Myth: Counseling is only for people who have serious emotional problems
Fact: Seeing a counselor does not mean that you are mentally ill or “crazy”. Everyone has difficulties at some point in their lives, and being able to ask for help is a sign of maturity, health, and strength.
Myth: Seeking counseling is a sign of weakness
Fact: It takes courage to explore sensitive feelings and painful experiences. Individuals who enter counseling are taking a first step in resolving their difficulties.
Myth: Going to counseling means that I’m out of control
Fact: Actually, going to counseling is a way of taking control. Talking to a counselor is a great way to take control of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; and to make changes to improve your quality of life. Since mood and behavior affect the people around us, an improved quality of life has obvious benefits for those around you as well.
Myth: The counselor will tell me what to do and how to “fix” my problems
Fact: Counseling is not a “quick fix” for your problems. The counselor’s role is to help you explore your feelings, thoughts, and concerns; to examine your options and to assist you in achieving the goals you have set.
Myth: Counseling doesn’t work. I’ve tried it already
Fact: The counseling process looks different with each counselor and for each problem, so always try again.
Myth: The counselor cannot understand you unless he/she has had similar experiences or is of the same background
Fact: Individual reactions to the same event or experience can vary widely, but basic human emotions are the same across individuals and cultures. Your counselor does not have to personally experience the same thing as you in order to understand what it might be like. Counselors are trained to be sensitive to, and respectful of, individual differences, including specific concerns of students with regard to gender, race/ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.
Myth: The fact that I’ve gone for counseling will become part of my academic record and/or may hurt me in job, residency or graduate school applications
Fact: Counseling records are kept separately from academic records and are protected by law. Release of any information is permitted only after a student provides written consent, or in certain legal situations involving a subpoena or court order.