Over the years I have heard so many times “he is going through a hard time, but doesn’t believe in therapy, he’d never do that”.  Within my work I have often heard stories of people who could really benefit from speaking to someone, but for their own reasons have chosen not to seek counselling.

Here are 6 common reasons why people may choose not to seek a counsellor and my accompanying thoughts:

  1. I would rather talk to my family and friends
    Absolutely, you should talk to your friends and your family, they are vital support for us all when we experience times of difficulty.  Counselling does not act as a source of friendship and neither does friendship work in the same way as the counselling relationship.  The counselling relationship is provided by trained listeners that not only provides support, but challenges you, allowing you to gain insight into yourself.
  2. It costs too much
    Counselling can seem like a costly investment in yourself, however, this investment will challenge your thoughts and feelings which will allow you to grow and lead a more fulfilled life.
  3. I don’t have time
    If you have feelings that are can be overwhelming, consuming and are not going away then they are already taking a up a great deal of time in your life.  Investing some time now will provide you with the opportunity to be able to move forward and give you back some quality, fulfilled time.
  4. I saw a counsellor once and it didn’t workAll counsellors are individuals and therefore you and your chosen counsellor have to be a good fit.  There is no reason to think that the same thing will happen again with a new counsellor. You might really connect this time!
  5. What good is talking going to do?Making changes in our lives is possible, especially when you find an impartial person you completely trust where you can share your most intimate thoughts, feelings and experiences in a non judgemental safe environment.  The alliance you forge with your counsellor is a relationship that grows and develops and it is then that permanent changes become possible.
  6. It would be weird talking about my personal ‘stuff’ with a stranger
    Most therapists are skilled at making their clients feel comfortable quickly.  If you have some sessions with a counsellor and do not feel comfortable, you could discuss your concerns with your counsellor, or you could seek to find a different counsellor.  Your counsellor would not be offended!  The counselling relationship is both professional and personal and the alliance that you form is one of the most important parts of the work you do together.  It will not take all that long before your counsellor is no longer a stranger.