Do I need counselling?

If you are asking yourself this question, the answer is probably, yes. However, deciding whether or not you need counselling is a personal decision. A significant number of people will delay accessing counselling support due to the stigma around it, believing it to be a last resort for people who can’t cope any more or for individuals who have serious mental health issues. But it’s vitally important to recognise that counselling is for everyone, and the earlier you get to support the easier it will be to navigate the process of improvement – while you have more energy to talk it through and implement change.


It's also important to understand that seeking professional help is never a sign of weakness (another common myth) – it can take a great deal of courage to reach out for help, open yourself up to another person and take a good look at yourself and the problems you’re dealing with.

If you're experiencing difficulties in your life or facing challenges that are affecting your well-being, you feel you have nobody to talk to, or talking to friends and family hasn’t helped, it will almost certainly be beneficial to consider counselling. 

Speaking to a therapist is a dynamic like no other. A therapist will offer you a listening ear, validation, affirmations, gentle challenge, reflection and a professional approach to supporting you in identifying core issues, hidden strengths, and potential solutions to overcoming your problems.

They will support you in identifying your methods of successfully dealing with your situation in a way that fits you, builds confidence and empowers you to make changes for yourself, both internally (exploring thoughts, beliefs and feelings) and externally (changing behaviour patterns, communication, and the situation).

Clients who have accessed counselling often report never having had anyone they’ve spoken to with such openness and honesty, and have never felt so understood and supported when reflecting on their therapeutic experience. 

Counselling can often be started without understanding the full benefit of the process and clients are often pleasantly surprised at just how much they gain from it. It's also common for clients to come with one problem, yet come to recognise that this was usually only a symptom of something much deeper rooted, so do prepare yourself for a potentially enlightening experience!

Signs you may benefit from counselling

Counselling is an exploration of yourself. It’s truly rewarding and encourages a fuller sense of self-awareness, fulfilment and connection to yourself and those around you.

But, if you still aren’t sure if therapy is for you, here are some signs that indicate you may benefit from working with a professional.

  1. Emotional distress – If you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or experiencing intense emotions that are interfering with your daily life and functioning, counselling can provide support and guidance.
  2. Relationship issues – If you're facing challenges in your relationships, such as conflicts with your partner, family members, friends, or colleagues, counselling can help you navigate these issues and improve communication and understanding.
  3. Traumatic experiences – If you've been through a traumatic event, such as abuse, loss, or a significant life change, counselling can assist you in processing your emotions, coping with the aftermath, and finding healing.
  4. Unhealthy coping mechanisms – If you find yourself relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse, self-harm, or excessive eating, counselling can help you develop healthier strategies to manage stress and emotions.
  5. Low self-esteem and self-worth – If you struggle with low self-esteem, lack of confidence, or a negative self-image, counselling can assist you in building a more positive and healthy self-perception.
  6. Major life transitions – If you're going through significant life changes, such as divorce, a career change, or relocation, counselling can provide support and guidance as you navigate these transitions.
  7. Persistent problems – If you've been facing ongoing issues, challenges, or patterns in your life that you haven't been able to resolve on your own, counselling can help you gain insight and develop strategies to address them effectively.
  8. Self-development – If you have a desire to better yourself, or create a fuller understanding of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and grow and develop, counselling can offer you the space and regular commitment to yourself for as long as you need it, with the benefit of reflection and honesty from your therapist to help you identify changes and challenges that need to be addressed.

Remember, these are just general indicators, and everyone's situation is unique. Ultimately, if you're unsure, it can be helpful to consult with a professional who can evaluate your specific circumstances and provide guidance tailored to your needs. 

Things to keep in mind

When contacting a therapist, it is understood that you may not want to share everything immediately and if this is the case, it’s useful to consider what you’re hoping to gain from therapy instead and what the end goal looks like. This way, you can ask how a therapist may support you to the end goal, rather than how they will help you work through the problem.

And if you do decide to enter counselling, ensure you find a therapist that is a good fit for you – someone you can connect with and build a strong relationship with. This is essential in ensuring you get the most out of your experience, after all, you’re unlikely to feel free to be yourself if you’re not feeling the connection. Your therapist is your therapist, so choose wisely, it could be a long and winding and wonderful journey the two of you take together!

Of course, please read through my profile and see if I might be a good fit for you. If you find I’m not (I won’t be offended), we have many therapists available at Clarendon Counselling – you can find the team via our website. We often have limited availability across the team so bite that bullet, reach out today, and get your journey started!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Manchester, Greater Manchester, M27 8UW
Written by Tracy McCadden, Counsellor & Supervisor BSc(Hons) MBACP
Manchester, Greater Manchester, M27 8UW

I am qualified to BSc (hons) level in Psychology and Diploma level in Counselling. I also have qualifications in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Hypno-Psychotherapy, and Fieldwork Supervision, as well as a wealth of additional training and run a successful private therapy practice welcoming clients that are committed to making a change for the better.

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