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The Courage to Seek Counseling

In a world that continually challenges and wears us down, sometimes the burdens of life become too much for one person to bear alone. One option many people are afraid to consider is counseling. Although the process of finding a counselor who fits you can be difficult, it can help facilitate personal growth and discovery that isn’t available elsewhere.

A numb feeling, uncontrollable weeping, heavy breathing. No matter how you experience depression, anxiety or an overwhelming sadness, those feelings are valid and you don’t have to tackle them alone. Confiding in a counseling professional isn’t a weakness, it’s one of the bravest moves you can make to help yourself.          Image courtesy of Free-Photos from Pixabay

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For nights on end, I soaked my pillow in tears filled with hopelessness and fear. My depression and anxiety were in control of my life and I felt lost in the dark with no light in sight. The thought of pouring these feelings out to a stranger was intimidating, but something was telling me that it needed to be done.

Life is constantly changing and challenging you, and no one should be expected to handle it alone. Sometimes you need a counselor.

When I was 13 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. After years of feeling alone, not knowing how to express these feelings, I started going to therapy.

I’ve always been shy, reserved and worried about burdening people with my problems, but it was my counselor’s job to listen to me talk about myself for an hour.

It’s a process. Finding an individual who you feel comfortable talking to, revealing the thoughts that sit beneath the cobwebs in your mind, can be daunting.

Every counselor has a different style, and through the process of trial and error you have to find your style too. Is your focus on your actions in behavioral therapy or your thoughts in cognitive therapy? 

This process can be discouraging if the first few counselors you talk to just don’t feel right, but like making new friends or meeting new coworkers, some relationships work and some don’t.

Before you can even cross this line, a significant first step is acknowledging how therapy can help and then making that decision to begin your search.

It’s not that your friends and family can’t help you, but how often can you rely on them to give you an unbiased opinion solely for the benefit of your life? 

No matter the care and kindness your loved ones can offer you, it’s important to admit they may not possess the training and knowledge that a licensed professional has studied for years.

A counselor is there to help you manage the overflowing thoughts inside your mind and help you make the decision that’s best for the betterment of your life.

My therapist asks me the uncomfortable questions, and, without judgment, in a safe place, I’m free to say whatever I want.

The comparison of one’s feelings to another is no measure to determine whether or not counseling is necessary. Hurting is hurting no matter how big or small.       Image courtesy of Holger Langmaier  from Pixabay

I found more than just someone to talk to: I learned new coping skills. I learned more about myself than the wrinkled pages of any self-help book would’ve taught me.

The growth I’ve experienced in my six years of counseling is astonishing, and I can confidently say that counseling had a huge part in saving my life. How do you know it won’t help you if you never try?

If you’re ready to take a courageous step, Missouri Baptist University’s Student Health Services is prepared to confidentially connect you with a counselor, many who are available on the university’s campus.

Visit the Student Health Services website or email studenthealthservices@mobap.edu to find the resources readily available to start your journey to better mental health.

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McKenzie Sheehy

McKenzie Sheehy

McKenzie Sheehy is a staff writer and content editor for MBU Timeline. She is majoring in communications studies and minoring in journalism and marketing. Sheehy is also an anchor for the MBU Timeline Broadcast and works in University Communications. After graduation, Sheehy hopes to pursue a career in editing and designing for print and online media.

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