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 of. My parents had counseling before they were divorced and I was always afraid someone would find out. After their divorce my mom pressured my brothers and I to get counseling, but I refused. I didn’t think I needed it. I honestly felt 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 the school to help me cope. It was a big help. I only saw her for a little while, because it was at the end of my last semester at that school, but after that I was determined to try to see someone again.
I have grown up with really bad anxiety. I have a lot of fears and I have dealt with panic attacks at times as well. After I gave birth to Adam, I had really bad anxiety problems. I had a lot of health problems and I had gone through a lot with his birth and afterwards. A family member suggested counseling to help me cope, and I thought maybe that might be a good idea. I went to see a pastor at my church several times and it was very helpful.
After my husband got deployment orders, I knew I needed something more. I wasn’t sure how well I was going to able to handle deployment with my anxiety, and I wanted someone to talk to about everything I was feeling. I kept telling myself I was going to try to find someone, but I kept putting it off. I was worried about not seeing someone who was a Christian. 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 it went and if she recommended who she went to. Well she loved her, and told me I should definitely go.
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 this woman was a Christian. I was so relieved in that aspect, and was glad that God had worked it all out. I have been going for about 3 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 in my life.
So by now you are probably wondering why I am telling you all this. I wasn’t planning on blogging about it, because I was still embarrassed about it. But I have realized that maybe I am not the only one struggling with this. Maybe someone else out there needs counseling but is afraid to get it, maybe this will help someone else. I also wanted to blog about it because there is so much that I apply to my life from what I learn during counseling whether about God, life, or myself. I didn’t want to blog about those things until I explained everything first.
My encouragement to you is: if you think you need counseling or you think you want 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, or because you have fear and anxiety, or to help you cope during a deployment, it is all important and all things that could help put things in perspective and help to change your life. I don’t just talk about my husband’s deployment, I talk about other things as well, God, marriage, family, fears, excitement, and more. Talking these things over with someone and coming to understand things in my past has beena real blessing to my life.
Some tips when seeing a counselor:
1. Make sure you find someone you like and feel comfortable with.
Sometimes it may take seeing more than one person to find the right counselor for you. You should feel completely comfortable talking with them.
2. Don’t be afraid to talk.
They 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 had counseling? Was it helpful?