Do I have too many issues for counseling?
I have so many issues to address. I have a history of sexual abuse, I’m a breast cancer survivor and I am a lifetime insomniac.
I have a long history of depression and I’m beginning to have anxiety. I have low self esteem but I’ve been happily married for almost 35 years.
I’ve never had counseling about any of this. Do I have too many issues to address in counseling?
Let me start by saying there are never too many concerns that you can bring into counselling. In fact, most people who come to see me for counselling have more than one issue they would like to work on in psychotherapy and most times these are all interconnected. In counselling, we work together, collaboratively, to figure out which issues you would like to address first and then together we develop an individualized plan of care. Basically, it’s like a road map of where you want to go, how are you going to get there, looking at stopovers, some scenic routes others possibly not so scenic, however, necessary. Of course, these plans can also change due to internal (what we have control over like our thoughts, feelings and behaviours) or external reasons (those things that are outside our control). I would encourage you to take the next step and reach out to a professional you can trust and build rapport with by co-journeying through whatever concerns you have by examining what has been working so far as you have learned to cope with some of your issues like insomnia, depression and anxiety, as well as being a breast cancer survivor. Then to help you by developing new coping strategies. Psychotherapy can be such a powerful tool to help you get to where it is you want to be. I know you can do it and you will see first-hand how psychotherapy will help you to move past these points in your life where you are feeling stuck. I like to quote Nike where their motto is, “just do it.” You can do it.
- 499 views
It is never too late to get help and begin making significant changes and improvements in your life. The right time is when you feel ready and open to change. Sometimes when we have a history of trauma, like sexual abuse, the impact of that trauma can affect many areas of our lives as adults. Working with a therapist who specializes in trauma is a great way to begin developing skills to manage present day life, learn to regulate your emotions and nervous system when you become triggered, and then in a safe environment have the opportunity to process past traumas so you can live your present life with more ease and joy. People can and do recover from the impacts of trauma at any stage in their life. It is never too late and you can feel better
- 633 views
You have been through so much and it sounds like you have a lot of things that have complied over the years. Regardless of the struggles you have been through, you do not have too many issues for counseling. Many times when someone starts out their counseling and healing journey, there are multiple things they would like to address and work on. If you decide to start counseling, you and your therapist can decide collaboratively what you would like to process and work on first. Be sure to express to your counselor if any of the above experiences you've been through is causing a lot of distress , as many times the first things addressed are the ones that are presently affecting your life or you emotionally.
Often times when we experience negative situations in our life , but do not address them, they bottle up inside us and can manifest in other ways, such as depression or even physical symptoms like IBS or neck pain. Counseling can give these bottled up emotions and situations a release. Given the situation you shared, not only do I not think that you have too many issues for counseling, but believe that you will be a great candidate and can get a lot from it.
- 946 views
Absolutely not. I strongly recommending working on one issue/need at a time. In therapy you will set smart goals and objectives that will help you reach your goals. I see you as a survivor and not a victim. Best wishes to you.
- 838 views
Absolutely not! In fact, most people have many issues, A lot lot of the issues you are describing commonly go hand in hand ( in "therapy speak" we call it co-morbid conditions)
I would venture that most of the feelings you are struggling with stem from your early trauma. You would benifit tremendously from counseling! A good therapist will develope a treatment plan that addresses all of your needs. With help you could definitely live a happy life without all of your anxiety and depression getting in the way!
- 603 views
This is a great question! I personally don't believe that any client could ever have too many issues for counseling. In fact, that type of thinking may be stopping you from seeking counseling, so it may be hindering you from getting the help you need. In fact, all of what you described points to the importance of you seeking help in order to cope with the many challenges in your life.
If you seek counseling, it will be important for you to understand that you may need to remain in counseling for a sustained period of time in order to work through each of these issues. All of these issues won't be able to be solved right away or in a brief period of time. Counseling will take commitment and hard work, but it is possible for you to recover and heal from all of the issues you described.
Many clients come into counseling with numerous issues rather than just one particular thing. Most of the time, the issues relate to and exacerbate each other. We call these "comorbid" conditions, which means that two or more mental health problems exist at one time. A lot of the times, when you start to work on one issue, the other issues get better as a result.
I encourage you to find a professional therapist that can help you learn how to cope with all of the mental health difficulties that you described. You deserve the help just as much as anyone else.
