Counseling Visits as a Lifestyle: Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

The whole world was shocked when TV personality and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead, allegedly of suicide. No one expected him to be mentally troubled. The entire K-pop fandom grieved for SHINee’s singer-songwriter Kim Jonghyun, who took his life at the young age of 27, amid pressures of fame in the South Korean stage. And don’t forget Robin Williams.

All these prove that you can feel isolated despite the hundreds of conversations you make, whether in person or online. The thing with these conversations is that they don’t always help you raise your concerns or solve your problems. That’s why you need counseling, whether it’s lifestyle counseling, marriage and family counseling, career counseling, or rehabilitation counseling.

What exactly is counseling?

Don’t conjure up a picture of your high school’s guidance counseling office. That’s not exactly what real-life counseling is, but it should be. Talking to a school counselor is a good first step to acquiring the habit of having conversations with psychologists or professional counselors. But many counseling offices in schools become a venue for reprimanding erring students or an entrance to detention. Counseling is more than that.

According to the American Counseling Association, counseling is a way to help people to “overcome obstacles and personal challenges that they are facing” to achieve health and wellness, and education, career, and marriage goals. People don’t like going to counseling, however, for fear that others would think there’s something wrong with them. Most shun counseling sessions because:

1.        It’s a sign of weakness.

2.        They don’t know what to discuss with the counselor.

3.        Others would assume they’re crazy.

4.        They have friends to talk to, so why talk to a stranger?

5.        Talking will not solve their problem.

6.        Others will learn about it.

7.        It will worsen their problem, or they will fall apart.

8.        It’s not confidential, no matter what the counselor says.

9.        They will betray their family.

10.     They can’t afford the counseling fees.

All these are valid concerns, but they don’t necessarily paint a correct picture of counseling sessions; not all counseling sessions are about mental health problems, school misdemeanor, substance or alcohol abuse, or marital issues. You shouldn’t assume that you need counseling only when there’s something wrong in your life. Consulting a counselor can be a healthy exercise to put things in perspective or prevent small concerns from becoming big issues in the future.  ; 

What are the different types of counseling?

Counseling can be normal, regular conversations if you don’t always think of it as a medical appointment. Some counseling therapies are medical or psychological, and some are not. Here are the common types of counseling that can help you with your concern or life goals:

1.        Mental health counseling – helps people handle mental health problems that affect their well-being, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, personality disorders, and other conditions psychologists also deal with, such as bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD, and PTSD

2.        Rehabilitation counseling – helps persons with a disability (whether physical, mental, or emotional) attain their life goals and improve their lives. This may include counseling for substance or alcohol abuse.

3.        Educational counseling – helps students from grade school to college deal with problems like low self-esteem, social anxiety, bullying, disability, poor academic performance, conflicts with authority, and problems at home or with the family. Many school counselors are psychologists, too, so they can help students flesh out the root of their problems.

4.        Career counseling – helps individuals determine the perfect career or job that fits their personalities and goals. Some career counselors also become life coaches who focus on the person’s desires, abilities, temperament, and plans

5.        Marriage and family counseling – helps families and couples deal with issues that affect their family’s mental health, communication, and children’s development

6.        Lifestyle counseling – is focused more on people’s health, helping them develop healthier decisions and lifestyles, such as the right exercises, diets, and routines

7.        Grief counseling – helps people dealing with the death and loss of a loved one by navigating its different stages and coming to terms with life without the other person

8.        Child and youth counseling – is focused more on the issues of children who are dealing with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders that may or may not be a result of past trauma or experiences

9.        Debt counseling – may involve a whole set of issues the person is undergoing, such as mental, emotional, financial, and family issues, as a result of a debt problem that they couldn’t get out of

Counseling shouldn’t be the last resort; it should be a lifestyle. It would be good if you can develop a professional relationship with a counselor you can visit with for chats, even if you think you don’t have a problem. A lifestyle counselor, for example, is good, for starters. You can always start your conversations by asking if your daily routine, diet, or workout is right for you. Then you can move on from there.

Meta title: Why You Need to Make Counseling Visits a Lifestyle

Meta description: People fear counseling for many reasons. But counseling shouldn’t be the last resort. Learn about the different types of counseling that can help you.