Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I Love My Counselor

The first time I went to my counselor, I was so scared. I know my body language was very closed, but I didn't know what to do about it. One of the first things she said to me was, "Let's be honest, counseling is weird." I chuckled and relaxed a little. She's funny. She's real. That's good. Real good.

A few weeks earlier, I had called my doctor to ask for his suggestions on a counselor. Due to his and my sister's suggestion, I felt like seeking one out was a good choice for me. I had recently gotten back on my medication and I was doing pretty well, but the thought of having a professional I could go to just to talk about life with and explain what was going on in my head seemed amazing. My doctor suggested a certain company, so I went to their website. I said many silent prayers asking for guidance in this critical decision. I clicked on a few people and read their bios, but as I scrolled through 20+ counselors, I was thinking, "How on earth do you choose one?" I can't really explain it, but when I saw a certain counselor's picture, I felt really good about choosing her. The only thing I can attribute it to is Heavenly Father letting me know that one was a good choice for me.

I had to  make a few phone calls to our insurance company to make sure she was covered and to the counseling company to see if she was accepting new clients. Luckily, both answers were yes! A week or two later, I dropped off my little boy to my mom and found myself in the waiting room. I was so nervous. I kept thinking of the ways movies often stereotypically portray people who go to counselors (Darn Hollywood!). I also had the silly thought, "What if someone I know sees me walk in here? What will they think?" Then, "Oh well, this will probably end up on my blog anyway." :)

On my first visit, she talked about how she knew it would take time for me to trust her and that was okay. She also told me that if, for one reason or another, I didn't feel our personalities meshed or that she wasn't the right fit for me, she would not be offended if I felt I needed to find someone else. These statements alone helped me to begin to trust her.

I am very grateful that I didn't feel the need to find someone else. I have now been to see my counselor 10+ times and I always learn something of value. I love that she never thinks I'm crazy, but reassures me that things are going to be okay. I also realized something the other day, I realized that she doesn't "fix" my problems. What she does do is show me a different way of looking at things and she gives me tools and principles that help me work through things on my own. I have been amazed at how simple many of the "answers" are. As I have tried to apply the things she has taught me about, I have found myself applying them in situations I haven't even brought up in our conversations. Hopefully that means I'm learning something!

For me, my counselor has literally been a gift from heaven.

If you or a loved one are considering going to a counselor, I would say, DO IT! I would also say, be very prayerful about your choice and don't be afraid to switch if you aren't comfortable with the person you have chosen. It's a process and it may take some time, but I believe that in the end you will be grateful you stuck it out.

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