Before the First Counselling Session – Common Counselling Concerns

It’s often stated that the most important and difficult step in dealing with any issue is acknowledging its existence in the first place. Which is certainly true, but this does not really mean that having taken the decision to seek counselling, you will immediately feel so much better about the whole situation. Quite to the contrary actually, as considering that you might have never been through such a process in the past, fear of the unknown is without doubt leaving you feeling a bit daunted.

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Usually every time you hear something that makes you feel more confident about the counselling process, you hear something else that puts you on edge. Therefore, it is not surprising that a large number of people who would genuinely benefit from professional counselling cancel the idea entirely, having been fed misleading information with regard to what they could expect. An unfortunate scenario to say the least.

So for the benefit of people actively thinking about counselling, here is a short overview of some of the most common concerns and the facts behind them:

I don’t want to worry my family and friends

First of all, while it is perfectly understandable to want to protect family members and friends from anything even potentially troubling, doing so in this case can be completely counterproductive. The reason is that when you truly think about it, you yourself wouldn’t want a loved one to bottle up a serious issue that is negatively affecting their life. You wouldn’t be happy to know that they felt they couldn’t come to you with their issues and turn to you for help and support. So while it is true that bringing a matter out into the open might worry family members and friends, you might also find that doing so will make the problem exponentially easier to face. Not only this, but you also deal with the prospect of them finding out down the line and having hurt feelings about not being informed earlier.

I worry others will think I’m weak

There is sometimes nothing more difficult in life than coming to terms with the fact that you need help with a personal issue. Pretending everything is fine when it actually is not is always far more of a sign of weakness than in fact accepting the issue and trying to work towards resolving it. As such, you would be likely surprised just how much admiration and respect you would earn by taking control of the situation that is troubling you and trying to address it. The only individuals who would think that you’re weak are the kinds of misguided and small-minded people you don’t need in your life anyway.

What if the counsellor says I am crazy?

Put simply, this is just not going to happen. The reason being that in this context the word “crazy” in its own right has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. When you seek help from a professional therapist or counsellor, you do so as a way to address a certain problem. Every issue has its own effects, cause and solution, which will be clarified during the counselling sessions. No experienced counsellor in the world will ever tell their clients they are crazy.

 

I don’t want to take medication

Contrary to what many people believe, it’s actually relatively rare for people undergoing professional counselling to receive a drug prescription. What happens more often than nor is that medication is turned to as something as a last resort and is of course never compulsory. Nowadays, there are an endless number of avenues to explore when one is seeking potential resolutions that don’t have to involve medication of any kind. If you are not comfortable with the idea of taking drugs, you don’t have to use any.

I worry my problems will not be taken seriously

It is only human nature to assume your own issues are somewhat insignificant and could never be compared to other people with much more serious problems. When it comes to professional counselling though, comparing your problems with others is only a counterproductive approach since no two people or issues are ever the same. If it’s something that is detrimentally affecting your life even slightly, it’s a valid problem that any counsellor will take just as seriously and professionally as even the most advanced and severe issues of other clients.

What if the sessions are intimidating?

Last but not least, counsellors and therapists the world over are completely aware of the fact that most individuals seeking counselling for the first time are already intimidated and daunted. As such, all possible efforts are made to make sure that the counselling sessions are simply the opposite of troubling or intimidating. So, it’s 100% guaranteed that even after just one session, your opinions and thoughts on precisely how counselling works will most likely be entirely transformed.