We are vigilant in ensuring that we get our yearly skin checks, receive our vaccinations, get physical health tests etc., but what do we do to ensure that our mental health is in good order? Most of us are conditioned to carry on, despite our problems, as that is what we perceive is expected of us. If I seek help for my mental health, am I showing weakness?
Thankfully there has been a shift in society from how we view our mental health. Asking for help is not only a sign of strength but it is a non-medicinal way to heal and to prevent further mental health issues occurring. We exercise and watch what we eat to avoid heart disease, so by receiving help for our emotional health we are also taking a preventative approach by learning skills and strategies to deal with issues that will inevitably occur in the future.
Receiving counselling from someone who has life and family experience makes that person relatable and mindful of the fragility of life. Your problems are likely to be heard by someone who has either experienced a similar life event, or who has supported another person in a similar situation throughout their own life journey. Even if your problem is something that your counsellor has encountered before, their life experience should make them mindful that every situation is unique and experienced differently by everyone. No two problems are ever the same, as no two people are ever the same. Even if your problem is unique to your counsellor, effective counselling will always occur when you are being listened to with empathy and unconditional positive regard. Counselling is a team effort and should always be co constructed with the client to best suit their needs.