Are you having trouble dealing with life issues? Perhaps your family is going through a crisis and you feel overwhelmed. Or maybe you’re dissatisfied with your current performance at work. You know you’re capable of being top dog, but procrastination keeps dragging you down.

Why don’t you visit a professional counselor?   

And before you dismiss the suggestion, note: all people can benefit from counseling. After all, is there anyone who can’t use a listening ear or a guiding hand? Still, very few take advantage of the services of counseling psychologists. Majority still subscribe to the myth that only “crazy” people go to counseling. Or that “shrinks” are nothing but charlatans billing you for saying “Uh-huh.” And then there are those who wait for things to progress into life-and-death situations, before gathering the courage to seek help.

But counseling can change your life TODAY. Consider the following 3 reasons why counseling is for everyone:

We all go through natural transitions

Think you need to suffer a serious life adversity in order to feel out element? The reality is, “normal” people go through various situations that require adjustment. For example, you change as you go through individual developmental stages.  Remember the ambivalence of adolescence, or perhaps the stress of midlife? Families also change over the years. The birth of a new baby means adjustment for all; from dad who needs to raise extra cash, to the elder sibling who feels threatened by the new arrival. And then there are the personality clashes that come when two different individuals (and each person is unique!) have to interact.

So don’t think you have to be seeing large, dancing, pink rabbits before you can visit a mental health professional. Even counseling psychologists themselves avail of counseling now and then!

Few of us are living our full potential

You are taught many things in school: theories on how the world came to be, equations that can help you figure out how long it takes to get somewhere if you’re traveling at X miles per hour. But unfortunately, few schools teach life skills. How to bounce back after failure, is it alright to cry in public, how do you manage your time effectively — these are all life skills that we could all use more coaching in. If you feel that there are still things that you can do to better yourself, whether as a spouse, a parent or an employee, then consider signing up for the services of a counselor. One of the key roles of a counselor is to educate their clients on what skills they can use to tackle their current concern. You can read self-help literature, true, but there’s nothing quite like having a sounding board. The “human touch” is what’s missing from many transactions of today; we could all use a caring person to help us sort through our needs.

Lastly, we need objectivity and expertise

You’re probably asking: “Why bother finding a clinician? Can’t I just ventilate my problems to friends and family that I trust?”

You can, of course. And many people are blessed with friends and loved ones good at empathic listening. But what if you can’t find anyone capable of the confidentiality and non-judgmental acceptance that you need? Some concerns are embarrassing to admit, even to those you would trust with your life. Or what if your trusted friend is somehow involved in the issue, and therefore is unlikely to be objective in his or her opinions? Then you need someone who doesn’t belong in the system you belong to, in order to offer a fresh perspective.

Remember: it isn’t just neutrality that a professional counselor brings to the table. Counselors also offer their technical know-how; being experts in mental health they are adept at spotting issues the lay person tend to miss. As we lose nothing by exploring the tried and tested ways of dealing with problems, we could all use insights that a counselor will help us gather.