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Do You Need to See a Counselor? 6 Overlooked Reasons That are Derailing You From Your Potential

From approximately 15 years of counseling people, here are 6 of the most common reasons you should see a counselor:

1.  You are very talented but you have a few personality thorns making you very unlikable.

I wrote a blog a while back that went viral (about 14,000 reads) entitled “10 Character flaws that derail even good people”.  Unfortunately, what often separates the Great from the Good in any field is not necessarily intelligence, or work ethic, but the ability for the Great to understand themselves from a 360° perspective.  In stark contrast, the Good often prevent themselves from becoming Great because they continue to exhibit truly annoying “personality thorns.”  Examples are hyper defensiveness, volatility, sense of entitlement, and being an overly pleasing person.

Counselors will tell you what you need to hear, which everyone else is afraid to tell you.

2. You have a pattern of unhealthy relationships and/or are currently in a relationship you are not satisfied with.

Approximately two out of every three marriages fail.  This and other statistics clearly reveal that having a truly successfully enduring, deep, and intimate relationship with a romantic partner is only achieved by a small part of the human population. 

But in a culture where the focus is on superficial “makeovers” where people spend a lot of money on improvement of how they physically look, there is a true lack of people who invest money in working through those issues that impair day-to-day functioning and lead to poor relationship choices and or toxic relationship dynamics. 

3.  While you have incredible strengths, you are hyper defensive about your “Shadow”, meanwhile, your shadow is overshadowing your “bright” side.

Carl Jung once coined the term “shadow” to describe the undesirable, undeveloped, raw, embarrassing, weakest parts of ourselves.  Too many people try to go through life keeping their shadow secret, whereas a Full Life involves opening up your closet and taking a full inventory. No matter how much energy you put in keeping things secret, that shadow continues to hamper your development in innumerable ways whether you realize it or not.  We live in a society of hypersensitivity where no one is going to talk to you honestly about your shadow.  Except a counselor.  The sad thing is, most people seek friends who will simply reaffirm them and complement them, whereas what you really need is a counselor to call you out on Your Stuff.

Most people die without reaching true enlightenment, which requires obtaining a 360 degree view of yourself.  Wake up and realize reading a self-help book may increase the degrees of your perspective, but there is nothing like seeing a counselor to obtain a truly 360° view.

Questions you can ask a counselor to find the right one.

4.  You have a Dark Secret (or secrets) that continue to invade your daily consciousness, which you feel guilty or embarrassed about, and you assume that if you simply continue to try and compartmentalize it will go away.

Some great examples include you have been sexually abused, traumatized, or are living a fake life that you don’t even feel passionate about.  For example, there are a bunch of Scary Statistics indicating how unhappy most people are in their chosen career. 

Many people who have been traumatized never seek counseling, assuming that their distressing memories will fade over time.  Often those memories can fade, but that trauma continues to affect their behavior in many ways that they may or may not be conscious of.  If they were to see a counselor and work through the trauma, they would have a tremendous amount of psychological energy freed up for more productive and meaningful goals and dreams.  The majority of people cope with distressing memories by abusing substances, mistreating other people, and/or having generalized problems with anger management and/or depression or anxiety.

 See my blog about why you should work with a professional if you have been sexually abused.

Also, see the current list for evidence-based treatments for trauma.

5.  You have problems forgiving other people (or a certain person) and thus have ongoing anger which is a waste of your energy, but you would rather not forgive that person and hold on to the anger.

Anger is at an epidemic level in modern society, especially in the United States.  Anger is often a result of unmet expectations.  Most people believe that going through life holding onto anger is just part of the human condition.  Actually, it is not the dynamic for truly healthy people.  Healthy people let go of anger as they reframe their expectations. There are clearly evidence-based methods for treating anger, and when people have received treatment for anger they are often delightfully surprised at how much more energetic they feel.  It is like taking off a backpack that weighs 100 pounds, and realizing you never knew you were weighted down to such a great degree. See list of the most powerful Evidence Based Treatments.  

6. Even though you are surrounded by people and so-called “friends”, you feel very lonely.  You do not have anyone you feel deeply connected with.

Research regarding friendships indicates that a great majority of people do not even have one close friend.  Even for those who are married, remember that two thirds of marriages tend to fail. Many people feel like if you want to find a friend you have to get a dog.  What many people don’t realize is by working with a seasoned counselor you can come to realize what barriers are getting in the way from you finding Truly Deep Friendships

Often a lack of deep friendships is a result of a combination of qualities you have that keep you from sustaining deeper relationships and problems you have with communicating with potential friends that could allow that relationship to go to a deeper level.  

Related blogs:  

Why and How Children of Divorced Parents Should Receive Counseling – Part 1

Why and How Children of Divorced Parents Should Receive Counseling – Part 2

3 Seriously Impairing Problems Parents miss but Counselors Fix

Feel free to call my Office Assistant, Denice, if you would like to discuss any Consulting needs you have.  Our phone number is 520-314-4772 and our email address is solutions@doctorbrunner.com

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Meet Doctor Brunner

Dr. Thomas (Tom) Brunner is a Tucson based psychologist and published expert who has a 20 year track record of clinical excellence, scientific research, teaching, publications, awards and podcast interviews.  He is the senior author of a psychological measure adapted into 14 languages worldwide, and has written over 250 blogs, many of them have gone viral.  He is revolutionizing the field of career guidance with his fresh and trademarked approach that is spreading like wildfire. Sign up here to be notified of soon to be published book, Find Your Real Me: Career Guidance Making You Truly Free.