8 Myths About Counselling Solved

Today many people have trusted counsellors they talk to, but there are still many myths out there. Here are 8 myths about counselling solved.
8 Myths About Counselling Solved

8 Myths About Counselling Solved

The words mental health and wellness have become mainstream, and it is becoming more common for people to reach out to counsellors, therapists and psychologists. Many year ago the idea of talking to a counsellor was taboo, and you didn’t do it, or if you did, you didn’t tell anyone. 

Today many people  have trusted counsellors they talk to, but there are still many myths out there. I have addressed 9 of the most common myths in this blog that I have discussed with new clients or people contemplating counselling.

1. The counsellor doesn't know me, so they can't help me

Counselling is different than talking to friends and family in that you get unbiased conversation. Your friends might have heard the same conversations from you repeatedly, and maybe they shut you down more often than before. Counsellors are trained to ask questions that help you think more profound into your concern and skillfully help you find out what is keeping you stuck. Our family and friends give advice, and sometime we feel guilt and sham after talking to them because their advise isn’t always helpful, so we don’t follow it. A counselling experience is unique because you have to process the emotions, logic and reasoning behind your actions. The counsellor doesn’t say if you do this and this, your life will magically be better. As counsellors, we don’t need to know every detail of your life to help you with your stressors. 

2. Counselling doesn't help or will make the situation worse

Counselling helps take you out of your thought loops by adding a new perspective, reframing your story, educating you while offering validation and empathy. At Sagacious, we are very strength-based and person-centered, meaning we know you have the answers within you, and it is our job to hear your story and help you find the tools to keep walking forward. 

At Sagacious Counselling, we have client satisfaction surveys that allow clients to share if they feel the counselling service is meeting their therapy goals. We also monitor progress with scaling questions in the session and check in with clients every couple of sessions to see if the process is going well or if goals or types of counselling need to be modified. 

3. All counsellors are the same - I tried it before, and it doesn't work.

Not all counsellors are the same. There are many types of counsellors and many different treatment options. At Sagacious Counselling, I tell clients the modality I work from so that if my style is not the right fit, they can freely find a more suitable option. If my clients and I do not connect for whatever reason, I am not offended at all. On the contrary, I would rather be told I am not the right fit and help guide the client to someone more suitable than causing undue harm by continuing in sessions that are not helping. My goal is to support and offer a safe place to tell their story. I encourage people to tell their stories to counsellors they feel comfortable with, even if it is not me.

4. Counsellors want to blame my childhood

Every person is unique based on their biology, personality, values and their environment. We work with our clients in the present situation and build future hopes and goals. However, Sagacious Counsellors can also walk with you back to your childhood, traumatic experiences, negative core beliefs to see where patterns of behaviour or coping started for you. In this rich exploration of your environment, personality, and biological features, we can gather important information that helps create a picture of who you are. We can find helpful solutions in the present to help empower you to support your wellness goals in the future. A counsellor lets you lead the session, and they ask questions along the way without blaming.

5. Couples counselling should only be used as a last resort

Couples counselling is more than seeking help as a last resort before a divorce. Couples often seek counselling before getting married to solidify goals and fine-tune relationship quirks before the marriage begins.

Imagine if you let your car completely die before you did any maintenance to it or fueled it up. Most of us don’t do that – we fuel up, change the oil and take it to the shop if things don’t seem to be working quite right. 

That is the same for couples counselling; it is easier to work on minor concerns and do regular maintenance than fixing something dead or missing too many parts. 

6. Counselling is for unstable people

Counselling helps get people through tough times when they feel unstable, but it is also for regular processing of life’s struggles. Counselling is for big and small concerns, short term and long term issues and tiny and significant crisis’. We all need someone to talk to from time to time, and it is often helpful to reach outside of your regular circle for support. 

Counselling for mental health struggles or check-ups should be just as normal as going to the doctor for medical health struggles and check-ups. 

7. Counselling is for weak people who can't suck it up

Showing up for yourself and acknowledging your struggles is courageous. Sharing your insight and self-awareness is vulnerable but not weak.  I would rather someone reach out for help and do their self-work than know someone is struggling alone but won’t admit it for fear of judgement. 

This comment is common in addiction and relapse. The person believes they can do it on their own and don’t need a support system. The reality is strength comes from knowing you cannot do everything alone, and supportive counsellors view asking for help as the strongest indicator of success. 

We have all had experiences with anxiety, depression and exhausting stress. Therefore learning coping skills and working towards a healthier version of yourself is very empowering. 

8. Counselling takes a long time and costs a lot

The duration of counselling depends on a couple of factors, such as:

Sagacious Counselling and Wellness Support use solution-focused brief therapy; many clients feel better from situational stressors in one session. However, when looking at patterns of behaviour and processing traumatic events, the counselling can take 6-10 sessions.

At Sagacious Counselling, we believe everyone should have access to counselling services, so we offer slide-scale payment options that help offset the cost of sessions for lower-income individuals and families. In addition, we are always willing to provide resources to self-help solutions or other agencies to support your needs better. Our goal is to help people, whether it is the face of counselling, the site of resources or the hand that walks with you until the right solution is available. 

These are some of the common myths about counselling. If you have other misconceptions you would like to discuss, don’t hesitate to reach out for clarification. A good counsellor will have your best interests at heart and collaborate with you on your therapy goals. Most counsellors are open to conversations that help foster trust and therapeutic alliance. 

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Jennifer MacKinnon

About the Author

Jennifer MacKinnon MA, C.C.C

Jennifer MacKinnon is a Canadian Certified Counsellor.  Throughout her career in the helping profession, Jennifer has supported people from children to seniors with various mental health development concerns through a strength-based approach.

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