In today’s hectic world, almost everybody gets stressed out and anxious from time-to-time. Pressures at work, school or home start to pile up until one day it feels like you’re going to explode from all those pent-up emotions. Years ago, people who sought counseling were oftentimes stigmatized as being “crazy” or “weak”. Thankfully, we now live in a more tolerant age where people are encouraged to get counseling when they need it.

However, deciding when to seek counseling can be hard. On the other hand, waiting too long can cause more serious emotional, or even physical, problems. If you’ve thought about meeting with a therapist, here’s how to know when it’s the right time for you.

Why Do People Seek Counseling?

In general, these are the main reasons why people seek professional counseling:

  • Feeling sad and angry all the time
  • Experiencing a traumatic event, like a traffic accident or natural disaster
  • Loss of a close friend or family member
  • Substance abuse
  • Being diagnosed with a serious medical condition
  • Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Having something important to them, like a job or house, taken away
  • Dealing with the fallout from emotional, physical or mental abuse
  • Personality disorder

If any of these describe you, speaking with a mental health professional will help you develop coping skills to confront your negative feelings and move forward with your life.

What if Those Don’t Apply to Me?

If none of those descriptions apply to you but it still seems like something’s wrong, you might also benefit from some professional counseling. Here are some other times when meeting with a licensed therapist could be beneficial:

You’re stuck in a rut

Sometimes in life we feel trapped in an endless loop that isn’t so bad, but at the same time it’s not fulfilling. For example, you keep applying for the same types of jobs even though it doesn’t make you happy, or maybe you can’t seem to get out of debt no matter how hard you try.

You constantly feel overwhelmed

Does your life feel like it’s out of control, but you don’t know why? If you constantly feel
overwhelmed, it might help to sit down and discuss your feelings confidentially with an objective
listener. Therapy is also a great stress reliever, and a good counselor can help you come to terms with negative feelings that have been kept pent-up for years.

You keep making bad choices

Even when you keep telling yourself “I won’t do that again” you still repeat harmful behaviors. Whether it’s binge drinking, overspending or dating the wrong people, making the same bad choices over and over isn’t going to make your life better.

Nobody listens to you

If you recently moved to a new city or went through a bad breakup, it may seem like there’s no one you can turn to for some reassuring conversation and understanding. Not being able to talk to your close family members about your sexuality or suicidal thoughts are examples of other situations when speaking confidentially to a trained counselor might help.

Uncontrollable emotions

If you find yourself flying into a blind rage because you burnt dinner or your kids didn’t do their homework, that’s not healthy for anyone. When an emotional response doesn’t match the episode that triggered it, there may be suppressed feelings that are trying to rise to the surface. A counselor can provide the support you need to address those pent-up emotions and traumatic experiences.

Not being “real”

Projecting a fake message to others is common in today’s superficial world, but it won’t make you happy if you’re not being honest with yourself. True happiness only comes about when we take time to listen to ourselves, stop trying to impress others and discover what really matters most deep inside. That can be easier said than done, but it is possible with a little counseling.

Confidential Counseling Services for Families in Worcester County

Deciding when to see a counselor can be hard. When you’re ready contact Family Services of Central Massachusetts (FSCM). At FSCM our licensed clinicians and clinical interns provide reliable counseling services for people just like you who are seeking ways to cultivate healthier relationships and coping skills while navigating through life’s inevitable transitions.

For over 125 years FSCM has been proudly supporting families, couples and individuals in the greater Worcester County area by providing professional counseling services that are based on the principles of understanding, compassion and confidentiality. For more information about our family counseling services please contact FSCM today or visit: www.fscm.org.