As a counsellor, coach or other therapist we are not exempt from needing help. We all do face life issues that we cannot easily deal with ourselves and need an outside expert to support us. Even though we work in the field of supporting people it does not mean we can easily fix all our own problems.
Like any doctor who at times needs to see a colleague, so do counsellors. But when is it the right time? This is the exact same question that you will be asking yourself, before calling and making an appointment with a counsellor. Let me share you my experience in making the decision to make the call.
With the recent challenges I experienced with the passing of one of my twins two days after she was born I was facing the hardest times I ever had to go through in my life. The grief on one side and the joy of new motherhood on the other side, including the sleep deprivation and learning how to be a parent put me under big strain, emotionally, mentally and physically. Even though I was coping most of the times, there were times when I was not. In the good times I would think ‘it is fine, I’m able to do this on my own’ but in the tough times I really wasn’t all that fine – understandable under the circumstances.
There came the time that the tough times were too frequent and unsustainable over time. My life normally was built on the base of good times with sprinkles of challenges and annoyances. The life that I was living now however was the opposite; it was as if tough times were the undercurrent of my life.
If you were to compare your ‘normal life’ with how you are now, how different is it? Can you really live with how it is now? Is it just an exception or is it a trend? Answering these questions made me seek help.
I do not expect the person I am seeing to solve my problems or fix my issues. Some of the things that I am dealing with cannot be solved ever. That is not the point of seeing someone. She helps me deal with the challenges I am facing, she supports me in gaining a different perspective and think about upcoming potential pitfalls before I fall in again. And the most important benefit I get from the sessions is that she normalizes my situation, my emotions, and my reactions. She makes me feel normal, where I am an expert in being hard on myself. She does not make my life easy but she definitely helps to ease and softens my tough side or challenges my judgmental side.
All in all I would say that if you are asking yourself the question whether it is time to ask for help, do it. If you were in victim mentality, you probably would not ask the question anyway…