Counseling is a sign of weakness: Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes courage to acknowledge a problem or difficulty. Entering counseling is an important first step in resolving the problem.
Counseling is only for people with serious emotional problems: Although counseling can be beneficial for people who do have serious emotional problems, it is also helpful for people with everyday concerns such as adjustment or phase of life issues.
Counseling is advice giving: By the time many people come to counseling, they have had more advice than they can handle. Counseling operates from the premise that the counselor is knowledgeable about the change process, but that you are the expert on your life. In some ways counseling is like working with a coach. You do the work, but by working with someone who has training and experience with facilitating positive change, you are likely to work more effectively and see results more quickly.
Counseling is a last resort: Most of us do not think that we have to experience a heart attack before we can see a doctor; it is OK to go if we merely have a sprained ankle. The same applies to counseling – you don’t have to have the emotional equivalent of a heart attack to see a counselor. By working with a counselor you can often get back on track much faster and save yourself a lot of unnecessary distress.
Counseling is not confidential: Mental health professionals must maintain confidentiality except as authorized or required by law. Exceptions to confidentiality include: situations wherein you are a physical threat to someone else or yourself; there is suspected harm being done to a child, elder adult, or disabled individual; a judge provides a court order requiring that we release your records. You will, of course, be notified if your counselor is required to share information in any of these instances. Please feel free to ask your counselor about confidentiality laws.