Most people see counseling as a way to deal with problems like depression, anxiety, or trauma. And while these are all valid reasons to seek out counseling—and therapy and counseling can be hugely effective for these issues—counseling can also be helpful for other, more unexpected reasons.
Everyone’s situation is different. Your problems and goals may not fit neatly into a box. And that’s okay. Therapy and counseling can be useful tools for various concerns and circumstances, no matter how strange your reasons may be.
Coping With Success and Happiness
While many people seek therapeutic counseling when they’re struggling with some significant problem, there may be some situations in which counseling can be helpful when you are already doing well.
It may seem counterintuitive, but success and happiness can sometimes be as difficult to deal with as failure and sadness.
For example, you may find yourself struggling to cope with a new job or promotion or feel like you’re not living up to your own standards of success.
Maybe you feel guilty about feeling good when the people around you struggle.
Or, you may be looking for some guidance on how to maintain and preserve your current level of success. You could be searching for ways to improve even more and optimize your health, productivity, or happiness as much as possible.
In any of these cases, counseling can provide valuable insight and support. It can serve as a kind of performance coaching, helping you stay on track and continue moving forward in a healthy way.
Prevention Before a Potential Crisis
Counseling can also be helpful as a form of preventative care. You may be feeling fine now, but you might be worried about a potential crisis in the future.
You may face a major life transition, such as starting a new job, getting married, or having a baby. Or, maybe a loved one is gravely ill, and you don’t feel prepared to deal with the grieving process that you will soon be confronted with.
Counseling is not just for recovery or for people who are currently in the midst of a crisis. It can also be a way to prepare for—and even prevent—a future mental health problem.
When you see counseling as a way to gain skills and knowledge rather than simply as a way to deal with difficult emotions, it can open up a whole world of new possibilities.
Helping Others Through Clinical Trials
Some people neglect taking care of themselves because they’re too busy putting everyone else’s needs before their own. But what if you could help others by taking care of yourself?
You are not the only person struggling with the problem that you’re facing. Others are, too. To help all these people safely and effectively, doctors and researchers are constantly seeking out new forms of treatment and therapeutic options. This involves conducting clinical trials.
Clinical trials are research studies in which people like you volunteer to receive treatment—sometimes, this will mean secretly receiving a placebo or fake treatment as part of the control group so that researchers can compare the true effects of the real treatment.
By participating in these clinical research trials, you can be a part of the advancement of mental health treatment and help future generations get the care they need.
The National Institute of Mental Health website has more information about these programs.
Little or Unusual Reasons Are Still Important
You don’t have to be in a crisis or have a major problem to get counseling.
If you’re struggling with something big, therapy can help. But even if you just feel that something isn’t quite right, or if you’re curious about exploring your thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment, therapeutic counseling can be a helpful step in the right direction.
Don’t put off getting the help you need just because your problem doesn’t seem big enough or important enough.
If something is bothering you, it’s worth addressing. And if you’re unsure whether or not counseling is right for you, reach out to a therapist near you to get a consultation.