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Deciding to see a counselor is often a difficult decision, which takes place over time. In most cases, people don't feel comfortable when they see a counselor for the first time. Here are a few of the reasons that prevent or delay people from taking the steps to give counseling a try...
Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes courage to address problem areas and examine painful feelings. Entering counseling is taking the first step in resolving difficulties.
You don't need to be sick or have a lot of problems to go into counseling, you just need to be feeling stuck. Counseling helps when you have tried to address a situation on your own but your strategies don't seem to help.
Being able to ask for help often indicates maturity and a sense of security in oneself. Counseling is like seeing a doctor - you don't go to a doctor only if you have a heart attack. It can be helpful to see a doctor if you have the flu. Students often seek and benefit from counseling for issues such as academic difficulty, relationship problems, adjustment concerns, managing stress, or choosing a major.
CSUN's counseling is available at no charge to all CSUN students, and if you are interested in seeing a professional in the community we have many resources that provide lower cost services for those who qualify.
Although friends can provide wonderful support and empathy, they often are unable to be objective, and they may lack the necessary training regarding psychological dynamics. Furthermore in a friendship, the needs of both people must be attended to since friendships require a mutual exchange of listening and sharing, In a counseling relationship, the focus is solely on you. You don't have to worry about burdening a therapist, it's their job to listen.
Sharing information in an environment that is nonjudgmental and caring often helps relieve the emotional pressure caused by keeping our thoughts and feelings to ourselves. Counseling, however, is more than just talking. It is also a way of understanding who we are and how we relate to the world around us, by focusing attention on the underlying dynamics about which we may have been previously unaware. This provides new ways of looking at our problems and opens up new choices about how to handle these problems.
Counselors are sensitive and respectful of concerns about family traditions and privacy. If conflicts about loyalty to family and culture are of concern, these issues can be discussed in the first session before more personal matters are addressed.
On the contrary, opening up to previously suppressed concerns and worries helps dissipate the pain and intensity, and helps us understand our problems more completely. This facilitates a better understanding of choices, thereby providing a better forum for decision making.