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Why Counseling?

Although mental health plays a significant role in our general health, it is seldom given the level

of importance that it deserves. Here are 3 reasons why you may need to bump your emotional

well-being to the top of your list of healthy pursuits and consider how a professional mental

health counselor can help you achieve that.

1. Unresolved issues are interfering with your quality of life. Many of us have heard the

phrase “carrying emotional baggage.” It is a general term used to describe someone who

may be carrying around a heavy sack of unhealed emotional wounds. It may sound

simplistic, but there is so much truth to the idea that at some point, that someone will

eventually run out of emotional space! And when they do, the overflow will become

difficult to manage, causing so much distress that life will get hard. In such a case,

seeking assistance from a mental health professional is taking a step forward in the right

direction. A professional counselor can help by first providing a safe environment that

facilitates the process of unpacking. Piece by piece, those unresolved issues or unhealed

wounds can be identified and processed in session, making it possible for emotional

healing to begin.

2. You are experiencing relationship conflict with family, friends, or significant others.

Relationships and conflict go hand in hand. Conflict is not a bad word; it just means that

there is disagreement. But disagreement alone is not the cause of a rift or break up in a

relationship. It is how you handle the disagreement that can determine the outcome of the

conflict. Problems will arise when one or both parties are unwilling to actively listen and

acknowledge what the other is saying or feeling in the midst of a disagreement. When

winning the argument far exceeds maintaining the integrity of the relationship, things will

not go well. Heightened emotions and hurt feelings will only add to the stress within the

relationship. When left unchecked, the problem will no longer be about the conflict, but

about the quality of the relationship. If this is where you find yourself in a relationship, a

professional mental health counselor can help. Counselors are trained to provide

assistance to individuals, couples, and families. You will receive specialized care and

learn valuable skills that include communication, conflict resolution, problem-solving,

and how to establish a healthy emotional connection in a relationship. Be encouraged,

there is hope!

3. You are having a difficult time adjusting after a life transition. Change is an

inevitable part of life. It also comes in many shapes and forms: loss of friendship, move

to college, empty nest, retirement, divorce, trauma, loss of a loved one, just to name a

few. Adjusting to change is no easy task. And at times, the pain and loneliness can

overwhelm you to the point where you may feel as if you are trapped in a bubble, unsure

of what to do next. A mental health professional can come alongside you and with

empathy, hope, and encouragement help you process the significant life changing event

and provide you with helpful coping skills as you adapt to your new normal.

The end of the year is fast approaching. Before you know it, many will be thinking of their

“New Year’s resolution.” The usual list includes eating healthier, exercising, and losing weight.

Since mental health plays a significant role in your general health and well-being, as you

consider other areas you would like to include in your list of healthy pursuits, ask yourself, or

better yet, challenge yourself with the question, why not counseling?

Mirla Zinicola, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

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