Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

By CVN Staff 

Change stigma of counseling

 

July 7, 2011



"Depressed people think they know themselves, but maybe they only know their depression," stated Harvard psychiatrist Mark Epstein. When I arrived here from Salt Lake City, Utah, I came with the naïve sense that everyone in the world feels as positive about therapy as I do. Through my work at Lynn Canal Counseling, many Haines residents have expressed there is stigma surrounding therapy. Some have gone so far as to say they don’t want to be seen coming in the door of the counseling center. It pains me as a professional to think that some who may be in need of services are not seeking help due to stigmas surrounding therapy and mental health services. Please keep in mind that therapy is not just for those going through troubled times, or in need of mental health treatment, but also for those who are looking to take a deeper look at life, and find an objective perspective. I encourage all to look closely at how the stigmas that we feed affect our lives and the actions we may or may not take to strive for full mental and emotional health. If we support those in our community to feel comfortable attending therapy and counseling services, we can work together to change the stigmas that can be harmful to our neighbors and ourselves.

Kathleen Fitzwilliam, LMSW, Clinical Counselor

Lynn Canal Counseling Services