5 Questions Answered for Guys Considering Counseling
I like information. If I am going to walk onto a car lot to purchase a vehicle, chances are I have already researched everything I can about it before I am even greeted by the salesperson. I am the one who is going to scour through the Amazon reviews before clicking “add to cart.” I like to know as much as I can before I make any decision that is going to require a financial, mental, or emotional investment.
If you are like me and have considered seeking counseling, then it is likely that you have some questions too. Believe me, I get it. That is why my counseling practice offers a free consultation. I don’t like when people try to “sell” me on something. I just want the facts, so that is what I am going to do for you today. The following are some questions about counseling that I have gotten from men throughout my career:
1. How do I know if I even need counseling?
Chances are if you are asking this question, you probably need to at least consider seeing a counselor. Unfortunately, there is no “Check Engine” light on people. We can’t run bloodwork or hook you up to a machine to determine your need for mental health services. More often than not, the guys I see feel “stuck.” That’s the word they use. They can function at work, home, and socially, but often don’t feel they are progressing and they don’t know why exactly. Counseling is not only for the times when the bottom drops out of your world. Sometimes seeing a counselor can be the first step in assessing how serious the issues are and what your options are for dealing with them.
2. How long does it take?
Sessions are usually about an hour long, and a good starting point is one session per week for six weeks. Granted every person and situation is different, but this is roughly the average. During the first six weeks, you are your counselor will determine and prioritize the problems, and start working on developing skills to help you manage them on your own. At Mind Works Counseling Services, we emphasize that after you are finished with your weekly sessions, you are encouraged to call us down the road, if you need to, and come in for a maintenance session. Most of my clients jokingly call it a “tune-up.” Our relationship doesn’t end if you don’t want it to, and we hope you will consider us a resource for as long as you need it.
3. What is it going to cost me?
This all depends on the therapist. In Texas, many counselors are going to charge you $100+. At Mind Works Counseling Services, we try to be competitive with our prices, but counseling is an investment. If you pay $95/session for six weeks, that comes out to $570. However, the cost is only relevant when you consider value. For just under $600, you can potentially develop the skills you need to get rid of that “stuck” feeling that has you reading this blog. It is up to you to decide if it is worth it. A lot of guys are reluctant to invest in themselves when it comes to counseling. I get it. It feels like you are taking time and resources away from your family. But, this isn’t accurate. In reality, you are investing in yourself and by doing so, investing in the people who love you as well.
4. What if I am not good at or don’t like talking about my feelings.
Dude. I understand this completely. The thing is, if you have a good counselor, sessions are going to feel like normal conversation. Counselors need to assess things like mental status and emotional distress, but we’re pretty good at doing this in a way that makes you feel comfortable. If you are worried about not having enough to talk about, we are prepared for that too. We are trained to keep the conversation going in a natural and meaningful way so you don’t have to feel like you have to drive the narrative or that you aren’t getting your money’s worth.
5. What am I going to get out of counseling?
Sanctuary - At the very least, for one hour a week, you don’t have to worry about being the perfect employee, husband, father, son, brother, or whatever. You get to be you. Good? Bad? Ugly? We don’t care as long as it’s authentic.
A Healthy Skillset - Remember, counseling is about teaching you what to do to manage your symptoms. And, guess what…you get to keep them. Forever. Counseling isn’t like dieting where you see the benefits as long as you go, but the second you stop, it all comes back. Think of it as training to become the version of yourself that you want.
Physical Benefits - A reduction in stress, depression, and anxiety (all of which counseling can help you achieve) is good for your heart, energy levels, and overall physical health. We’re not saying that counseling can cure your diabetes, but being mentally healthy is connected to being physically healthy. Oh yeah, all of these things can help improve your sex life as well.
Freedom - Bro, if you feel stuck then I don’t have to tell you how miserable that is. Counseling can help you get unstuck. Imagine going to work, coming home, loving your family, and doing it all without the extra mental or emotional weight you are carrying. Sounds pretty awesome right? It is. Counseling is no guarantee that you won’t have problems, but it is a way of learning how to quickly and efficiently navigating through those problems in a healthy way.
At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we understand that men need counselors who understand what stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, trauma, and other forms of mental distress look like in men. Men and women are not the same in this regard. If you are not going to order a ribeye at Denny’s, then don’t see just any counselor. Choose the best. This is literally what we do all day every day. We specialize in helping guys, just like you, navigate the trials of mental health…and we are good at it. Give us a call and see for yourself.
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