How Do You Know When To Seek Counseling?

You’ve been struggling for a while now. Maybe that voice in the back of your head has been nagging at you to talk to someone. Perhaps you’ve thought about reaching out for help, but you’ve convinced yourself, it’s not that bad, or you just need to get over it.

The decision to ask for help is a brave one. Nobody can force you to share your vulnerabilities but pushing through that fear may be one of the best gifts you give yourself.

But how do you know when to seek counseling? Is there a right time? Moreover, is there a wrong time? Let’s explore what you need to know.

You Feel Like You’re Not Yourself

Stress is one thing. We all experience it but high levels of stress can compromise our daily routines and confidence. However, feeling detached, overwhelmed, and depressed without any signs of relief or change is another significant problem altogether.

If you aren’t feeling like your usual self, it could be a sign of an underlying mental health issue like depression or anxiety. This isn’t your fault. Mental health symptoms can emerge at any time, and they don’t necessarily require a precursor or precipitating event.

That said, these symptoms can be debilitating. Many people turn to dangerous coping skills (like disordered eating, drugs and alcohol, compulsive working or shopping, or promiscuous behavior) to ‘escape’ such pain. Counseling can help you identify the root causes and learn healthy strategies to cope with such distress.

You Don’t Know How To Cope With Your Trauma

Whether it happened when you were a small child or just the other day, the effects of compounded trauma can be complicated and intense. Even though we wish it could disappear, the residual aftermath doesn’t go away on its own.

If unresolved, it can manifest into serious symptoms that can dramatically impact your quality of life. These symptoms vary but they can include:

  • Paranoia and hypervigilance
  • Panic attacks
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • Withdrawal and avoidance from others
  • Anger
  • Numbness

Counseling can help you process your trauma and learn healthier coping skills for healing. It also offers you with a safe and supportive space to explore what happened without a hint of judgment.

Photo of woman walking on rural road holding teal rain boots after going to counseling | Willow Counseling | Nashville, TN

You’re Experiencing (Or Just Experienced) A Serious Transition

What do a new career, the birth of a child, and starting college all have in common? They all represent significant life transitions. Indeed, some of these transitions are happy and even euphoric milestones. However, even positive shifts result in an adjustment. Any adjustment can result in feelings of stress, fear, and sadness.

Regardless of the circumstance, the change can expose vulnerability. While discomfort is a normal reaction to any change, having support can be invaluable. Counseling can help you navigate transitions with more confidence and clarity.

You Feel Generally Incomplete or Dissatisfied

What if everything in your life is going seemingly fine? Maybe you have a great job, house, and family. Perhaps you look around at what you have and you feel guilty for wanting more or wanting something different.

Counseling can help you explore the voids that may exist within yourself. It’s common to feel guilty for wanting happiness or fulfillment. However, healthy and happy people cultivate joy and meaning for themselves. If you need an extra boost in finding what replenishes your soul, it may be time to seek support.

Your Loved Ones Have Expressed Concern

Has someone in your life suggested you try counseling? While such a statement may seem insulting, this suggestion may indicate underlying problems that you haven’t yet recognized.

We can be blind to our own shortcomings. We also tend to rationalize, intellectualize, and minimize our behavior as a means of justification. Likewise, your loved ones may notice changes before you do. And it takes someone who really loves you to point out the concern.

Remember that counseling isn’t a sign of weakness. Acknowledging vulnerability and having the courage to better yourself exudes both dignity and strength.

When To Seek Counseling? Is There A Perfect Time?

Man smiling looking out of a car window in the city after going to therapy or counseling

If you’re struggling with when to seek counseling, know that there isn’t a right-or-wrong answer. Most mental health professionals agree that you don’t need a specific reason to reach out for help. Moreover, you don’t need a mental health disorder diagnosis.

You just need the willingness to learn and grow. Even if you can’t pinpoint what’s wrong, being able to share your feelings in a safe environment can be an invaluable learning experience. And, if you don’t know exactly what you want to work on, your counselor will collaborate with you to develop appropriate treatment goals.

Begin Counseling in Nashville, TN

Are you are ready to start feeling like yourself again? If you are curious to learn more about how Willow Counseling can help you find peace please follow these easy steps:

  1. Contact Willow Counseling to set up a free 30-minute phone conversation,
  2. Meet with one of our caring therapists, and
  3. Start your healing journey.
Woman in white shirt stretching her arms out and looking up to the sky in front of ocean

Other Services Offered at Willow Counseling

Willow Counseling provides quality, trauma-informed mental health counseling. At our Nashville counseling center, our therapists recognize the interconnectedness of a person’s emotional, spiritual and physical selves. We work together to alleviate symptoms, learn better coping skills, relieve anxiety, remove the pain of trauma, and so much more. However, our greatest desire is for you to know what it means to feel purpose and joy again and to recognize the strength and worth you have to offer the world.


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