• Christina Francisco, LCPC, QMHP, BSFT, NCC

Counseling Stigmas Debunked

If you’re reading this, you may be skeptical about what counseling entails-especially Holistic Counseling. Maybe you stumbled across this blog in hopes to just do some research about counseling, or maybe you have decided to get some extra support for yourself or your loved one as a New Year’s Resolution but are unsure of counseling and whether it is right for you. You are not alone! Psychological health and getting support through counseling has had stigma surrounding it for ages! I am here to break down these stigmas surrounding mental health, counseling, and especially holistic counseling. Some wonder what happens when they get to the office, they wonder what a therapist does, they think that if they go to therapy then they are crazy or considered weak. they begin to make excuses saying, “I can’t meditate. Holistic counseling isn’t evidence based.” Now, for the first one, that is a normal anxious thought regarding starting something new. As human beings, the worry or concern of the unknown is real, and so when we are thinking about starting something new, we often find ourselves anxious. This anxiety makes us avoid these certain situations or feel intrigued, we either pull away or want to know more.

A good practice for helping get through these stigmas is to gain knowledge through research. Call the therapist you are trying to schedule an appointment with and have a list of written questions there beside you-believe me, we are more than happy to answer any questions you might have regarding what the therapy process entails. Keep in mind, every therapy session could be different, depending on what the person in counseling wants to work on. Another factor is the specific orientation of the therapist and most importantly, how much of their own work has the therapist done. This is by far the most important factor in how well the therapist will be able to help you in therapy besides their training. If they have not done the work to change themselves, their book knowledge won’t work. Inholistic counseling, we utilize talk therapy with a mix of meditations, sand tray, art therapy, and inner child work. These techniques do not all happen at once, and depend on multiple factors, which will be explained to you in upcoming blogs. (so stay tuned!). Holistic counseling has gotten a bad reputation simply because the individual needs to utilize their feelings and feel comfortable sitting there with them and discussing them. We all know we could use more practice with this!

If you are interested in how to feel more in touch with your feelings, we have groups and counselors who would love to teach you the skills to do this! Feelings are not something you should be afraid of or avoid. We know that if you push down one feeling, there is an automatic cap placed over all of your feelings. Conversely, if you learn to feel difficult feelings, you will open yourself up to feeling much more joy and happiness. They are there for reasons and are just waiting to be uncovered. These kinds of emotional reactions come from different life transitions which all of us have experienced. These life transitions can be anything from graduating high school and adjusting to adulthood, relationships beginning or ending, having a new baby or helping the last child off to college, setting boundaries with those in our lives, especially around the holidays, losing a loved one or getting married or engaged, are just a few. These life phases are things we all have gone through or will go through in our lives which are a lot easier to sort through with someone who can guide you to inner healing. This work also helps people to explore the old ingrained patterns that are causing ripples in their life, that they were unconscious of. We learn a lot of ways of thinking and being that are unexamined and just root behaviors. When we look at them, we have the freedom of choice and the ability to create better out comes in our lives.

This healing journey towards self-awareness and self-growth can be difficult and challenging, but then again, most things that are important are worth the hard work you put into it. This makes it more fulfilling, knowing YOU have done the work needed to help you become your best self! Those who seek support are also seeking self-growth and are hoping to change their behaviors from negative to more positive and effective ones. They have realized they can only control themselves, their behaviors and their words, and are ready to work on what is in their control. Are you ready to take the leap into counseling and join the many other individuals who have begun their journey of self-awareness to become more centered emotionally and physically? If you’re not certain yet, stay tuned for more blogs to help guide you.

More about Christina here


Within Holistic Counseling 665 W. Jackson St, Woodstock, IL 60098 815-308-8859 

Within Holistic Counseling 118 Applebee St, Ste 2, Barrington, IL 60010 815-527-3676

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