hang in there…a little tree hangs on to a rock

to counsel or not to counsel

maybe you think a counselor could never help you with your mental disorder or you’ve come to the conclusion that you and your current counselor just don’t fit. i have found, like just about everything in my life, some counselors have worked for me and others, not so much.

my friend liked to use the analogy for life as travel during rush hour. in life you creep along in the heavy traffic, stuck in the crawling traffic. sure, you’ll be able to make it through life, and eventually you will make it to your destination, but at a slower speed.

now, put a decent counselor in your car. with two people in the car. you’ll be able to use the carpool lane. since travel in the carpool lane moves faster, you will get to your destination more quickly. dealing with less stop and go traffic, you’ll arrive in a more relaxed state of mind.

a good counselor helps you deal with life. they can help you live life in a more healthful manner. they also can give you new tools. these tools can help minimize the emotional problems that seem to always creep up in life.

if you don’t have a counselor, wouldn’t you like to get “there” more quickly? wouldn’t you like to handle the emotional speed bumps that always seem to be in the way? that’s what a good counselor can do for you.

if you are with a counselor that doesn’t work for you, don’t throw your arms in the air saying counseling doesn’t work and then give up. let them know things are not working and it is time to move on. they are professionals; they likely won’t be too crushed with your decision.

a clear long term goal is very important. counseling without it will end up being less ineffective. It would be like trying to get to new york by randomly deciding what turn to make every three blocks. without an established focus and/or if the focus becomes blurred, you will likely feel like counseling is not working. when that happens, talk to your counselor and let them know that you have wandered too far from your intended direction and then make a request to refocus.

if a request to refocus happens to frequently, get out. wasting too much energy refocusing will make it feel like counseling has become a waste of time. after making a break if you haven’t reached your long term goal, find a new counselor to help you reach that end.

counseling doesn’t have to be for a lifetime. that’s were the long term goal can come in handy. if you reach your long term goal, celebrate. kindly thank your counselor for all they have done to get you to this place and part ways.

counselors can help you along your life journey. one way to improve your experience is to have and share a long term goal. if you feel like you have drifted too far from that, refocus. if refocusing happens too often, find a new counselor. this process will help you to make your counseling more beneficial and help you to reach a fruitful end.

17 thoughts on “to counsel or not to counsel

  1. Anxious Mom

    I’ll just ignore the emotional speed bumps, the same as I do real speed bumps. 😉 Kidding of course. I do like that analogy quite a bit.

    1. bipolarsojourner Post author

      not me. I slow down to about 20- 25 mph for speed bumps. they are a nuisance. additionally, our neighborhood has “traffic calming devices’, which mean speed bumps and some constricted corners. i have minimally 2 speed bumps to get out of the neighborhood.

      let me tell you about my ultimate speed bump experience. near to where I live, there are a set of railroad tracks that cross a road. the approach from one side is relatively level, the other side. drops off rather quickly and steeply.

      i had a couple of friends with me,approaching from the level side at about 25-30 mph. well, i got a liiiitle to much in the conversation. I realized that as the car launched into mid air, only to lose my battle with gravity, yet again. damn that gravity!


  2. emmagc75

    Absolutely! I have been to great therapists and not so great therapists lol. Years ago, I used to go every week until my therapist said that it wasn’t necessary. While she enjoyed seeing me every week and would continue to see me, I was stable and happy. So now I just go back when I’m struggling with something. Brilliant analogies!!!


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