My first experience with a therapist
I grew up surrounded by people who thought to see a therapist was a sign you were crazy, weak, or just plain dumb. In looking back, this view of counseling was pretty standard for the times. Regardless, I scheduled my first counseling visit in my early twenties, despite the peer pressure to do otherwise. After college, in my first career in banking, I found myself depressed. Contrary to the condition of my life – happily married, new job, great friends – I found myself sinking into a depression. To feel that way seemed crazy. No one understood, and neither did I. While I couldn’t put my finger on the root of the unhealth, I knew it was there. It was then I knew that the only chance I had of figuring out what was going on was to seek help. It was a decision I have never regretted.
Growth and counseling go hand-in-hand
In fact, with each new season of growth, I rediscover the value of sound counseling. While the awareness of mental health is on the rise, the benefits of counseling for personal growth are often still untapped. As can be seen even more clearly through social media, the signs of unhealth in relationships at home, at work and other areas of life are evident. Consider the value counseling could bring to your personal growth by tackling the signs of unhealth.
Ten signs it might be time to schedule that appointment
- Frequent display of negative emotions (anger, frustration, depressed, discouraged)
- Avoidance of communicating in conflict
- Inability to say No (people pleasing)
- Difficulty asking for help or delegating in a negative way
- Failure to offer constructive criticism in a positive way
- Unkind treatment of individuals (bullying, demanding, dominating, manipulating)
- Unhealthy competition. Frequently frustrated by others success. Often stuck focusing more on the actions of your competitors than the achievement of your goals.
- Isolating, ignoring, or inundating others in your life for fear they will appear better than you.
- Frequently make decisions based on personal emotions vs. factors like logic, common goals, etc.
- Imbalance. Lack of self-care and balance of family, friends, and fun.
Life is tough. Relationships are not easy. The benefits of processing the challenges of life with a counselor not only make us healthier people, but it also makes our relationships happier.
Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow
Take a few moments and reflect on the signs of unhealth.
- Which signs from the above list are a regular occurrence in your life?
- How are those occurrences affecting your relationships, your work, your finances and the life you dream of creating?
- What is your health worth to you? Tally the costs and see how it compares to the cost of counseling. I’m confident you’ll find it worth the investment in yourself.
Note: My only piece of advice about counseling. Counseling is like ice cream. Everyone has their favorite flavor. If your first choice of a counselor doesn’t seem right, try again. You are worth the search for the right fit.