Here are some common fears and facts about counseling and seeking help.
FEAR: My problems are too small and trivial to talk about.
FACT: Any concern is a valid concern. Talking with a caring professional can put into perspective just how big or small your concerns are.
FEAR: People who go to counseling centers are crazy or weak or weird.
FACT: The truth is that research shows that almost 50% of college/university students have rated themselves as “depressed to the point of not being able to get out of bed” at some point during their college careers. Most students who seek help at the Cooper Center are trying to find ways to feel better and live less stressful lives. Some people are more emotionally troubled than others, but not everyone who seeks help is emotionally “disturbed.” Since everyone experiences some degree of emotional distress at various points in their lives, seeking counseling as a step in coping with this distress is a choice that represents a courageous, mature and responsible attitude.
FEAR: I should be strong enough and have faith enough to solve my own problems.
FACT: Choosing to ask for help shows wisdom and courage. It also affirms the way we human beings were created by God: Physical, Spiritual, Emotional and Relational Beings. Plus, counseling is a tremendous benefit to any Trinity student, so why not use it?
FEAR: People might find out that I went to see a counselor.
FACT: Counseling sessions are confidential and do not become a part of your academic transcript. Typically, the only way others might become aware of your choice to see a counselor is if you decide to tell them. You may even discover that you want a selected number of people to know that you are seeking help.
FEAR: Making an appointment and then talking with a stranger about personal stuff seems kind of scary.
FACT: A certain amount of discomfort or anxiety is understandable. We all feel a bit apprehensive the first time we meet someone, particularly when talking about important things having to do with our lives and our struggles. However, Cooper Center counselors understand the anxiety at the beginning. You will be encouraged to speak but at your own pace and with the assurance that you have a safe place in which to do it. Most students realize quickly that there is tremendous relief in just talking.
FEAR: I’m afraid my counselor will make me talk about stuff I’m not ready to talk about.
FACT: Counseling is NOT about making people do anything. It’s about collaboration. You and your counselor form a “team.” You will not be asked or forced to talk about anything you do not want to talk about. Your counselor may, at some point, indicate that there seem to be some issues which might be helpful to discuss and which you might be avoiding, but this will be done in a spirit of teamwork and caring.