Are You Thinking of Getting Help?
Deciding to reach out for professional help is a big decision, and I know it's not one you take lightly. In fact, if you're like most people you've probably been working for a long time to NOT get involved in Marriage Counseling, Therapy or Life Coaching, and instead been doing everything you can think of to help yourself: Reading books, trying different things, seeking advice from friends.
But there comes a point where you've done everything that you know how to do on your own and you just feel stuck. The things you're trying to do just aren't working (or, not for long anyway). Or maybe you've had people encouraging you to “talk to someone.” Maybe you've been inspired by someone else's successful work in counseling or coaching, and are hopeful that you could get good results too. But where to even start finding the right person? The sheer volume of options you have can be overwhelming.
So now you're cruising around therapist's websites and self-help blogs, looking for direction. Welcome. I'm glad you've found this post. I'm glad you're doing your research. Because, in my opinion, one of the worst things that can happen is for someone to take such a risk and finally reach out for help… only to connect with the wrong person.
What's Worse Than Not Getting Help? Reaching Out To The Wrong Person.
It happens. Too often, actually. And the outcomes can be worse than not getting help at all. When people muster up their courage, and finally reach out, only to have an (at best) unhelpful or (at worst) bad experience, it has negative consequences. Not just because they didn't get the help they were looking for, but because it may lead them to believe that there is no help for them.
Even more tragically, many couples seek counseling from a person who isn't qualified, and then when couples counseling isn't successful think that their relationship can't be repaired (and subsequently get divorced.) Yet another reason why finding the right kind of help is extremely important.
You Don't Go To a Cardiologist For a Broken Leg, Either.
I think one reason for this is that there is a big gap between the kind of help people really need, and the kind that they think they need. Frankly the alphabet soup of credentials, degrees, and specialities is confusing. It's hard to know who's who, and what's what.
I have people from all over reach out to me asking questions, and advice. (Do you have a question for me to answer on my blog or podcast? I'd love to hear from you: email me). Recently I've had several people get in touch with me asking for help in how to manage pretty major issues — major depressive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse problems. Many of these questions would end with something along the lines of, “Yeah, so I was thinking it might be time for me to see a life coach…” Life Coach! Really??
It's becoming increasingly clear to me that many people don't understand the difference between a life coach and a therapist, what kind of help is appropriate for certain issues, or how to get connected with the right person to solve a particular problem.
Knowledge Is Power
So on this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, I'm here to help you understand what your options for help are, when NOT to go to a life coach, when life coaching is a great choice, what kind of therapist can help you fix your relationship (and who can't), where to go for medication, and how to get connected with a good, caring (and qualified!) therapist in your area. I'm throwing in some emergency resources too, just for good measure.
Hope it helps you find your way.
Lisa Marie Bobby
Is It Time To Get Help? Do It Right. Listen Now:
Music Credits: Portishead, “The Rip”