ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Know if You Need Counseling

Updated on July 24, 2012

Counseling Will Teach You More About Yourself

It is important to find a good counselor, who you can trust and feel comfortable with
It is important to find a good counselor, who you can trust and feel comfortable with | Source

Counseling Can Help in Many Ways

It is common to go to a doctor when we have physical aches and pains. But when we hurt emotionally, feel distressed, or continue with our bad habits and negative thinking, very often we don’t do anything. And if we do something, it often is to go to the doctor to alleviate a physical discomfort that may be caused by a psychological reason.

Counseling Can Help You Better Handle Situations

Counseling can help people in many ways. When someone feels depressed, anxious, has behavioral or relationship problems, and a myriad of other very human issues, therapy can be extremely helpful. With therapy, a person can be helped to gain an improved quality of life and acquire skills that enable anyone to better handle situations that can cause distress and emotional discomfort.

People come to counseling for a wide variety of reasons that range from learning to manage their lives better to feeling suicidal. We all carry baggage from our past, from the messages we tell ourselves, from our experiences, from our interpersonal interactions, from our failures, and from our self identity. Some people will seek counseling when they are attempting to deal with their children, with life’s transitions and milestones, with unresolved conflicts, anger management, feeling overwhelmed, drug abuse, and other habits that may interfere with a person’s overall emotional well being. These feelings affect the people we are, the way we behave, what we think, and how we react. We all feel these things. No one is truly alone, there is hope, help, and relief with a good qualified counselor

There is No Judgement as to How Serious or Minor Your Issues Are

When you go to see a mental health counselor, there is no judgement as to how serious or minor your issues are. If it is something that bothers you, or interferes with your life, it is worth working on improving. Every issue deserves care, attention, and every person deserves to learn how they can gain skills and coping tools to help them navigate through these and other feelings they may not even be aware of. Counseling can be for a very brief time, or for an extended time period. Counseling is customized to the individual, and patient centered.

Patient centered care means that the counselor will place your interests first, that you will be treated with respect, dignity, and with your values and needs being of utmost importance.

When Should You Go to See a Mental Health Counselor

Generally, consider going to a counselor if the difficulties you are dealing with are persisting for a long time period. If your symptoms are interfering with your daily activities, or affecting your interpersonal relationships. Couseling can help people on many levels with many different issues, from better work and study habits, to increasing your motivation, better time management, improving concentration, organizing your life, better lifestyle habits, dealing with distressful things in your life, social issues, decision making, anxiety, stress, grief, breakups, job loss, eating issues, sexuality, sexual assault, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, divorce, personal growth, self esteem, moving up the corporate ladder, cultural diversity, and other issues too numerous to mention

A Therapist Can Help With Many Emotional Issues

Very often people will seek counseling when they feel distressed, overwhelmed, and at a very low point in their lives. Sometimes certain situations can trigger a feeling that you feel you need to deal with. Sometimes people feel very alone and need someone to listen and care about their needs. Some people may be going through a tough time in their lives and seek someone to give them guidance through these rough patches.

Symptoms that may indicate you would benefit from therapy:

  • feeling depressed or a deep sense of sadness that you can’t shake
  • feeling irritable
  • feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless
  • poor self image
  • lack of concentration
  • changes in appetite, sleeping, motivation, work habits, lack of interests
  • thoughts of suicide, self injury, or harm to someone else
  • angry, uncontrolled outburst
  • hallucinations
  • behavioral changes
  • panic attacks
  • inability to function with mundane task
  • phobias
  • excessive worries
  • obsessive behavior
  • nightmares
  • dealing with feelings from a recent or past trauma
  • inappropriate behavior
  • prolonged grief
  • aging, illness with yourself or someone close to you
  • social issues

What to Expect from a Therapy Session With a Mental Health Counselor

Society and the Stigmas of Getting Help for Emotional Needs

People are sometimes reluctant to seek help. Society has attached stigmas to having breakdowns, emotional distress, behavior that is out of the "norm", and mental illness. But no one, absolutely no one, has perfect mental health. Perhaps mental illness is seen as a sign of weakness, or the complexity of being human is so difficult to understand, that it is easier to shun people when we deal with issues that can’t be seen on an x-ray, or physically defined. We can’t quantify mental health, so people fear being classified as “crazy”, and do not want anyone to know their struggles for fear of being labeled.

