If everything feels pretty good in your life, should everyone still do counselling?
I think so. There’s a misconception about counselling. A lot of people believe you access counselling if there is something wrong with you; if you have a mental or emotional illness; or if your facing a lot of challenges in your life or relationships.
I think that counselling helps increase self-awareness. Everyone can learn something new about themselves. Counselling can bring awareness to why you are a certain way or help you understand who you are, if you’re not sure. I also think that counselling helps open us up to new perspectives. This keeps us from becoming too rigid or ‘black and white’ in our beliefs and thinking.
Let’s break this discussion into categories.
Why Should I do Individual Counselling if I’m happy and not concerned with my mental health?There’s the obvious reasons why everyone should do counselling as an individual. Maybe you’re facing some challenges or you don’t feel good about yourself. Trauma, is another big reason for seeking counselling and support. However, what if you’re not facing any obvious reasons to see a counsellor. One of the things I notice most commonly with individuals is that they don’t know, what they don’t know. Often we have blind spots. We aren’t aware of the things about us that aren’t healthy. Childhood teaches us a lot of things and a lot of these things aren’t all good. We develop a lot of unhealthy habits or pre-programmed responses. Counselling can help you take a look at these aspects of your life and set you up for a healthy and fulfilled future.
Why Should I do Couples Counselling if everything in my relationship seems fine? What is fine, exactly? How connected are you and your partner? Is the measurement of fine that you aren’t experiencing any conflict? This is how most couples think. If we are managing things alright, why rock the boat. Relationships should provide emotional and mental safety. It should be your safe haven. They give us a sense of being fulfilled and truly cared for.
My experience with couples is that most people are willing to settle for “alright”. We seem to have a high tolerance for things not being great, but at least not being awful. Don’t settle. Couples counselling can help you understand and accept each other on a level that’s very deep and fulfilling. Your intimacy can grow and your connection to your partner can become deeper and far more meaningful. The key is understanding attachment science and romantic bonding.
Finally, what about family relationships. We all love each other you say, so why should everyone doing counselling? Families are an interesting ecosystem. Families can sometimes operate in really unhealthy and dysfunctional ways and we might not even be aware of it. Have you ever thought about the roles each member plays in the family? Usually, everyone has a place and a role that they either chose or were assigned by the larger unit. These roles often boxes us in and don’t allow us to develop our own sense of self. When we try to break free – the family unit often reminds us that we have broken character and are not playing our roles. Families can pressure us into being something we are not.
Parent-child attunement is another huge topic. How attuned do your children feel you are to them? Not how attuned do you think you are. That’s the true test. Parents, you are shaping your child’s future romantic relationships and their success in those relationships. You have a lot to do with how they will experience future relationships. How you tune into or don’t tune into your child will shape their attachment style for the rest of their life. There’s a lot riding on family relationships – don’t leave it to chance.
I’m a counsellor and I regularly check in with someone. We weren’t meant to do life alone and counsellors help us see our blind spots and help us grow in understanding ourselves and others. It doesn’t really matter how great you are – counselling can always be a benefit. I believe everyone should do counselling.