Stigma in counselling

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Summary
I write this with a passion to try and help all of us understand the importance of not bottling up how we feel. We are now living in a world that is becoming more accepting of the many emotional health problems that exist in society, and where many people are beginning to accept that having the stresses of life is nothing to be ashamed about. There has been so much discussed about this on TV, magazines, social media etc and it feels like it’s beginning to be heard. 

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I write this with a passion to try and help all of us understand the importance of not bottling up how we feel. We are now living in a world that is becoming more accepting of the many emotional health problems that exist in society, and where many people are beginning to accept that having the stresses of life is nothing to be ashamed about. There has been so much discussed about this on TV, magazines, social media etc and it feels like it’s beginning to be heard. 

Sometimes though our thoughts can get in the way of us seeking support, we are too busy, preoccupied, fearful, distrusting, worried, it’s too expensive, or we’ve had counselling before and found it unhelpful. Sometimes our belief system and how we grew up is a factor to how we perceive therapy. The stigma attached to talking about our problems can be deeply established and difficult to overcome. There are numerous reasons why we don’t seek the support of a therapist, and this is just a few, but by continuing to address this on TV, social media, magazines, etc, the stigma associated with therapy might finally fade.

Counsellors are not there to tell us what to do, because all of us see things from a different perspective, we all have our own individual experiences and every one of us have our own unique way of viewing things.

Instead, a therapist listens to us and helps us find our own solutions to problems without judging us. They offer a listening ear with empathy and understanding and can help us to re-evaluate goals. The therapist will give us time to talk, cry, or just think. It’s an opportunity to look at our difficulties from a new perspective with someone who’ll appreciate and respect what matters to us.  I hope one day that everyone will benefit from talking about their problems, whether with family/friends/peers/community or therapy, and I hope one day that we will all feel free to share our worries and feel heard.

 A final footnote: The fact that we are all so different is amazing; it is through our differences that we can learn, and understand the world around us, enabling us to get a sense of acceptance and belonging in society.