For as long as we can remember, counseling has been labeled as a place where people go who have problems. The word “counseling” is synonymous with major struggles and messed up histories.
But over the last few years, that way of thinking has been challenged and the stigma that we’ve felt toward counseling has begun to be released.
In a conversation with Kathy Chamberlain, director of Taylor University’s counseling center, she described counseling as a journey. Going to counseling is simply asking for someone to walk through life with you.
The individualist nature of western culture seems to work towards existing without the help of others, but biblically, we are called to bear with one another. Taylor has looked to live out this idea of life together with what we call intentional community, and as much as it is frequently referenced as a joke, it is a reality that can also be reflected in counseling.
Counseling is more than just someone to talk to. Counseling can be a great contributor towards holistic living.
As humans, we have been made as a whole person. In Mark 12:30, the Bible calls us to love one another with our heart, mind, soul and body. These are all facets of the self that we need to care for so that we may live for God’s glorification.
Chamberlain explains that we were never meant to separate our mental and physical health. We are a whole person and need whole care, and one thing that we need to care for better is our minds.
Thankfully, it seems as though this negative counseling stigma has begun to change.
The counseling center is no longer hidden away, but can easily be located in the student center, ready to welcome any passers-by.
Additionally, 25% of students took advantage of the counseling center over the course of last year. Not every student was involved throughout the year. Many times, it was just for a single session, but they were given the space to find a listening ear and someone ready to walk with them and hear their heart.
When asked what some of the greatest benefits were to counseling, Chamberlain expressed that symptom reduction for anxiety was one of the most prominent.
In the epidemic of anxiety and depression that our generation is experiencing, the counseling center’s ability to provide healthy coping tools and work toward preventing breakdowns was one of their greatest impacts.
The largest deterrent from experiencing counseling is that fearful process of taking the first step.
It’s hard to share your story with a stranger.
But that stranger is waiting to hear your story.
They’re ready to listen.
They’re ready to walk with you.
To schedule an appointment at the counseling center, email firstname.lastname@example.org or watch for upcoming workshops which will be posted on their Instagram @tucounseling.
The first workshop this year is on mental wellness and will be on Sept. 14 in Cornwall at 4 p.m.
No matter who you are and what your story is, the counseling center is ready to welcome you into their space, you simply have to take the first step.