Ever wonder what gives an investment value? What will the return on your investment be in the near and distant future? Have you ever considered counseling as an investment? Ever wonder what the big deal with counseling is? Have you considered it a waste of time? Does it seem pointless to talk to a stranger about your problems, life’s events, frustrations, or how you feel? What could counseling mean to me? How is counseling an investment for me? How much time, energy and money will I need to invest for a better me? What gives counseling for my life value now and in the future?

You may be looking to face some fears in your life, sort out a breakup, a career crisis, a relationship that’s stuck, feelings of depression, wrestling with anxiety, trying to grieve loss, or other interpersonal or relational issues. You are not alone in considering the option of counseling in addressing these things in your life. We have found many clients coming to counseling to get a personal “tune-up”, taking the time to gain tools to better understand themselves and how to make positive changes in their lives, or to work through some very overwhelming thoughts and feelings that have recently came up or ones that have been there for quite some time. You may find that counseling is the help you need to get back on track.  We here with Pathways Counseling Services consider counseling an honor and privilege for us in being an active, professional and empathetic part in our clients’ lives to help them sort out, overcome, work through, heal, learn, and grow in their individual and relational journeys in life.

You have choices, options when it comes to considering the benefits of counseling or the costs including ignoring or avoiding the certain warning signs, pushing away or even quelling your troublesome thoughts and emotions, or even tuning out those friends or family in your life encouraging you to seek help. Ask yourself, “How are these things working for me?” Things like self-pity, sleepless nights, sadness, despair, worry, anger, bitterness, shame, guilt, fear, anxiety or depression. The benefits of psychotherapy (counseling) are numerous. A fresh look at an old problem, an objective listening ear that isn’t in your situation, a kind, compassionate professional that truly cares, are important benefits. They are valuable currency in your drained mental and emotional accounts. So, let’s take a closer look at the costs before you invest and considerations of not going to counseling, as well as your investment in counseling.

Explore the costs before you invest in counseling

The cost of doing nothing…or everything but

You may say, “Oh, this is just a phase…everybody has their days”, “This too shall pass”, or other such phrases. Over time, certain things may just fade away and life goes on. Many people find that ignoring their problems long enough, they go away. How far these problems go away and to what extent remains to be seen. You may just spend hours ruminating over the problems in your head including things out of your control. Many people will avoid their problem thoughts and feelings by working long hours, jumping quickly into another relationship, drinking, drugging or other addictive activities (video games, porn, shopping, gambling, etc.), Also, you may decide on impulsive buys, shopping to fill a void, binge eating (including excessive snacking), late night internet activity, and the list goes on and on. Others may tell their “friends” on social media but not really look inside themselves to figure what may need to change in order for them to move on or better themselves or build up more self-confidence. Consider: ignoring yourself (including what your body and mind are “telling” you) doesn’t make the problems any less valid. How much energy, time and money have you spent trying to get through this part of your life with few lasting results?

The cost of neglecting the pain or problems

You may be able to ride a bike with two flat tires for a little while, but how fast will you go or what difficulty will it be to ride it? Consider how your decisions are made when you are stressed, depressed, having angry outbursts and how there may be loss of time and resources. Warning signs may appear such as loss or change in health (headaches, change in sleep, change in appetite, change in mood, feeling tired or wired, and other changes) which may initiate doctor visits addressing physical symptoms but may not really address the underlying mental/emotional symptoms (such as stress, tension, anxiety, depression, negative self-talk). Other warning signs may be poor job performance, loss of work days, disruptions in relationships. You may recall long days, weeks or even months when you felt so alone anguishing through internal pain or a miserable relationship without help or guidance. These are the things that consume your time, energy, self-esteem, and peace of mind.

The cost of rushing on  

Making decisions in haste, out of anger, in fear, out of emotional trauma, in an unsettling or miserable state, out of revenge, out of shame or guilt, or out of overwhelming grief. For those going through a conflictual, intense, distrusting marriage, consider that divorce attorneys cost an average of $250 per hour and they expect a big chunk of money up front not to mention the cost of traveling back and forth to court, separating your belongings, getting another place to live, changes in relationships with friends, and if there are children involved, how the divorce would affect them. Running away may seem like a quick fix yet the feelings seem to linger and may remain very unsettling within you.

Transition to your investment: Validate the pain

When we acknowledge the internal pain, we begin the process of healing. We confirm its existence – that it’s not “just in your head!” and to “just get over it!” Your thoughts are yours. Your feelings are yours. Your actions are yours. Your attitude is yours. Confirm them. This way you have ownership in the change of your life. This is the beginning.

3 things you invest with counseling

Your time

You probably don’t want to do anything that would waste your time. After all, your time is valuable. You want it to count especially if counseling is meant to help you feel better, think clearer, make better decisions, overcome challenging situations, and improve how you live life. Yeah, the problems more than likely didn’t happen overnight and a “quick fix” is not realistic but improvement is anticipated. Initially, you may feel like you don’t have time to find the “right” or ideal counselor. But here you are reading this blog post.  You might believe that you don’t have time to meet for sessions because of various reasons (work, schedule, travel, child care, etc.) or you don’t have time to really sort out and deal with your emotions and memories. Counseling is time invested in the trenches of cultivating a hopeful, satisfying, productive, and well-lived life which includes loving yourself well. Time is a valuable resource, invest it well for many positive returns.

Your energy

You may be feeling tension, or getting tired easily or may feel so down now that you just can’t imagine starting the therapy process. This is understandable. The mountain of emotions may be so huge that just thinking about it takes up a bunch of energy. It’s just taking that first step. When you think about discussing your problems or having to learn new ways to approach your life, this can really initiate hope. Although depression, anxiety, stress, negative self-talk, and toxic people are draining, you are looking to reinvest your energy in more productive areas.

Let one of our counselors help you see that the energy you spend working on yourself is returned to you as well as with others you care about (who also care about you). Your decision to confront the emotional “sludge”, maybe some apprehension in order to reach out for help, and change your self-defeating habits is a courageous step worth taking, and energy worth investing. Consider for a moment that in counseling you are literally doing the work of changing your mind, changing your habits, and changing your perspectives.

Your money

Everything has a cost in one form or another. There’s spending resources on things you need and want (food, clothes, rent, transportation, entertainment, etc.) and then there’s things you spend now for a better mental and emotional outcome – namely through counseling. The things you care about, things you enjoy, things you want or what seems to make you or a loved one happy will determine what and how much you spend. You invest your money where it will benefit you in some way – now or in the future. This is where the counseling process invites and cultivates a beneficial mental and emotional state of well-being. This is how counseling is worth the monetary investment because the return on your investment is yours to keep throughout your life. The unconditional regard and acceptance you receive from the counselor, the insight or “ah ha” moments you experience, the communication skills you gain, and the restorative healing you experience are assets you can retain far after the counseling process is done.

The benefits of counseling are empowering with a longing to improve productivity, improve thinking more clearly, improve sleep, improve overall well-being, reduce stress, open up more creative pathways for healthy decision-making, and the list goes on. The benefits of counseling have been proven in the lives of those who have experienced positive changes with it. Invest in who you are and live a more intentional, hopeful, satisfying, and balanced life. You owe it to yourself and those who love you and those you love to be the best you you can be. You’re worth it.

Feel free to send us an email at joel@pathwaystucson.com or give us a call at 520-292-9750 to learn more about counseling, setting up an appointment to meet up with one of our counselors. Be valued, be accepted…begin the healing process in your life today.