(Day 16): Talk It Out With A Professional
Some of the most well-balanced people I’ve ever met have admitted to utilizing highly beneficial counseling or life-coaching sessions during stressful seasons in their life. Someone on the outside who can view their struggles without the closeness of a best friend or family member. Someone you can open up to even more because you don’t fear the possibility of them judging you or rejecting you like a friend or family member might.
I hear the echoes of some of your thoughts bouncing back at me while you read these words. I get it. Some of you have had bad experiences with a counselor or coach or some other specialist claiming to help you through your hurts.
I wish I could reach through the computer right now and hold your hand and tell you, I understand your fears. But I also have fully experienced the healing of extremely good counseling. As I’m holding your hand, I want to tell you,
“Not all counselors are good counselors, just like not all doctors are great doctors.”
However, just because one doctor gives bad advice doesn’t mean we should throw all doctors out the window, right? Unfortunately people are flawed and some haven’t given the best advice or haven’t done their job well.
But it doesn’t mean that all counseling should all be thrown out the window. You may have to go through a couple counselors before you find the right fit.
Trust me. And believe in the fact that a good, trusted counselor may be one of the most powerful tools to helping you overcome your anxiety (or depression) struggles.
I share this from personal experience too. I had two not so great counselors/psychologists, one shoved a pill in front of me and said, “here, take this you will feel better.” A personal note: I absolutely DO NOT believe that anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medicines are wrong. I believe they have their place and purpose, dependent on one’s circumstances and mental health condition. However, personally speaking, my recommendation is to limit “the pill” being a first-approach before trying other approaches to managing anxiety and depression in our lives. Because like all medicines, there are side-effects which need to be considered. (READ TOMORROW ON MY VIEW OF USING PILLS AND OTHER HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS TO COMBAT ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION).
Then, I had a counselor who was like salve to my wounded soul. Being a Christian, it was important to me that she share my same values which is something to be mindful of when moving forward with counseling. Because your values and faith should be congruent with the values and faith of the counselor, otherwise there are certain things that may not fall into alignment with your overall beliefs, which can be a deal breaker to building trust and respect for each other.
Having a solid Christian counselor in my life has greatly reduced my own anxiety because of the knowledge shared of applying biblical truth and practical applications to my current situations. It’s helped me understand the person I was created to be in God’s image.
She used deeper biblical truths to help me cross out the whispering lies I believed in for so long with permanent truths:
“You are ugly.” You are beautiful. “You have nothing to offer.” You are significant. “You are such a failure.” You have a purpose. “You are not worth pursuing.” You are worthy to be loved. “You are not a good friend.” You are a better friend than you realize. “You don’t have what it takes to be a writer.” You have been gifted with talents to glorify Me. “You don’t have what it takes to teach others about scripture.” You are chosen. “You are a bad mother.” You love your children the best you can. “You are a horrible wife.” You are an honorable wife.
Do any of these taunts sound familiar to you?
Have you been listening to the lies for too long?
I highly encourage you to find a counselor to help you through this season of shadow, helping you hear and believe the deeper Truths of who God says you are, which will set your anxious heart free. In fact, if you need a recommendation, here are two resources for you I’ve personally used or know others close to me have used with success:
- Nicole Edgmond: Certified Family Therapist – nedgmond (at) hotmail.com
- NewLife Ministries: Certified Christian Counselors. (http://newlife.com/counselors/) Call (800) 639-5433.
Also please know that counseling doesn’t mean going to sit in an uncomfortable, foul smelling office anymore. It can be done over the phone or through Skype or Facetime. Counseling is widely available now in multiple ways to serve the hearts that need it.
Of course we as believers in Christ have a greater hope knowing that our ultimate counselor in life is always available to us–through Jesus Christ.
“And [Jesus is} our wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus has experienced every pain, every hurt, every loss. He can empathize with your pain in a way no other can. He is available to talk to and guides us by the Holy Spirit which God left in Jesus’s wake after He died on that cross. You simply have to trust and believe He will guide your steps and make your path straight again. Pray, and believe. He hears your prayers.
**Added note: I am not a licensed counselor, psychologist or physician. Theses opinions are merely my own based on personal research and understanding of tools to help with anxiety.**
(Click here to review recent posts on this series of Overcoming Anxiety in 31 Days!)