- 220 views
Hi! Many people begin their therapeutic journey with histories just like yours and experience transformative shifts in their quality of life. I hope you are able to find a counselor you feel comfortable working with and do the work if you feel called. Best of luck on your journey!
- 41 views
Absolutely not. It sounds like you have significant trauma and it will continue to impact your depression until it is dealt with. Everybody has issues, though some more traumatic than others yet it is best to just start somewhere. I would encourage you to begin counseling and work through some of your history at your own pace in order to begin to impact and reduce your depressive symptoms.
- 75 views
Most clients have many issues that need working out. It is normal to have many events in our lives that trouble us and remain with us without counseling help. The right type of counsellor will help you focus on the main and most troubling issue you have first and work your way through all that you are managing step by step, goal by goal.
Sometimes, working on one issue helps to bring other issues to light in the context of your main problem. This can help you resolve some other issues that are connected. Look for someone with experience and specialty in your most pressing issue...even though you have had breast cancer, you may find that grief from your past is more troubling. Then you would look for a bereavement or grief specialist.
- 43 views
Just go! You start with the most prevalent issue by talking with your therapist. Healing one issue can have a ripple effect and heal other issues as well.
- 40 views
There is no such thing as too many issues for counseling. Many issues are often interrelated and can all be worked on with some time and patience.
- 29 views
Hi, people who have only a few issues and people who have several issues are perfect for therapy. There is no such thing as having too many problems for therapy. Therapy is great because it will help you process all that you are going through, heal from past and present pain, and gain clarity.
- 28 views
Yeah, you might :)
At least, it certainly feels like that, I bet...
Not to mention that most counselors out there might generally feel overwhelmed with a "case" with so many problems. And, so, you will slog along week-to-week with gradual improvements occurring as she slowly does her best to chip away...
The real issue is that these folks don't yet comprehend the integrative nature of each of these subjects and how generally simple it is to understand them, and then eradicate them.
- 20 views
It could be said that you might be the perfect candidate for counseling! No one is beyond hope, and someone brave enough to be honest regarding their struggles, with the intention of reaching out for help is certainly a person a qualified counselor would be happy to assist. You may want to do some research on therapists in your local area who specialize in mind-body connection, or one of the struggles you have acknowledged in your post, in order to find a therapist that is best suited to meet your needs.
Good luck on your search, and remember that the world is a better place with you in it.
- 30 views
No, there are never too many issues to address in counseling. Therapy would begin by prioritizing what you feel needs to be addressed first. As one area improves, such as processing history of abuse you are likely to see improvement in other areas of your life...like sleeping better.
- 55 views
- 49 views
Absolutely not! It is never too much. The most important thing is that you are reaching out to get help. Therapy helps you to develop healthier coping strategies and that can help reduce the anxiety and depression as well as improve your sleep. This can all be done at a pace that is best for you. Your therapist can help you process all of this in a safe and supportive space.
- 61 views
No, it is natural for us to have a number of issues going on if we don't address the concerns we have in our lives. Seeking counseling can assist you in working on these issues individually as well as ways in which they intersect and impact each other.
- 59 views
- 97 views
It's not really a question of whether you have too many issues for counseling but more what would you like to work on in counseling? You control the direction of sessions and depending on how you're feeling in a particular day can predict what direction that session takes. If you want to work on all the issues you've listed it will just take some dedication on your part to see through the counseling long enough to find a resolution to each of the issues that is satisfactory to you. You work at your own pace in counseling and it does seem like you may be overwhelmed with the ever-growing list. But you may just be in search of self improvement and making yourself better, which is a great thing. It seems as though you may need some form of resolution to what has happened in the past and to work through the trauma you have experienced. That may be the base of your counseling needs in which self esteem and depression/anxiety may fall underneath it as well. If you want to start counseling don't let what you need to work on overwhelm you. Find the counselor that best fits with you and together you both can tackle any issue.
- 92 views
A person never has "too many" issues to address in counseling. Participating in counseling with a licensed professional offers a safe place and therapeutic relationship where healing can occur.
A trained therapist can help a person unpack and process past and/or current wounds (or events) which may negatively impact day to day living. They can also help make sense of thoughts and emotions that sometimes feel overwhelming and confusing.
If you want to experience more emotional freedom and gain some tools to help understand and cope with depression and anxiety, I'd encourage you to schedule an appointment with a therapist in your area.
