"I am so stressed out!"
Hey, life is hard. Not only that, our loved ones are often the ones that make life harder, right?
We are a so busy all the time taking care of everyone else, and sometimes we just need the space and time to let it all out and deal with your own stuff. More importantly, we need a safe space where we can do it. Sometimes it's stuff that we can't talk to our friends or our partner about, but we know we need some help. A counselor is the perfect source! Uninterrupted, objective confidentiality? Yes!
"I'm sad" or "I'm in a funk"
We all have our highs and our lows, but some lows last longer than others. Sometimes we know why we're feeling down. We may have had a big fight with a friend, parents, sibling, or someone else who means the world to us. Maybe you've started a new job or moved to a new town and are feeling both overwhelmed and lonely. Maybe you've just had a recent break-up and you're having trouble getting over your ex. Sometimes we want more for ourselves and just can't figure out what it is. Whatever the reason, counseling helps you organize and process how you feel and figure out what you want to do about it. The good thing about seeing a counselor during the rough times is that the counselor is not going to tell you what to do, he or she is going to listen attentively and explore the details with you. Just going through this process is give you the time and space to figure out what you can do to help get back to being "yourself".
"Me and my partner are in a rut"
Sometimes satisfaction in our relationships either plateaus or starts to dip and we think to ourselves "Is this all there is?" or "Is this how it has to be for the rest of my life?". We start to feel unsatisfied. Let's face it, we get bored with each other. We can even get to the point where we don't even feel like spending time together, and remembering the times that we were inseparable seems like a fairy tale. Let's face it, life happens and the honeymoon stage doesn't last forever. This doesn't mean that we have to live an unsatisfying life with each other. People sometimes need a little boost in their relationship. Most often, people realize how different life is together and need to figure out what their relationship needs to be now that life is different. Trying to figure out how to get out of this rut can be intimidating and often we don't even know where to start. Counselors and relationship coaches help bring couples turn toward each other and get the energy flowing again.
"My family can't stand each other"
Maybe you use to get along and something happened that has hurt your relationships with each other. Maybe you used to get along and things have just, well, changed. Maybe you've never gotten along, but you need to or want to now. Family counselors are specially trained to help figure out what is getting in the way of satisfying and productive relationships in your family. Hey, you might even want to be around each other again.
Something horrible has happened
Perhaps you've suffered a recent loss of a family member or loved one. Maybe you're in the middle or end of a nasty divorce. These times are often very difficult to deal with, especially by ourselves. We feel very alone, we often feel guilt or blame around the situation, and we just don't know how to handle all of these intense emotions. We feel hopeless and that there is nothing on earth that is going to make us feel better and often times, our loved one's are forcing us to "move-on" or "get over it". Fortunately, our counselor understands that and does not want you to minimize what's happened. They want you help you work through your pain, not get over it. They want to honor you and your loss.
Leana Sykes is a Relationship Counselor and the owner of Leana Sykes Relationship Counseling in Oaklyn, NJ.
There is nothing worse than a terrible counselor. Ok, yes there is a lot worse, but sitting in session with a counselor you don’t like can feel awful, even creepy. To avoid this, consider the following as you select your counselor and during your first two or three sessions:
-What kind of experience does he or she have?
- Has he or she worked with people with my issues?
- Am I comfortable in the space? Does he or she make me feel at home?
- Do I have a good feeling when I talk to him or her?
- Is he or she paying attention to me? Do I feel heard when I speak?
- Do I feel that he or she honestly and openly answers my questions and addresses my concerns about the counseling process?
Most importantly, trust your instincts. If you feel like you and your counselor are a good fit, and that you can get some important work done together, stay. If after the first few sessions you feel that you and your counselor may not be a great fit, discuss your concerns with you counselor if you feel comfortable. If you still have concerns, it may be time to move on and find someone new.
Leana Sykes is a Relationship Counselor and the owner of Leana Sykes Relationship Counseling & Mediation in Oaklyn, NJ.