The first time I sought professional counseling, I felt terrified and ashamed. What will people think? I should be able to handle this on my own. This is just a spiritual problem. I don’t need a therapist!
I spent my teen years trying to handle my struggles quietly through prayer, spiritual development, and self-will. If I just pray hard enough, if I just have enough faith, if I just surrender it all to God, if I just choose to not give in, if I just try harder, then I will get through this without anyone ever knowing.
In some ways, this appeared to work for a while. People who looked at me didn’t think I was sick. I kept up with school, work, and social life. I convinced myself that I was okay, and most people seemed to be convinced too.
But suppressing my struggles only worked for so long. Eventually, fighting in silence caught up with me. Never addressing the underlying causes of my struggles caught up with me. Failing to seek professional help caught up with me. At age 19, I hit rock bottom.
When I finally sought professional help, I realized that so much of what I feared about therapy was based on misconceptions and stereotypes. Seeking help didn’t mean I was crazy. Needing counseling didn’t make me weak. Meeting with a therapist didn’t mean I had stopped relying on God.
Instead, I realized that everyone has struggles. We all experience seasons when we could benefit from quality counseling. And, although it’s never easy to shine a light on things we’d rather keep hidden, God can use counseling to bring about tremendous healing in our lives.
Are you hesitant to seek counseling? Don't let these seven myths prevent you from receiving the help you need.