The Top 10 Reasons People Say No to Counseling

Seeing a psychologist can be a difficult decision. Here are some common concerns:

1. "Receiving counseling is a sign of weakness."

Although it may feel this way, this is not accurate. Addressing a personal problem requires courage, confidence, and strength--courage to be willing to feel pain and confdence that you possess the inner strength to overcome challegnes and emerge even more resilient.

2. "People who go to counseling are crazy. I’m not crazy!"

University students are high-functioning people, not “crazy” people. It is not crazy to feel sad or unsure. In fact, those feelings are typically a symptom of a high level of sanity. Counseling helps people to develop new coping strategies that typically help people to get back in touch with their sense of clarity, direction and motivation.

3. "CLU is too small—everyone will know what I talk about."

Counseling at SCS is strictly CONFIDENTIAL. Psychologists at SCS must abide by strict legal and ethical standards. In short, without your permission, we cannot inform anyone about what you said—or even that you were seen by us. True, there are some exceptional situations in which a psychologist must share some information revealed in a counseling session. Here is a brief description of those rare cases, which we discuss in greater detail prior to our first meeting with you:

Psychologists have a legal responsibility to disclose information without your consent if it is necessary to protect you or others from serious harm. Threats of physical violence, a life-threatening inability to care for one's self, and cases of abuse of dependent people are the most common examples.

4. "I wouldn’t even know what to talk about."

Just like physicians, psychologists are trained to assist you to assess whether there are ways you think, feel and/or behave that you might improve. People often discuss academic performance, relationships, adjusting to life challenges/changes, managing stress, or choosing a major.

5. "I can't afford to pay for counseling."

Counseling at SCS is FREE OF CHARGE.

6. "I can always talk to a friend. I don't understand how talking to a stranger can be helpful."

Friends can provide wonderful support and empathy, and that is often enough to help us through difficult times. A counseling relationship is different. In a friendship the needs of both people must be attended to. In counseling, the listener is an expert and the focus is solely on you, creating a much greater opportunity for growth and change. .

7. "I don't believe just talking can do any good."

Counseling involves much more than just talking. Counseling provides a way for us to understand who we are and how we relate to the world around us. In counseling we uncover new ways of looking at our problems and this often gives us new ways to cope. Talking with a professional relieves the emotional pressure caused by keeping our thoughts and feelings to ourselves.

8. "I'm betraying my family."

Counselors are sensitive and respectful of concerns about family traditions and privacy. If conflicts about loyalty to family and culture are of concern, these issues can be discussed in the first session before more personal matters are addressed.

9. "If I talk about my problems, I'll just make them worse."

In fact, examining previously suppressed concerns helps dissipate the pain they caused and helps us gain clarity about our emotional pain. This provides a forum for exploring choices, which produces better decision making.

10. “ I may want to go to graduate school or be in the military or the CIA, and having been in counseling could get in the way of my being accepted.”

If any individual or office ever wants to know anything about your counseling, you would have to allow that before this information is released by SCS, expect in the rare exceptional cases noted above.