Top Three Myths and Misconceptions About Counseling

Last updated: March 1, 2021, at 6:56 a.m. PT

Originally published: February 26, 2021, at 2:31 p.m. PT

myths and misconceptions about counseling

Mental health is as much a part of your health as caring for your heart and lungs. There are all kinds of reasons to seek counseling support. Mental health is a critical part of our everyday lives. It affects everything we do - from our first thought in the morning to our mindset at work, our kids’ focus in school, every one of our relationships, preparing for retirement and even how well we sleep.  
There are all kinds of misconceptions about how counseling works. See if any of these seem familiar to you: 

1. Only people with severe mental illness or have “hit rock bottom” should go to counseling.  

Counseling is for everyone, no matter your age or stage in life. Countless people attend counseling in order to cope with stress, improve the quality of their relationships, broaden their perspective, and attain clarity of thought. In other words, counseling is a tool that anyone can use to cultivate personal growth and development, as well as the ability to lead a better life.  

2. Counseling is something you must do forever. 

Working with a therapist is about your needs and goals. Therapy is individually designed  with the frequency and intensity to meet your needs, limitations, and your schedule. Counseling is usually conducted in regularly scheduled sessions but the number of sessions depends on the needs and goals of the individual. Some goals can be achieved in a few sessions, others may take a few months. Some individuals find that ongoing counseling sessions, sometimes lasting for years, is an effective way to manage the stresses and changes of daily life.  

3. Counselors are here to tell you what to do.  

Counseling isn’t about quick fixes or doing things “right”. Counseling is about helping individuals evaluate thoughts and behaviors, decide what changes are important to them, and developing tools and methods to make desired changes.

Managing mental health and substance use is a personalized process which begins with matching you with the right services and counselor.  The Y Social Impact Center is here for you with counseling for all ages.

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