Seeing a counselor can be a great way to move forward if you are struggling in some way. There is often a stigma about going to counseling, as if counseling is something only reserved for “crazy” people. The truth is, we all need help sometimes. Proverbs 11:14 evens tells us “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Think about it: would you make a huge life decision without talking to someone first? Do you talk to friends or elders when you need another perspective?
A counselor is an objective, outside person.Counselors do work with people battling severe mental illnesses, but they also work with ordinary people trying to make their way through life. Counselors can help you dig deep inside of yourself to discover where lies and pain came in, and figure out how to put the broken pieces back together. They can walk with you as go through any kind of past or present trauma, grief, tragedy, or unexpected life situation. A solid counselor can help you pinpoint where certain behaviors or feelings are coming from (anger, overeating, excessive drinking, etc.) and move forward into more healthy ways of behaving and relating. They can help if you are struggling with depression or anxiety or map out a plan for healthy ways to manage stress.
When you meet with a counselor, you will set goals for yourself. Your counselor will check in with you occasionally about how you are doing on your goals and if there is any way he/she can assist you in meeting them. In this way, you could even think of your counselor as accountability partner as you seek stronger mental health and a better life!
About 80% of people who attend counseling have found benefits in doing so.
A few possible benefits you may find from counseling:
Increased insight about self and relationships
Increased hope and positive outlook
Lessened feelings of anxiety
I want to tell you to be careful of whom you go to, if you are seeking counseling.There are people who have entered therapy and come out in bad shape due to faulty counseling or incompetent counselors. Also, I encourage Christian counseling! A Christian counselor will look at God’s word and the truth that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. They will not forget the spiritual component of you. Find a counselor you are comfortable with and who you feel actually listens to and hears you. The process is not always easy–it forces you to confront truths about yourself and your past (or present) that may not be pretty. Yet the goal is for healing and wholeness. Counseling holds benefits for many types of people! There is no shame in seeing a counselor if you are struggling with your thought patterns or difficult situations in life, past or present!
Have you gone to counseling and found benefits in dong so? Do you have any questions about counseling?
As singles, sometimes our focus can unknowingly be on finding someone to make us whole. In a world that places having a significant other on a pedestal, society can make us feel like there’s a problem with us if we are standing alone. Even the church sometimes makes an idol out of marriage, seeming to forget that Jesus Christ was single! Not only that, but it seems that St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians focusing on singleness are not talked about much. Church events are more often than not geared toward families.
A relationship or marriage will not make you whole. You need to be secure in who you are as an individual. How do you become whole? You focus on a relationship with Christ. You seek an identity in your Creator, and not in one of His creations. Seek your identity as a unique child of God.
Isaiah 43:1 tells the children of God that “I have called you by name; you are Mine!”
Your spouse will be so blessed to have a spouse who knows who they are in Christ. You will not be needy and wanting them to fulfill your every need. Your spouse will never be able to fulfill all your needs. You will not be able to fulfill all their needs. If you are seeking Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, you are more likely to (in God’s time) attract the person who is seeking the same thing!
So, how do you become whole?
Focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Focus on Jesus and not on finding a man or a woman. Pray to know Jesus in a new, fresh way. Read the Scriptures, especially the Gospels, carefully. You will get to know His heart and teachings. Spend time in Eucharistic Adoration and pour out your heart to Him. Also find like-minded people on the same journey.
Forgive! Forgiveness is powerful. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask that the Father “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Often we hold onto hurts from the past. This holds us back. Resentment, bitterness, and anger make us emotionally and spiritually sick. They poison our relationships. Moving forward into marriage, you will need to learn to forgive. Your spouse will hurt you at times, and you will hurt them.
Attend counseling. (As a future counselor, of course I have great faith in this tip!) A good counselor can help you walk into healing from the hurts of the past and present situations. They can give you outside insight and help you learn better how you function & how to function more healthy in the future. If you attend counseling, I recommend a Christian counselor. Secular counselors may not understand the integration of faith and its importance to healing, and may have recommendations that are not Christian.
Learn self-care. The truth is that many of us need to learn better how to live healthy lifestyles. What does this involve? Feeding your body nourishing foods. It means getting enough rest and not pushing yourself too hard. It’s surrounding yourself with healthy people–and knowing yourself and your boundaries. Self-care is taking care of your mental and emotional health. Of course, I cannot leave out what was discussed earlier: a healthy prayer and spiritual life! Self-care looks different for each of us since we are all wired differently, but it ultimately comes down to this: a balanced life which does not neglect any aspect of ourselves.
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Most of all, I want to leave you with this: Jesus Christ is THE greatest Love we will ever have. That love will follow us into eternity. Christ is the only One who will never hurt us! Find your wholeness in Him. No matter what life brings, your life being built upon Him will not steer you wrong! You will become the beautiful creation that He intended. You will become wholly yourself. Whole.
“We are all sinners. But God heals us with an abundance of grace, mercy and tenderness.”~Pope Francis
Don’t ever think that you’re too far gone. It’s never too late for grace. If you open your heart, Jesus will heal you every day.
The worst sinners can become the greatest saints. The most broken people can become whole. It is not on their own account, but on the grace of God working within them. Don’t doubt grace. Believe in God’s abundance of grace, mercy, and tenderness.
Sit still, get quiet, and let yourself feel aware of your littleness, your brokenness.But don’t stay there. Ask your Father to reveal how He sees you. Listen. Let His grace flow through you and bring you closer to Him and to your healing.
It will come in time, my friend, the healing work of God. Believe it.
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.