- 38 views
There is no such things as "too many issues". Many of the issues cited here are connected. For example, in this case working on the sexual abuse will possibly address the depression, the anxiety, the self esteem. There may be some grief to process around the impact of the cancer. Our body, mind and spirit are parts of one system. They are interconnected.
Addressing these issue are important so you can be relieved of the burden and feel more spontaneous and enjoy life even more.
- 52 views
Of course not. Counseling is a process, whereby you and your therapist will help you create goals- starting with issues that are most pressing and interfering with your daily functioning. When anxiety and daily stress is more manageable then you and your therapist can examine more deep rooted or more chronic issues.
- 61 views
You definitely don't have too many issues for counseling. In fact, counseling can help you understand how most of these things can be related to one another. For example, insomnia, depression, low self-esteem and anxiety are very common to experience after a traumatic event or events. Once you begin to work through processing these life altering events that you have experienced, the hope is that you would see a decrease in your other symptoms.
- 87 views
You absolutely do not have too many issues for counselling. The fact that you are wanting to seek help is commendable and you should feel proud of yourself for reaching out for support. I know from my experience working with clients that some may say they have only one issue but when we explore it turns out they have many things that they want to discuss that are of equal importance. I believe that you deserve to feel happy, at ease and also get restful sleep amongst other things. Please do not feel hesitant because the fact that you know what you want to discuss and work on is amazing. You know the directions you want to go and the therapist just needs to help you get there.
I suggest sitting down and making a list of what you want to discuss as well as what you feel is more important to address first. Perhaps the therapist can help you with that as well.
- 66 views
Thank you for sharing your question. I imagine it feels overwhelming and discouraging at times if you feel like there are too many issues to address in a counseling session. I would encourage you to share these concerns with a counselor because a counselor can help you organize the concerns into a list of specific goals. For example, a list of goals may look similar to this:
1. "I will learn about the effects of medication on the symptoms of depression and anxiety."
2. "I will learn about the factors that affect insomnia."
3. "I will learn about resources and support groups in my local area to help me cope with my traumatic experiences."
4. "I will practice self-care exercises each day and write about my thoughts and feelings in a journal so I can measure whether or not I"m making progress."
This is an example of some of the possible goals a counselor can help you work toward each week. Working toward a specific goal can lead to a feeling of accomplishment once you've completed it, and this may have a positive impact on your self-esteem.
I hope this information helps, and I wish you all the best!
- 83 views
There are never too many issues in living. In a way we take on too many issues at one time. Then we become over whelmed with "anxiety and depression." A skillful, caring therapist will help you find a place to start and deal with one issue at a time. when this helps the other issues. Then the other issues become more manageable. I gain. confidence I can take on life better and, importantly , enjoy living life more. My best to you. Dr. Spencer
- 96 views
There are never "too many issues" to be addressed in therapy. Most people come in with multiple issues they want to address. The wonderful thing about therapy, is that often, as one or more significant issues begin to change and improve- the lead naturally without much effort to improvements in the other areas. (For example, as you begin to address trauma and betrayal from you past, you may find that the insomnia improves). Your therapist, with you input and direction, can help you to prioritize which problem areas to target first.
- 71 views
You can be helped. Many of the people I see have multiple issues. These issues are often linked so that helping one issue will positively help the other issues.
- 85 views
The short answer is: absolutely not!
The longer answer is that it might take some time to process all of the issues, and it may feel quite "muddy" in the issues for a lot longer than is tolerable (which is why counseling may have been postponed to begin with for you.) It's important to be realistic when entering counseling of any sort, and that the therapist be realistic with you about what you might be able to expect working with that person (I use the words "might be able to expect" because therapy experiences can vary.) But that not having counseling about trauma that you have experienced much earlier in your life can play a significant role in the process and how long that process could take to unpack all that may have been buried over time.
It might also be helpful in counseling to work with the therapist on figuring out where to begin, but to also manage the feelings of being overwhelmed that may make it hard to continue to show up and do the work required, week in and week out. It isn't easy work trying to process past pain that you experienced, and so consistent practice of self-care, including leaning on support systems outside of therapy, is key.
- 83 views
Usually people who struggle with depression also have symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms come about as a result of underlying causes. The obstacles you have been overcoming such as abuse, cancer and insomnia likely bring about similar feelings and emotions in you which affect your self-esteem. Counseling is meant to support people who have layers of difficulties. We see the difficulties as layers to an onion, peeling away the many layers.