Everything you share with a counselor is completely private. They can not disclose anything you tell them to anyone else unless you prove that you may be a harm to yourself or to someone else. Mental health counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, clinical social workers, and rehabilitative therapists, marriage and family therapists, are licensed professionals who must adhere to a strict code of ethics that considers all of your needs, with your confidentiality being one of the most important concerns. A professional therapist with experience has dealt with a broad range of issues and personal struggles. They probably have seen and heard so much, that anything you tell them will not be something new. The difference is that your needs and your issues are deeply personal, particular to you, and causing you pain that a good counselor will want to help you deal with in a healthy way that provides personal growth and self realization.

How to Choose a Mental Health Counselor

Choosing a qualified mental health counselor is a very personal choice.

  • Think about what things are important to you.
  • Look for a professional is seems to be a good fit for you, your needs, your personality
  • It may take several visits with different therapists to find the right match.
  • Invest the time this will take. It is an investment in yourself and well worth the effort

What to Do as You Begin Therapy

It is a personal decision to begin therapeutic treatment, one that will surely be life changing, provided the counselor is a good one. It is important to understand, not everyone in any given profession is good at what they do. So go into therapy with your eyes wide open.

  • Be prepared to ask your therapist questions. This person will be working with you, towards a shared specific effort.
  • Be an advocate for yourself, but be open as you go into therapy.
  • Be motivated, and interested in the changes you will see within yourself. There are no miracles and no shortcuts.
  • there are many different approaches to therapy, find out what type of therapy your counselor prefers to use

Therapy has been referred to as surgery without blood, because inside you will hurt as you deal with issues that uncover layers of buried feelings. But most importantly, you will heal. Without treatment these feelings will continually seep up and interfere with your happiness, daily activities and quality of life. Therapy is not an easy journey, but it is a worthwhile one, for you will have a new sense of clarity, an improved sense of yourself and a better personal development that will bring you great treasures and amazing pleasures ahead for you always. Change is good, self awareness is the best defense for a life well lived. All that you want for yourself can be achieved because you sought out help and engaged in productive counseling sessions.

You Are Allowed to Have Whatever Issues You Have

Sometimes people hesitate to enter counseling because they think they shouldn’t have these problems, or these issues should resolve themselves on their own. People do not readily reach out for help. In the absence of strong community and family support, a counselor can be very helpful to talk to for almost any life situation. Getting help for personal issues can make you feel vulnerable. But getting help will also make you stronger. It is a brave endeavor to seek help that will bring about changes and new awareness for yourself. But keeping yourself stuck, and fearing new paths is a cruel thing to do to yourelf. One positive step will lead to more positive steps and a rewarding experience that will better equip you for all things you have yet to encounter.

Often counseling sessions are 45 minutes to one hour long, once a week. Sometimes more sessions in a week may be needed.

Counseling can be very effective when it comes to dealing with any issue that is bothering you. Your mental health is important to your overall well being.

Ask Yourself These Questions to Help Decide if You Should See a Mental Health Professional

No matter what, even if there is not much bothering you, seeing a qualified mental health counselor can still be a good idea. However below are some questions to ask yourself, if you are in debate about entering a therpists:

  • Do you find yourself worrying excessively?
  • Has your weight drastically changed?
  • Do you have loss of appetite?
  • Do you have sleeping difficulties?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating, or focusing on getting tasks done?
  • Are you feeling hopeless, or in despair?
  • Are you abusing substances like alcohol and/or drugs?
  • Do you have less patience with people in your life?
  • Are you feeling more frustrated?
  • Are you exhibiting more signs of anger?
  • Are there changes in behavior in your mate or other close family members that are bothering you?
  • Is your relationship in peril?
  • Do you find yourself feeling sad, and not being able to shake it
  • Do you feel more stressed, or are there things going on that are stressful to you?
  • Are you grieving for someone or even a pet?
  • Are you dealing with elderly parents?
  • Are you dealing with diffiulties in your relationship with your children?
  • Do you have feelings of isolation and lonliness?
  • Have you ever experienced a traumatic event?
  • Do you have unexplained aches and pains?

It is a Good Idea to Go to a Mental Health Counselor

Sometimes you can have unexplained aches and pains that a doctor does not diagnose a medical condition for. This may be due to something psychological that manifests itself in real physical symptoms. It is important to recognize that the ailments may really exist, but are caused by the emotional feelings.

Counseling can help you reframe your thinking so that your attitude and approach give you different results.

Dissatisfaction in your one or more areas of your life can signal the need to seek counseling. You don’t need to feel alone, you don’t have to feel stuck, and the difficulties you have do not have to be your legacy. You can make real and positive changes in yourself. You can lead a fulfilling and happy life. You can feel empowered and you can feel better. Strength is getting help when you need it. Be bold, be brave, be strong. Do what you know is best for you. Call a mental health counselor today and the breakthroughs you gain will make it all worthwhile.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)