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Counseling. What do you think of when you hear that word? Does it have a negative connotation in your mind or a positive one? To me, counseling has always been something to be embarrassed about. My parents went to counseling before they got divorced and I was always afraid someone would find out. After their divorce, my mom pressured my brothers and me to get counseling, but I refused. I didn’t think I needed it. Honestly, I thought I was above that.
As I grew older, I started to feel differently about counseling. I realized the benefits of counseling and the help it could give to a marriage, relationship, or person. In college, I was struggling with stress, family problems, and anxiety and I decided to see a counselor at school to help me cope. While I only saw her for a little while, it was a huge help.
I grew up with really bad anxiety. I had and still have a lot of fears leading to panic attacks at times. After I gave birth to my son, Adam, my anxiety only got worse. I went through a lot with his birth and had a lot of health problems, so a family member suggested counseling to help me cope. I went to see a pastor at my church several times and it ended up being very helpful.
After my husband received deployment orders, I knew I needed something more. I wasn’t sure how well I was going to be able to handle his deployment with my anxiety, and I wanted someone to talk to about everything I was feeling. I kept telling myself I would try to find a counselor, but I kept putting it off. I was worried about seeing someone who wasn’t a Christian and I wanted them to be able to understand that aspect of my life.
One day a friend of mine was talking about seeing a counselor since her husband was deploying as well. I messaged her privately about it and she told me she would let me know how her first session went. She ended up loving the counselor she picked and highly recommended her to me.
The first time I went, I was so nervous, but God knew what He was doing because as we continued to talk I realized that she was a Christian. I was so relieved and glad that God had worked it all out. I have been going for about three months now and it has seriously changed my life. She is so helpful, and she gives me so many good suggestions on how to handle things, and how to keep my focus on God. It’s been a huge blessing!
So by now, you are probably wondering why I am telling you all this… I wasn’t planning on blogging about it because I am still embarrassed about it. After thinking about it, I realized I’m probably not the only one struggling with this and maybe someone else needs to hear about my experience.
My encouragement to you is: if you think you need counseling or you think you want to go to counseling because you think it could benefit your life, then go! Don’t let fear hold you back. Whether you are going to talk out something that has happened in your past, because you have fear and anxiety, or something else, it is ALL important. Counseling might just help put things in perspective and change your life!
3 Tips for When You Start Going to Counseling
1. Find someone you like and feel comfortable with.
Sometimes it may take seeing more than one person to find the right counselor for you. Make sure you feel completely comfortable talking with them before you make your choice.
2. Don’t be afraid to talk.
A counselor is not there to judge you and they certainly are not going to go telling your business all over the place. What you say in their office stays in their office.
3. Let go.
Let go of all your fears and insecurities. They are trained professionals and they can only help you when they know how you are feeling and when they see the entire picture.
Last, but not least I wanted to leave you with something. I have a women’s study Bible and as I was reading the other night I came across a little note about counseling. I thought I would share it with you.
Counseling: Helping Others Help Themselves
“Human beings were created by God with a variety of needs: physical, emotional, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual. These needs God is ready and able to supply (Philippians 4:19). We find help in prayer, study of Scripture, guidance of the Holy Spirit, and from the counsel of godly and wise individuals-whether family, friends, or professionals.
God may choose to meet a need through an individual or ‘people helper’ within an organization or institution or through particular circumstances. When making important or life-changing decisions, we do well to seek counsel from wise, mature Christians (Proverbs 11:14).
When life needs are not met in appropriate and effective ways, mental anguish occurs. When this anguish results in serious disruptions of daily activities or damage to relationships, counseling is necessary. To seek Biblical counseling is often helpful and should not bring shame or embarrassment. Christian counseling provides the individual with healing, integration, balance, and wholeness through a variety of methods but is always marked by the Spirit, the Comforter, the Helper, the resident Counselor for every believer (John 16:13).”
Have you ever been to counseling? Was it helpful?