When More Help is Needed

If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. – Mary Engelbreit

We all want to feel calm, contented, and joyful as much as possible in our daily lives, and most of us strive to capture those feelings by making choices that enhance our lives. There are times, though, when every one of us feels down, unhappy, sad, angry, anxious… These unwelcome feelings may last for hours, days, or even months.

Duration is not the only important criterion for seeking support. Another important factor is effort; some episodes are easier to overcome than others, which require more effort and energy. We manage to solve some situations ourselves, but there are some for which we may seek help from a close friend or a loved one. And then there are those particularly difficult times when we feel like we’ve tried everything we know how to do and the problem is not yet resolved, even with the help of people close to us.

So what then? Begin by answering these two questions:

Has something been bothering you for too long?

Does the feeling interfere with your daily life?

If the answer to at least one question is yes and if you’re struggling, seek additional help.

Although there are many ways we can help ourselves increase our own happiness and well being, sometimes it’s best to seek mental-health support from a trained professional.

Professional counseling

What is professional counseling?

It is a collaborative effort between the counselor and client [6]. Counselors work with clients on strategies to overcome the obstacles and personal challenges they’re facing. A counselor may help clients reach their mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. For example, they can help clients with making school choices, getting a relationship on the right track, recovering from trauma, reaching their full potential, and so much more [2].

What are the benefits of counseling?

A counselor may help clients deal with the specific problems that are bothering them. Also, a counselor may help clients work to achieve goals in school or college. Furthermore, clients may learn how to become aware of their decision-making tendencies and avoid making bad choices to prevent future problems. Another goal of counseling is to encourage wellness – the state of being in good health and well being, so you can find meaning and fulfillment in life [4].

Should you choose to seek help from a professional counselor, do not expect things to change too fast or too easily – counseling requires fairly intense desire, time, and effort commitments. The return on this commitment is worthwhile, though, and you should know that even the smallest step forward is getting you closer toward achieving your goal!

How can a counselor help?

Well, while it might seem “nice” for a counselor to give you advice on what to do, that answer might not be one that works for you [3]. And, let’s be real – how do we react when someone tells us what to do? Often, we react adversely immediately. A counselor helps you sort out your thoughts through active listening and specialized therapeutic techniques. Clients often find their own answers buried beneath the chatter in their brain.

Logically, the first step toward counseling is deciding to see a counselor. Still, many individuals who could benefit from counseling never seek the help they need [1]. So counseling suffers from one serious limitation: It can only help those who seek it out.

Barriers to seeking help

What prevents people from seeking help? Some of the key themes in the barriers young people identified were [5]:

  1.      Stigma

This is the most frequently reported of all the barriers. It includes public, perceived, and self-stigmatizing attitudes to mental issues. These create embarrassment and fear of being identified with a mental-health problem or seeking help for it. Also, young people are usually concerned about what others, including the counselor, might think of them if they were to seek help.

  1.      Difficulty identifying the extent of their distress or depression

Young people often don’t know how to identify when the difficulties they’re facing are beyond the “normal” response to stress. Also, some people are aware of their distress, but continuously alter their definition of “normal” distress to avoid seeking help.

  1.     Confidentiality and trust

A major concern for youth is a lack of trust with respect to the potential source of help. Concern about confidentiality and trust may also relate to stigma, where fear of a breach in confidentiality stems from the fear of stigma and embarrassment should peers and family find out that the young person had sought help.

  1.    Self-reliance

Studies show that adolescents and young adults prefer to rely on themselves rather than seek outside help for their problems. The act of asking for help from someone else is often seen as an indicator of weakness or incapability of dealing with problems in life.

Looking for a way to overcome these barriers and get the support you need? Nobel Coaching & Tutoring is a confidential, online coaching service that can help you find your own answers and teach the skills you need to become even more self-reliant. What is really good is that our coaches insist on a highly individualized approach. We all differ from one another and something that would be helpful for one person wouldn’t be for someone else. Find out what our coaches do and what our coaches can help you with at Nobel Coaching.

Resources:

[1] Andrews, G., Issakidis, C., & Carter, G. (2001). Shortfall in mental health service utilization. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 417–425.

[2] Counseling Awareness Month. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from

https://www.counseling.org/counselorshelp

[3] Get help if you’re struggling. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2018, from

http://www.actionforhappiness.org/take-action/get-help-if-youre-struggling

[4]  Gladding, S. T. (2012). Counseling: A comprehensive profession. Pearson Higher Ed.

[5] Gulliver, A., Griffiths, K. M., & Christensen, H. (2010). Perceived barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking in young people: A systematic review. BMC Psychiatry,10(1). doi:10.1186/1471-244x-10-113

[6] What is Professional Counseling? (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2018, from

https://www.counseling.org/aca-community/learn-about-counseling/what-is-counseling/overview

 

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