"Maybe you should think about seeing a counselor.”
This little phrase can conjure up so many emotions: fear, shame, anxiety, anger, relief, exhaustion, hope, despair, trepidation and failure. For many, counseling is only for crazy people or addicts. These are the people with real problems.
Why is there such a negative stigma connected with counseling? In a society that’s success-driven and where independence is highly praised, there are an awful lot of us who feel lonely, hurt, bewildered and lost. We as Christians should be different and more used to openness and vulnerability ... right? We believe we all fall short of perfection.
But when a good friend, family member, roommate or mentor observes an issue in our life that warrants the help of a therapist, we get irritated and defensive. We shake our heads and angrily affirm, “I’m fine!”
Carl Jung says: “There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
Here’s the thing that needs to change: the belief that counseling is shameful. It’s OK to admit things aren’t going well. The fact is that we’re all so afraid to reveal we have problems, many of us aren’t getting the help we need in order to live more healthy, happy and fulfilling lives.
As Christians we often feel that going to Jesus with our problems should be enough. And He is enough. But He gifted other people with wise minds, open ears and a master’s degree for a reason. Jesus is cool if you talk to both Him and your therapist.
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and yes...I've been seeing a counselor.