Isn’t it something that after all these years and efforts toward destigmatizing mental health treatments, that we still hear people say they are resistant to counseling because people might judge them negatively? As clinicians we deal with this form of resistance to treatment on a regular basis. We talk to people that want counseling, but don’t want to admit to ever going to counseling.
I think we understand those feelings better than most, as we get to see that attitude from the perspective of hundreds of differing viewpoints. When we attend to a client in counseling, a large part of that treatment consists of coming to an agreed upon decision as to what counseling means to them. Often times, counseling is seen as a weakness, but after some introspection it quickly can be seen as a strength. We have seen this change take place with countless clients and with that new understanding comes a great deal of other change. Clients begin to see other parts of their thinking that were not born out of fact, but out of inaccurate beliefs typically derived from gossip. When clients begin to see the two worlds that simultaneously exist within all us, they make choices more suitable for their conscious self.
We truly believe that attitudes towards counseling will change in our lifetime.