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Dr. Judith Allen

last login — 28/10/2013 @ 08:52PM

 

 

If I Seek Counseling, Am I Crazy?

22/03/2011 02:30PM

 

If I Seek Counseling, Am I Crazy?

People who seek counseling are not crazy. They are not even necessarily sick or at risk. They are simply seeking the answers they need in what is an increasingly complex world. 

Our society has changed over the years. As farmers, we got up in the morning and worked the land.  Our neighbors did the very same, and if there was a drought or a flood, everyone pulled together. The community would jump in to assist when individuals needed help. You knew your neighbors, families were large, and everyone stuck together. Life was hard, but simple. And worries were few, although options were few too. If your father was a farmer, odds were you would be a farmer.

Life has changed in today's world. Families are splintered and we often do not know our neighbors. With the industrial revolution, people have moved into the cities, and we no longer work the land. We work for others for pay, and with the technological revolution, we can get anywhere quickly and get information almost instantaneously.

Despite the advantages of today's technology, there is a price we pay. The farmer was in control of his entire life. He built his own house; repaired his tools and worked according to the seasons. He defined his own needs and was his own boss, even if his choices were narrow.  We have far more opportunities today than our ancestors had, but along with those opportunities come a lot of stress. Sometimes we are still asking ourselves what we want to be when we grow up - well into our 50’s and 60’s. With shifts in society, our opportunities shift and change also. You might be laid off at middle age, or your work might become obsolete. Then, what do you do?

Advertising tells us we should look sexy, have the newest car and own the biggest home. We are bombarded by the message that people who have the most money will be the happiest.  However, often when we achieve these superficial goals, we are still unhappy, and confused about why. 

In our society today, individuals are not expected to know everything!  We have specialists now for almost every service. If your car breaks down, you take it to a mechanic. If your computer needs work, you call a technician.  If you get sick, you go to a doctor, and even depending on what is wrong with you, you look for a specialist in that particular type of medicine.  Calling a mental health professional is not different from finding the right specialist for your health or the health of your automobile or computer. It's no different from seeing a medical doctor for an ailment, or health maintenance.

Therapy can serve many functions - whether you're unhappy with some habits you've developed or you want a serious and private discussion about what stops you from being happy.  Mant adults have childhoods that lacked the tools and validation needed to have good self esteem.  Often people did not have a healthy environment to learn how to set boundaries or to address the after effects of childhood neglect, trauma, or abuse.

The value of a mental health professional is that they are a specialist who has been trained to help individuals who may feel stuck in their lives, have concerns about what is "normal" with regards to thoughts and behaviors, have conflicted relationships with a loved one or co-worker, need someone to discuss a sensitive issue with, or feel emotionally isolated from the rest of the world.  The licensed professional therapist  has been trained to help you find the answers that you want and need, in a safe, supportive environment with the utmost confidentiality.    

If you feel that a professional might be able to assist you in getting on a path to a happier life, why hesitate to call one now, or see a therapist face to face in an office setting?  The telephone can offer additional privacy and you don't need to reveal who you are to the therapist.  

No, you're not crazy, you just think you deserve a specialist!   Please call on me if you would like to talk about your current situation.

Dr. Judith Allen

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Member AAMFT, APMHA, ISMHO, ADCA

 

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