Although there’s much less stigma attached to counselling, and many people see a counsellor today, there are still some common myths that are hard to dispel. For example:
1. Once you start counselling – you’ll be going for life: Not true. Brief therapy (which usually lasts a maximum of 10 sessions) is one of the most popular approaches today. Also, although some issues may require more support, the goal is freedom and increased independence - so the client can thrive without additional support.
2. Normal people don’t need counselling: Everyone experiences tough times and stress; and it’s normal to feel sadness or emotional pain when we are faced with a loss, or life deals you a blow. If you broke an arm or leg you would go and get it fixed – so why not get help with the heartaches you face.
3. Having problems is a sign of weakness: No-one’s life is perfect, and we all need extra help. Everyone can benefit from learning new skills, and getting fresh ideas on how to think, act and cope.
4. Counselling’s self-centred and narcissistic: We’re actually less able to be there for others if we’re weighed down and distracted by our personal concerns. For example, consider how a headache stops us focusing on others. It’s the same when we’re struggling with problems in our lives.
5. If I just get on with life things will get better on their own: Time heals nothing – and repressing our problems only works temporarily – as they’ll surface later on. Hence, it’s better to be honest and to deal with issues in order to live a full and satisfying life.