“Only people that go to Tanjung Rambutan see counsellors!”
“You will be crazier after you see a counsellor.”
Anyone including my friends and family could be my counsellors and professional help is not needed.
“If counsellors are only there to listen to my problem, my friends and family members can do that also!”
Most working adults can’t commit to visiting the counsellor once a week because they find it troublesome and have no time.
“I would rather rest than visit a counsellor.”
Some people don’t find the need to pay abundant amounts of money for counselling sessions. They believed the problem would go away eventually.
“So expensive! I can buy so many things with that money and it will make me happy too!”
Some people experienced being judged as they grew up and not being accepted into society.
“A counsellor will also judge me, after all, everyone thinks I am weird.”
2. Misconceptions about counselling
a. Counselling is only for people with serious impairment in emotional and mental functioning, those experienced trauma or with psychological disorders.
Misconception debunked: Counselling service is not just a tool for one to fix major life problems, but to help individuals of diversity to cope with problems faced throughout daily functioning and lead a healthier version of life.
b. Attending counselling sessions only increased the risk of having my problems exposed to others.
Misconception debunked: Confidentiality is highly valued and every information is only for clinical use, which will not be shared outside the consultation room without client’s permission.
c. The secrets that I shared will be used by the counsellors against me.
Misconception debunked: There must be a certain amount of fear and apprehension about showing vulnerabilities to a complete stranger. However, a counsellor does not listen with an aim to criticise or be manipulative, but to aid one’s healing process that will also help alleviate that component of fear through promoting personal growth.
d. Attending counselling sessions will become a record that may hurt the academic or workplace application prospect.
Misconception debunked: Again, confidentiality is deeply encoded in the ethical aspect of the mental health field. There is no way for a counsellor to come up with a reasonable excuse to expose one’s clinical history to anyone, except for cases where clients had given consent upon it.
e. The counsellor will tell me what my problems are and fix them for me.
Misconception debunked: A good counselling session adopts empathy that helps guide the clients to deal with the presented problems at their own pace. The counsellor empowers the client with confidence and self-efficacy to make decisions on his/her own.
f. Counselling is only for women. “Man should be tough, even if we face any problem, suck it up!”
Misconception debunked: There are equal chances of men and women to be exposed to stress, which also means that men and women should be given the equal opportunities to receive help, particularly for mental health services.
3. The real reason for people visiting counselling.
To grow and improve themselves. Visiting a counsellor can help you look back on some memories and have a better closure.
To get assistance with decision making. Speaking with a counsellor when you are rather confused with your life. Although a counsellor is not there to tell you what to do, he can be there to assist.
To understand yourself better. While communicating with a counsellor, you get to reflect on your feelings, emotion and behaviour better.
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