- 80 views
Often times when an individual begins the counseling process it is revealed that there is more than one thing going on. When we think about how much is wrong, it can be overwhelming and we may not know where to even start. Counseling can provide guidance to help you to begin working toward healing in a way that is most helpful for you to reach your goals.
- 75 views
It is very common for people to have multiple issues that they want to (and need to) address in counseling. I have had clients ask that same question and through more exploration, there is often an underlying fear that they "can't be helped" or that they will "be too much for their therapist." I don't know if any of this rings true for you. But, most people have more than one problem in their lives and more often than not, people have numerous significant stressors in their lives. Let's face it, life can be complicated! Therapists are completely ready and equipped to handle all of the issues small or large that a client presents in session. Most therapists over the first couple of sessions will help you prioritize the issues you are facing so that you start addressing the issues that are causing you the most distress. You can never have too many issues to address in counseling. All of the issues you mention above can be successfully worked through in counseling.
- 135 views
Absolutely not! When we have the courage to accept the challenge to address whatever is causing us pain, the solutions often generalize to many, if not all of our symptoms. I would suggest that unresolved trauma from sexual abuse is likely a primary contributing factor. However, it is important that you first build a trusting relationship with a therapist experienced in trauma treatment as this is an area of specialty that not all therapists are skilled in treating. Choosing one issue to work on, such as anxiety or depressive symptoms, and starting there will allow you the opportunity to get to know your therapist, learn coping skills for managing distressing symptoms, and establish emotional safety before jumping into trauma work.
- 274 views
No one has too many issues to address in counseling. Once you start counseling, your therapist will help you identify which issues to start working on first and which are causing you the most distress. Once you and your therapist prioritize your concerns, you can start to address each concern, starting with the one causing the most distress for you.
- 239 views
It sounds like you are feeling pretty overwhelmed. But you are also a survivor and have the benefit of a long, stable marriage. You do not have too many issues to address in counseling. A good therapist will help you to partialize your goals into smaller objectives and focus in on what's most pressing for you to address first in treatment.
- 195 views
Hello! You may have heard the saying that counseling is like peeling the layers of an onion. Whether a person comes to therapy with many issues on their heart and mind or whether he/she comes with something specific, one issue leads to another. Please don't feel as though you have too many issues. You are important and worthy. On the plus side, you are a breast cancer survivor and have a wonderful marriage! Seek the help that you deserve.
- 170 views
You do not have too many issues to address in counseling. And your perseverance will serve you well if you choose to engage in therapy. The trauma and medical event you experienced topped off with chronic sleepless nights would lead to feelings of depression for many. The emotional reaction you've had to these experiences sounds normal albeit troublesome and I would imagine intensely painful at times as well. Therapy can help prioritize what is the most impactful issue you are grappling with. I find in therapy that when the central issue is revealed, understood, processed, and understood again in its current context, many other areas of the person's internal experience improve. It sounds as though something has prevented you from seeking help from a counselor in the past, and it sounds as though you are more seriously considering it now. Therapy helps and it can help you when you're ready.
- 90 views
Thank you for sharing your history. You do not have too many issues to address in counseling. It will help to prioritize what you would like to work on first in therapy. Your therapist will create a treatment plan with you, which can always be changed while working together. Therapy is a process in working towards your best life, and you deserve it.
- 95 views
Not at all! Whatever issues you might have you can bring to the therapy room. Remember therapy is about YOU, not your therapist. You bring whatever you need to bring to the table. Keep in mind these issues are likely related. Remember you are a holistic being, more than just the sum of the parts. Just like any system, when you move something in one area, things start changing in other areas as well. Talk to your therapist to decide goals for counseling and establish priorities, and ENJOY THE RIDE! Growing, flourishing, and finally letting go of what hurts can be a beautiful and exciting process.
