As I move forward in going out on my own as an independent counselor and coach, I believe that being real and honest are super important as I put myself out there and try to convey to my readers and future potential clients what they need to know about mental health and wellness.
The first thing that I believe every person should ask themselves is “am I ready for change”. While a counselor or life coach can help you come to that conclusion, it is best if you are ready for change as you come into the counseling relationship. I personally don’t believe in multiple sessions “exploring” what your issue may be. I am much more interested in knowing what you want to change and why you want to change it. Then we can get to work. I realize that there are times that we don’t know why we should change, however, successful therapy and coaching start with a motivated client that is ready to roll their sleeves up and go to work.
The other thing that I want to get honest about is that I will not label you with a mental health diagnosis unless absolutely necessary. I believe most people go through adjustments and situations in which they need guidance, insight and perspective on. Most of us experience anxiety or depression in our lives. The reason people have gotten used to labels is because insurance companies want us to give a diagnosis to validate the transaction. (this is why I am not fond of insurance companies). And lets be honest, so many people have been taught that the label that they receive is their whole identity. Nothing could be further from the truth! God has given each of us a purpose in this life and to label ourselves in this way is damaging to the spiritual core of our being. I prefer to call it “adapting to changes and situations”. Granted, there are those that suffer with true mental disorders that need long-term care, however the majority have situational issues that are resolved when we learn how to give those things over to God and change our perspectives.
Lastly, I don’t own a magic wand, nor would you want me to. Sometimes it takes hard work to change. Sometimes it takes a while and it is very uncomfortable. However, there is beauty in struggle. God molds us in our struggles and teaches us valuable lessons in these situations. So don’t wish away your problems. Embrace each one as a lesson that will teach you to totally depend on God and that will encourage you to do the work that needs to be done for you to be whole, healthy and at peace.
I believe that each person has the capability to overcome any situation. The process is different for everyone, however, the process brings forth change, hope and turning away from old things and moving forward into the life God has for you. Don’t allow labels, magical thinking and unwillingness to want to change to get in the way of that beautiful journey God has for you!