We all have the capability to be mentally fit. It’s just a case of tapping into the type of counselling that’s right for you, writes Mind and Mission co-founder Louise Scott
There is a perception that counselling is only a treatment for those suffering from a mental illness. It’s certainly true that counselling can and does provide critical frontline support for those with a clinical diagnosis, however this is not the only benefit or value of counselling.
Think of the times you visit your GP for a flu jab or cancer screening. Counselling too is beneficial in a proactive and preventative way; think of it as mental fitness coaching.
Here are some examples of where visiting a counsellor can be beneficial to your overall wellbeing.
We can all lose confidence in our abilities from time to time, be it at work or in our personal lives, it is a natural response when self-doubt creeps in. A counsellor can help you to explore your sense of self, establish where self-doubt crept in and provide support to help regain that lost confidence.
There are many psychological theories that seek to explain why we interact in certain ways and get along with some but not others. These theories are also useful to analyse why sometimes relationships fail. If you are going through a difficult period in your relationship, counselling can help you to better understand your interactions with others, where difficulties are arising and support you to work through them.
Experiencing trauma does not necessarily mean you will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or any other mental illness as a result. Sometimes we just need a little help to process what has happened in a healthy way to help us overcome a difficult period.
We all experience stress in our lives. Stress can be good for us when it is driving motivation, innovation, or creativity but other times it can be acute or even chronic, weighing us down and potentially leading to more serious conditions. Getting a handle on how you manage and respond to stress is something a counsellor could work on with you to understand and manage stress better.
It is possible to have low self-esteem without having a diagnosed mental illness. Self-esteem is not the same as self-confidence, it is about how you feel about yourself at your core, not about your abilities. Counselling can help you to delve into your belief system and explore the way you feel about yourself to then establish more helpful thinking patterns and re-establish that feeling of worthiness.
These are just a few examples of where counselling can help in the absence of a clinical diagnosis. We are all different and difficulties arise day in day out, sometimes impacting us sometimes not. A little help every now and again can prevent recurring difficulties or patterns of thinking that could lead to more serious conditions.
Remember too that not all counsellors are the same. There are many different theories and methods and not all appropriate for every situation. Finding the right one for you may take time.
We have no issue going to our GP when we need physical support, it should be the same for our mind. We all have the capability to be mentally fit.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as being withdrawn, weight loss, fatigue, lack of enjoyment, aches & pains or suicidal thoughts and have been experiencing these for 2 weeks or more you should make an appointment to see your GP as quickly as possible.