Your first thought to this blog might be, “I don’t need therapy, and who are you to say that I do? There is nothing wrong with me.”
If you are someone who wants the most out of life, to understand who you are, to maximize your happiness, I truly believe you will benefit from having a counsellor.
Some of the most successful and smartest people see a counsellor regularly.
Here is 9 reasons why I think counselling is so important.
1. Working through the past: small and big traumas
No matter who you are, you grew up with some sort of trauma. You may tell me, “Bee, I had a great childhood”. I would have said the exact same thing.
But as children, we have very emotional brains. These brains take normal situations an adult would be in and make them a bigger deal than they should be.
For example, a child may ask, “Mom, am I as pretty as my sister?” A parent could reply, “Honey, you are pretty in your own way”. As a consequence of this simple reply, the child now grows up thinking they are not as beautiful and worthy of other people.
Though that may not have been what the parent wanted to express, that is how the child took it.
Going through counselling, I found lots of tiny traumas and some bigger ones that I had.
For example, for many years I thought that I wasn’t smart enough. How this happened was that my dad and I were doing math. He expected me to do them quickly and without error.
After two small mistakes, he gave me a smack in the back of the head. At that moment, I was shocked and ran away. I developed the story of “I’m not smart enough” from this. This story was one I developed at the age of seven, and it stuck with me until I was 24.
It could have stuck with me longer if I didn’t join certain emotional intelligence classes. I could have spent the rest of my life thinking I wasn’t smart enough, and never reached past what I thought I could achieve.
2. Knowing how to get to your good place
I always tell people, I go to counselling on good days and bad days. Funny enough I actually go on more good days.
You may ask, “why would you see a counsellor on good days?” When you focus on the positive, you start noticing things that give you energy and make you feel good.
You begin to notice the things that bring you joy. Because of this, when you have periods where things are not as good, you can compare and contrast and know what you need to do to get back on track.
It is as simple as that.
3. Understanding who you are
You are always changing. With counselling, you are able to recognize why you do certain things or have certain reactions to events.
For example, I realized that I grew up with an avoidant attachment style. This means that when things bother me, I back away.
Knowing this, I can recognise faster when it happens and make a conscious choice to not accept my default behavior.
As you learn more about yourself, there is another added benefit. You begin to understand people more! Sure, you aren’t going to understand why people do certain things, but you can at least say to yourself, ”I think this person went through some trauma that makes them act like a bully”.
I don’t mean to say that it’s okay to be a bully!
But at least you understand that there is some healing that needs to be done for that person.
4. Understanding your values
When you see a counsellor, your core values stand out more and more. This brings your attention to things that don’t align with them. It becomes a lot harder to be authentic when you know you are not living within your value system.
5. Building a deep connection with someone who won't judge you
Imagine you are standing in a corner of a room with a light on the other side of the room.
You are a metaphor for the deepest, darkest part of yourself.
The light is a metaphor for the people in your life, and each one has a different light.
As people get to know you more, their light shines more and it removes more and more of the room’s darkness as it gets closer to the deepest part of you. No one will ever know that part, but some people may get close (such as your significant other).
Having someone that you can share your thoughts without judgment allows those thoughts to have less power over you. You can share some of your deepest fears and thoughts and have time to sit and understand them.
Believe me, it’s powerful.
6. Extroverts can think out loud without any penalties
I’m an extrovert and I think out loud. This sometimes doesn’t do well for me when I’m trying to solve a problem with my wife in the moment. But in counseling, I get a chance to try my thoughts out live, refine them, and then see what feels right and works.
I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve saved myself from! (A lot).
7. Finding out what you don’t know
As much as we like to think we know everything, we don’t. A counsellor helps give a third party perspective into things. They may ask a very simple question, and it opens up your entire perspective to something different. I know that there is a lot that I don’t know!
I make an active choice to figure these things out, so that I can have a little bit more say in what makes me happy and what I choose to do.
8.Your spouse will thank you for it
Going to a counsellor has been amazing for my marriage. I’ve been with my wife for 11 years (including the years we dated ). I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about our relationship and how much more I love and respect her.
It opens your eyes to many of the positive aspects of your relationship and how to communicate better. Many times I’ve been able to use counseling to think through an argument or an issue which then later I share with my wife.
One time, I remember we had an argument about something, and my stance was, “I can’t believe you won’t do this with me, you are selfish”. Instead, what I was trying to say was, “I want you to do this with me so that we don’t grow apart”.
One stance is from anger and the other is from a feeling of wanting to connect and grow with her.
9. Your kids will thank you for it
I don’t have kids, so I will acknowledge that right away.
However, as you learn more about who you are and deal with your traumas, you can teach your kids the same self-reflective skills to help them grow on their own journey. Being able to recognize where certain things in your own childhood shifted your perspective, you will notice more of those moments for your kids.
Allow them to be curious and to choose their own path, instead of getting them to follow the one you never got to.
Bonus: You will thank yourself for it
At the end of the day, the person that really benefits from counseling is YOU. I would love for the stigma of getting help to go away so that we end up with a society that is more comfortable with who they are and what they choose to do.
I hope you found some value out of this. If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to leave them below. Until next time!