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Getting counseling might seem scary to some people. It is not often talked about, and there are many misconceptions about it. Mainstream media tends to portray counseling as a last-ditch effort to save someone’s sanity. Counseling does not have to be the last step. There are many uses for counseling, and there does not need to be one specific type of client. Let’s take a look at common myths about counseling

Firstly, the central belief many have about counseling is that it is for “crazy people.” There are many tv shows and movies that depict counseling as a way to prod at people experiencing some type of psychosis. This, in turn, has aided in the stigmatization of counseling for years. Counseling helps people find constructive ways to deal with emotionally challenging events or periods in their lives. It also is a way for people to talk about their family issues, parenting, work-life, and other stressors with someone who will listen without judgment. 

The next myth is that counselors give advice. This is not entirely true; counselors use their years of experience and education to help people create their own solutions to problems. A good counselor will not tell you what to do; instead, they will empower you to make a healthy, thoughtful choice in the right direction. Also, counselors are not just for people who don’t have family and friends to talk to. Counseling tends to be more therapeutic than relaying your problems to those you have casual relationships with. Counselors are unbiased, confidential, and aware of boundaries, making them ideal to discuss personal issues with.

Some might think counseling is just a place for people to complain. The truth is that you can attend counseling at any stage in your life, even when you are feeling happy and content. Counseling helps keep people on a healthy path even when they feel there is nothing to “fix” in their life. Also, therapists offer unique perspectives on all different topics, not just sit there and let people rant with no guidance. Lastly, it is easy to assume that counseling is expensive. Depending on the facility and treatment needed, it can be, but insurance plans cover most counseling. In addition, the pandemic has prompted many waived costs for online therapy to help people get through this tumultuous time.