Going to counselling is hard, but worthwhile

Illustration by Cara Seccafien

Illustration by Cara Seccafien

Mental health isn’t something to take for granted

By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor


The last time I went to a counselling appointment I felt like crying the entire session. My voice was constantly cracking and shaking, I had to take a lot of deep breaths, and it took practically everything I had to keep it together. The funny part is there was nothing specifically that I was talking about that evoked these feelings in me, but openly talking about my anxieties and fears is not something I am super comfortable with. My feelings and emotions are not things I talk about often, and talking about them with a stranger is even more discouraging. Going to counselling to talk about my issues was a difficult thing to do, but a necessary one.

My experience and the hesitation I felt when it came to counselling is not uncommon. A lot of people have difficulty seeking help for their mental health or their problems, or, when they do go to appointments, they wear their heart on their sleeve—and for good reason. Opening up to anyone is an emotional situation to be in.

Asking for help for your mental health and openly talking about your innermost thoughts and feelings with someone is a difficult thing to do, no matter how often you do it, but it can do a lot of good for your mental health. Even if you don’t struggle with mental health, just going into a counselling appointment to talk about a problem you are having can provide you with a lot of insight into your situation and ways to help you deal and cope with your issues.

Going to a counsellor can be uncomfortable. When I went to my first counselling appointment, I was terrified. I had no idea what I was going to talk about or say to them, I didn’t even know what people did in counselling sessions. Admittedly, I didn’t really get much out of my first session; if anything it left me feeling more upset and displaced. It took a couple of tries for me to figure out how to focus my sessions on the specific issues I was having and how to identify them, and which counsellor I enjoyed best. Now that I know these things and how much counselling has helped me I can’t recommend it enough.

As distressing as my last counselling session sounds, after I left I felt great. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest… and all those other clichés. It helped me realize how much I get into my own head about small problems and how nonsensical my fears and anxieties really were. It also made me realize how helpful counselling, or even just talking to someone, can be, and how unfortunate it is that so many people take this for granted. If you are struggling with mental illness or even just have a problem that is taking a toll on your mental state, talking to someone about it really helps. Do yourself a favour and book a counselling appointment.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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