Myth #1 Only "crazy" people seek help from a counselor
People who have what are considered "crazy" behaviors or thought patterns like paranoia do need help from counselors and in some cases need medication too. However, people who have regular problems that have become unmanageable also seek counseling to learn new ways to cope. You don't have to be crazy to go and seek help when you really need it.
Myth #2 People who do not have friends or family to turn to, need to go to counselors
Sometimes the support from friends and family is sufficient enough to help people cope with some of their problems. Advice may help with certain problems, With some problems, where advice has not helped, people choose to seek professional help. Counselors very rarely give advice. Instead the client is given tools to come to their own insights so that change can become more permanent.
Myth #3 I should be able to handle problems on my own
When things have come to a point where no matter what you have tried doesn't work, counselors can help you to become unstuck. Not everyone is equipped with the tools to be able to solve all of life's problems by themselves. We are all interdependent and sometimes need others to help us see things that we cannot see. Once certain skills have been learned, more problems can be solved alone.
Myth #4 If I let myself feel and think about what is going on inside, it will be too much and I may not be able to function
Certain emotions that may come to the surface after being buried may feel uncomfortable to face. However, counseling helps the client to learn ways to stomach these emotions so that they do not have as much power on the individual. This can lead to better functioning in different areas of life. Clients are given the choice to open up when they are ready and are not forced to do so otherwise.
Myth #5 Counselors brainwash you
Counselors do not have the power to brainwash you if you do not want to be brainwashed. Since advice is rarely given, a person can decide for themselves if they think a certain change is beneficial to them or not.
Myth #6 Counselors have all the solutions to life's problems
Counselors do not claim to have all the solutions to problems. Counselors give you the tools to help you get to where you want to be in life. They help you to come to conclusions and develop insights into who you are, where you are going and where you want to be. Counseling is a collaborative relationship where both the counselor and the client work together towards helping the client find methods to achieve his/her goals.
Myth #7 If I go to counseling, I will feel better after every session
Since some counseling involves the expression of emotions that may have been buried or denied, when these emotions are expressed, it may not feel good. A person may feel shame or guilt as a result of such expression. This does not mean counseling is not working. Over time a person may feel better that the weight of certain emotions are no longer weighing them down.
Myth #8 Counseling is expensive
Counseling can be expensive. However, many insurance companies pay for a certain number of sessions that make it more affordable to get services. Some counselors may be able to help the client to budget so that they can afford co-pay or afford the fees. A person has to decide for themselves what will happen if they do not get counseling. In the long run if a person needs help and does not get it, the costs to health, mental and physical can be even more hazardous.
Myth #9 People will find out that I am seeking mental health counseling services
Conversations and treatment records are kept confidential. They are available only to you and treatment staff. A signed written consent is required to release any information to family, friends or relatives. It is the client's choice whether they tell anyone they are receiving services and this decision should be made carefully