- 122 views
- 125 views
I don't think you have too many issues for counseling. If a client came to me for help with the same issues that you have listed here I would first want them to meet with their doctor to get a physical to rule out any biological causes to your depression, anxiety, and insomnia. I would work with you on deciding which of these issues to tackle first. I usually suggest starting with the issue that is easiest. Reading through your symptoms I might choose anxiety to start with since you are in the early stages of it. I like to give my client skills they can use right away, so I would focus on teaching you breathing exercises to manage the anxiety as well as cognitive restructuring so that when an anxious thought pops up you can talk yourself through it. Once you felt that you had some control over the anxiety I'd start to work on some of your other concerns, but I would seek your input on what you felt like might be good to work on next. My gut is that some of these issues would be resolved as you worked on others. For example as you worked on your anxiety and began to process your trauma and as you began to work on self care and getting more sleep - your self esteem would probably improve. I encourage you to meet with a therapist and ask them how they might be able to help you. These are just some thoughts that came up for me on how I might help someone with the same or similar symptoms.
- 90 views
The way it goes is that all your issues are connected. Once you work on one issue it will have a positive effect on all areas. Slowly each issue is addressed and actually less issues will need to be addressed directly since resolving one helps your overall wellness. So no, you do not have too many issues. Don’t give up. Get help now and see how your life can change for the better.
- 91 views
I think this is a very common question that people who have never been to counseling before have. There is a lot of anxiety in going to counseling for the first time. This is normal. In answer to your question, the answer is an absolute NO! An important thing to remember about getting counseling is that it is a courageous first step towards hope and healing. Getting help is like training to run a marathon, it is not a sprint. You have shared a lot of issues that you are dealing with from your past, that are now negatively impacting your present, but I believe that in getting the right kind of help and support, none of them are impossible to overcome.
Part of the therapeutic process is defining and prioritizing therapy goals. In collaboration with you, as a client, a therapist is there to help you with this process in determining what you would like to work on first. Not getting counseling, based on the history you have shared, has the potential to put you more at risk for mental and physical health issues. You are already seeing this happen as you begin to experience new symptoms, namely your anxiety. In therapy, you will gain understanding and insight, as well as learn skills and strategies to manage the symptoms you are experiencing.
In conclusion, I would encourage you to reach out to a licensed counselor who has experience in treating trauma, grief/loss and will address shame. These are three areas that I have found that gets to the core issues that are contributing to your depression and anxiety. I believe you can get the help you need to find hope and healing. Best of luck to you!
- 98 views
Hello, I'm so glad you decided to take the first step in opening a conversation first. Deciding to go to therapy can sometimes be difficult for some, but with the right therapist, healing is possible and obtainable, even with what you've described. To answer your question, no you do not have too many issues to go to counseling. You've been through a lot and have been strong and at times it's helpful to have someone else to help you through it.
What I would say is to be sure and find a therapist who is experienced in sexual abuse and trauma overall. But you absolutely do not have too many issues for counseling. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have regarding your situation and I hope you find the therapist you're looking for, there are many great ones out there. Many of the issues you're experiencing may be tied together from the trauma.
Laura Cassity, LMSW, LMAC
- 87 views
Not at all my dear.
Human beings are complex creatures, and in my opinion, our issues interconnect in a very nuanced web between our levels of being (for example, mind, body, and spirit). Everything you bring up affects all three. The truly beautiful thing about the human body is that when you begin to work on one, the others improve as well!
I would encourage you to seek out a counselor who's style and approach speaks to you and start with whichever issue feels most pressing to you. A skilled therapist will flow with you at your own pace and make recommendations to other professionals (e.g., physicians, holistic practitioners, EMDR specialists for trauma etc) as needed to complement the psychotherapy work you're doing with him or her to help you find the total healing you seek.
I wish you well on your journey!
- 412 views
Everyone has topics to discuss when they start therapy. There is no correct number of topics.you
Sometimes people go to therapy for one specific area of their life.
Not everyone has the time or interest to utilize therapy just when a significant topic arises in their life.
Since you are one person, no matter how many or few topics you would like to address in therapy, all the topics relate to you.
Possibly the result of your therapy will be more transformational than if you talked only on one topic.
Lucky you, to be on the cusp of clearing and resolving many vulnerabilities at once. You will feel brand new by the time you finish your therapy work!
- 102 views
Submit your own question
- Relationship Dissolution
- Workplace Relationships
- Domestic Violence
- Anger Management
- Sleep Improvement
- Grief and Loss
- Substance Abuse
- Family Conflict
- Eating Disorders
- Behavioral Change
- Legal & Regulatory
- Professional Ethics
- Career Counseling
- Human Sexuality
- Social Relationships
- Children & Adolescents
- Military Issues
- Counseling Fundamentals