We’re talking about Counseling today and if you are not sure about what it is, here’s a simple definition: “counseling happens when a professionally trained individual develops a contractual relationship with a client and communicates with that person in a way that is deemed helpful” (Granello & Young, 2019, p.4). See, nothing to be scared of ☺️☺️☺️!!! Now, why should YOU consider it? Is it helpful, does it work for everyone? Well, let’s talk about that, shall we?
First a all, counseling has been around a for long time and it does differ from the other helping professions. A lot of time, people have confusion about them and it is fine, even in practice, they sometimes overlap on each other’s work (Granello &Young, 2019, p.6). The difference are really about methods and techniques used for each of them. For example, a psychiatrist prescribes medication and can do diagnostic on a possible mental disorders (Granello & Young, 2019, p.10). There are also psychologists, social workers who are part of the helping professions. In reality they all join their forces to work in the mental health field.
Now that we covered that a little bit, you can always do some research for yourself and learn more about them. Remember, reading and learning keep you out people’s business! You’re welcome 😉! I know as people of color, and probably some other cultures, people have been taught that going to counseling and ask for help is for the weak. All that we ever need are some good church sessions and grandma’ recipes to feel better. But, hear me out…. Are you still at odds with half of your family despite trying to be at peace with everyone? Are you forgiven those relatives who have literally mocked your childhood with their awful comments?????!!!!! Do you find yourself yelling at your children for the slightest thing and offering them food after instead of apologizing? Well you might to break those cycle and counseling can definitely help you out, give it a try! 🤷🏾♀️🤷🏾♀️🤷🏾♀️
Well okay, I know it might not be easy finding counselors who look like you or understand your struggles, but I guarantee that things have evolved. There are POC counselors and people who can understand the cultural aspects of your situation. Furthermore, counselors have been trained on social issues and they are well aware of many of your issues we face as POC. Or, even if you only need someone to listen to you and help you figure out what you need to do, that’s already amazing! Also, we talk a lot about breaking generational curses, doing better for the next ones and being in touch within ourselves, it is fine to use some help doing so! Especially with everything going on around us, some of us sometimes feel heavy and want to work some things out!
I also know that a good friend, some mimosas and a credit cart help sometimes when we’re feeling low, but let’s see it this way, your good friends might give you solutions on how they see things, and let’s be honest they are most of the time bias…. not voluntarily but because they don’t have the training of professional counselors who by the way don’t tell you what to do!!!! And they might be tired of listening to you being in the same situation over and over again! Counselors are trained to develop empathy and being non judgmental! Most of all, they help you walk on your own paths and found the best solution for YOU!!!!!So why not giving it a chance and see how it goes.
While we’re on the subject, if you’re thinking about potential cost, most insurances cover session and also your workplace might have available ressources for you! Do some researches, look on the internet what is it available in your area, and go for it if you ever feel the need! You might learn a lot about yourself and discover things you never know! It’s a win situation either way, and remember to be open minded, therapy only work if you want to participate and make so changes in your life! By the way, if your child, parent, partner, friend come and come to you about going to counseling, please don’t mock them! Don’t judge and project your insecurities into them. Be supportive!
PS: The suicide rate was so high in Japan last year that they appointed a Minister of Loneliness to help people who feel isolated … life is already difficult, let’s not try to win without the necessary tools.
Granello, D. H., & Young, M.E. (2019). Counseling today: Foundations of professional identity (2nd ed.). New York: Pearson.