Help is something no one is willing to admit that everyone needs. We are not created to live on our own; we simply cannot function without other people in our lives. We accept help every day for menial tasks; we get help from coworkers, peers, teachers, friends, family and even at times total strangers.
Accepting help from professionals is for some reason where this breaks down. Most people are willing to admit that they are unable to do everything on their own, but suggest that they should see a counselor or therapist and they actually get angry. There is a stigma to professional help. Despite the fact that according to census data over 27 percent of American adults have received therapy, there is still an extraordinarily negative connotation to the word. Why are we afraid of people whose entire purpose is to help us?
Lack of information is a big part of the problem. Before I went to therapy I thought it was going to be exactly like Hollywood portrays it. Someone with a clipboard has you lie down on a couch and tell them your darkest secrets and then they give you a few nonsense steps to become a better person. I was both pleasantly surprised and disappointed.
Even though there was a clipboard and a lot of questioning involved, there was no urge to tell your darkest secrets nor was there a few simple steps to fixing your life.
Mostly through discussion led by me, the counselor taught me how to recognize errant thought patterns, defend against dangerous ideas and better control my emotional state. There was no quick fix, there was no embarrassment; it was a simple discussion among eventual friends.
You might be thinking, “So what, therapy is a term we shouldn’t look down upon, why should I care?” You should care because there’s no one who wouldn’t benefit from talking to someone at some point in his or her life. We all, or all will, come to a point where our own abilities and knowledge fails, where we are overwhelmed by the situation we find ourselves in. At this moment you will make a decision to go it alone or ask for help. I urge you to consider help from a source that is generally unconsidered.
Oklahoma Christian University offers several free sessions with counselors on campus and there are many professional therapists and psychiatrists in the OKC area trained and willing to help if you just ask.