Counseling: The Best Decision I Ever Made!

Are you considering counseling but you are just not sure whether or not you really need it? Asking for help is often one of the hardest things you can do but can also be one of the best decisions you make.

Here are 5 tips to know when seeking a counselor is a great idea.

• The issue you are struggling with causes significant distress
• Nothing you have tried so far is helping
• Your friends and family are tired of listening or you think they are
• You are overusing something to alter your mood
• People have noticed and are saying something to you

Significant Distress

Everyone struggles from time to time. Having a bad day does not mean you need therapy. But if you are experiencing significant worry, concern, anxiety or depression and it lasts more than 2 weeks without change, you might think about whether it is time to do something different. You have more to do and enjoy in your life. Don’t get stuck!

Nothing seems to help

When you are considering therapy for the concern you are facing, it might be because you have tried to make it better but your solutions have simply not been enough to resolve the problem. For example, you might have tried talking to your friends, exercising more, reading self-help books and Googling for answers but still feel stuck. Self- help is a valuable tool but not the only alternative.

You feel you are burdening your friends and family

Another sign that it might be time to get some therapy is that the people who care about you are tired of listening to you, or at least you think they are. Many people express that they are afraid to talk to their friends because they don’t want to be a bother. If you value your friendships and relationships with family members, you may not want to overburden them with your problems. You may also find that you simply do not have the support system you need at this stage of your life. For example, if you have recently moved, you may have great friends but they may not be as accessible since you don’t see each other in person as often. Or perhaps, you recently divorced and find that you are just not sure which friends can be supportive of you without feeling caught in the middle because you and your partner shared this friendship.

The solution is becoming part of the problem

When you struggle with any issue for a lengthy period of time, it is not unusual to attempt to alter your mood. For example, many people will seek a drink to relax or find that sitting down in front of the television helps them to relieve stress. These solutions by themselves are not necessarily a problem. But if you are struggling, you may find that you are overusing these solutions and that they no longer provide the relief you need. In fact, you may find that some of the solutions themselves start to become a problem and that you are overdoing the drinking, TV time or Facebook because you are avoiding dealing with something else.

People notice

You may think no one notices, but people who care may finally find the courage to speak up. They might say, Is something bothering you, you don’t seem like yourself. Or, Look you need help, and everything I try only makes you upset. They care about you and just don’t have the answers anymore. A good friend often sees things you might otherwise not notice because they are in your blind spot.

If you find yourself experiencing any of these situations, recognize that it is perfectly normal to struggle at times and that help may be just around the corner. If you are still unsure about whether counseling is for you,   Click here for a free phone consultation.


Denise Aden has been helping individuals and families heal and find hope for over 30 years. She received her Masters in Social Work from Boston College and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Speech Communication from Drake University. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the state of Iowa and has extensive experience working in schools, adoption agencies, geriatric care and Christian programs. Her private practice is located in Bettendorf, IA where she offers a variety of counseling services to individuals, couples and families.


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