. Just like you wouldn’t ignore a medical diagnosis, it is reckless for us to give heedance to the stigma surrounding mental health, and ignore our mental wellness for the sake of making others more comfortable. Yes, mental health struggles can be vulnerable and difficult to discuss, but asking for help and seeking counseling is the first step to healing.