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Mental Health Stigma and Professional Help-Seeking Attitudes

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

It is common for people to suffer from emotional distress when dealing with high-pressure environments or encountering adversity in all aspects of life. However, many people choose not to confront their emotional issues, believing that seeking psychological counselling is just for people with mental problems. In addition, there is insufficient education for the importance of mental health in the society, and even talk about emotional issues with negative meaning, which worsen the situation of people that are in need of proper therapy and healing. In fact, apart from emotional issues, psychology counselling can offer help in other areas such as relationships, career development, and parenting, etc.

1. Is it weird to find psychological counselling for problems in life?

This is not weird at all, because clinical psychologists are different from psychiatrists. When we encounter problems from different aspects, such as family, work, or interpersonal relationships, which affect our emotions or normal life, psychological counselling could guide us to find out the causes and solve the problems.

2. Is psychological counselling just chatting?

Although chatting with someone we trust can also be a good solution for us to "relax" and release our tensions. However, clinical psychologists will assess our emotional status or the severity of the problem through conversations, journals, and facial expressions. Based on our experiences, behaviors, and family background, etc., clinical psychologists will offer professional solutions to help us to regain a normal life and promote our personal development. The types of therapy may include certain body movements, exercises, journal writings, or even mindful meditation.

3. Can psychological counselling resolve my emotional distress immediately?

Psychological counselling is similar to a fitness program. One must undergo regular training with persistence for satisfactory results. So a clinical psychologist is almost like a personal trainer for our mental fitness. He/she needs to establish a trusting relationship with the clients and understands the issues first. Next, depending on the issues and the level of complexity, the clinical psychologists will decide the types of therapy to resolve the clients’ emotional distress and improve their mental well-being. Generally speaking, it should take at least a few sessions for the ultimate results.

4. Does psychological counselling use hypnotic methods?

Psychological counsellors and hypnotists are different. Not all counsellors are qualified as hypnotists and usually do not use hypnosis for psychological counselling. Unless the client agrees and the clinical psychologist believes it is appropriate, he/she may choose to use hypnotic methods. Meanwhile, there are 5 main types of psychotherapy that the clinical psychologists usually use:

  • Cognitive Therapy

  • Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies

  • Behavior therapy

  • Humanistic therapy

  • Integrative or holistic therapy

5. Should I choose a senior counsellor?

In addition to seniority, we should also consider other aspects when choosing a clinical psychologist, such as whether we feel comfortable in conversation, the method of counselling, and expertise of the psychologist. Each clinical psychologist has his/her own expertise, such as relationships, parenting, trauma, depression, and career, etc. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a reliable clinical psychologist that fits your needs, rather than just looking at his/her years of experience.

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