Recently I have been hearing more and more people ask this question, how do I know if I need counselling? I feel like there’s nothing wrong with me, but people around me think I should seek professional help. I have been putting it off because I want to be able to find my own solutions.
Here are some of my answers to questions that people ask about counselling
How do I know whether I need counselling in Singapore?
Anyone can go for counselling. There is not really a hard and fast rule of knowing if you “need” counselling per se. For example, if you are having a hard time dealing with a break up, you can go for counselling just to speak to a counsellor and process your thoughts and feelings.
What I usually tell people is, if you notice that what ever the issues it, whether it is your thoughts, your feelings, or your actions are causing you distress in your day to day life, then speaking to someone can be beneficial. Maybe you are losing sleep or sleeping too much, eating too little or overeating, isolating yourself, or maybe you are over working yourself just trying to keep yourself occupied so you will not have to be alone with your thoughts. Maybe your past is coming back and affecting your current relationships, your work, your daily functioning.
These are all signs telling you that you might need counselling.
How do I know if I really have a problem or if it’s just in my head?
This is such a great question. Sometimes we think that we are just making up our own problems and that we are causing ourselves unnecessary stress. While this might make us wonder if we really have a problem. Let me ask you this.
If I tell you to stop worrying, just stop thinking, just let it go, and forget about it. Don’t stress yourself out. Does it work? If it does, please tell me your secret!
For majority of people, we don’t have that power to just say, stop thinking, and our brain stops. In fact, the more we want to stop it, the more our minds will harp on the issue and the more our minds will think. If your thoughts are becoming more and more intrusive and affecting your daily life, that’s when counselling might help!
Is seeing a psychologist or counsellor expensive?
Yes, seeing a therapist can be expensive. It can be a waste of money if you don’t find the one that is the right fit for you. Finding a counsellor or psychologist is like finding a partner, you have to keep trying until you find the right one. Some people offer a 15 mins consultation call, use that call to get to know your counsellor or psychologist better, see whether you connect with the person, and see if you feel comfortable talking to them.
I think of it like – you pay 200+ a month on a gym membership to keep yourself fit, you might pay an additional 100+ per session for a gym trainer. For seeing a counsellor or psychologist, it’s to keep your mind fit. You pay 100-200+ a session maybe once a week or once a fortnight. Seeing a therapist is like seeing a trainer for your mind.
How does talking about my problems to a counsellor in Singapore help?
If you go to the gym without learning the right techniques, you might get stronger but you might get hurt. Some people learn well with YouTube videos or just read about it. However, others might need that additional help to get them started and ensure their form is right. Same thing for counselling. Some people learn using videos, others through trial and error, however, having a counsellor or Psychologist can help you understand what are your problems, and you can learn strategies that can help you in the long run.
Talking about problems can help you process what you are going through. Hearing yourself and someone else say what has been in your head can be refreshing and you might gain additional insights that you would not have done alone. A good therapist will also know how to ask you the right questions, helping you navigate through your thoughts, actions, and emotions to understand yourself better.
There are also somethings that might be too painful or difficult to think about or process alone or with friends. Counsellors and Psychologist are there to do just that with you. They are there to hold the space, to allow you to share difficult experiences that you might not have the chance to before. Counsellors and Psychologist also teach you skills and equip you with the knowledge to learn more about how people’s minds work and how you can use the skills learned to lead a more fulfilling life.
Counselling might be beneficial for some, however, just like with anything in life, might not be the solution for all. Being a psychologist and having gone through therapy of my own, I believe that therapy can be helpful. It works if you meet someone who is competent and suitable for you. If you’ve seen a therapist that did not work for you, don’t give up. There are others out there that can help!