by Gretchen Zagzebski, MEd, LCPC
“You see a counselor too?”
This response sticks out in my mind. The more prominent memory is actually the look of shock and awe after sharing that yes, counselors see counselors too.
As a fellow human being who feels the whole spectrum of emotions from joy to suffering, seeing a counselor myself has always been part of my self-care regimen. Whether it more extensive sessions to process a life stressor or sporadic check-ins, I have found my time on the couch invaluable.
But, why is it so shocking? No one ever talks about this. I think to myself: “Well, a dentist must need another dentist to work on her teeth… right?” It feels similar.
Sometimes people forget that those in helping professions are people too. This is what makes the counseling relationship so extraordinary. We are equals in our shared humanness. We make mistakes and we feel pain. We have our own paths that we are journeying on.
I believe that it is important to acknowledge the fact that not only do counselors see counselors but that perhaps, they should.
I still remember one of the questions my now boss asked me in the interviewing process regarding what my experiences were with counseling on a personal level. This was a bold move, however, so important in the hiring process as she searched to fill a role with someone who practices what they preach. Would you want to go to a dentist who had rotting teeth? I think not!
As a counselor, I work towards living an authentic life as demonstrated by walking the talk. Yes, it feels vulnerable to share something so personal.
But, it is also a move towards empowerment and ownership of the fact that I am a professional but also a person. It is important to normalize the act of asking for help and reaching out for support no matter what your role. We all can benefit from some couch time, myself included!
Gretchen Zagzebski, MEd, LCPC
Gretchen is a child, adolescent and adult therapist who practices what she preaches. She has a big heart and passion for helping others.
To contact Gretchen, firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 919-9096 ext 24