There use to be a stigma associated with psychotherapy and counseling which is still present to some degree- however, I've noticed a general change in people's attitudes towards it. In the past, people assumed that if you went to counseling, there was something wrong with you.
If we go to couples counseling, it means our relationship is bad.
Counseling is only for people with big/ real problems.
My partner needs counseling, I don't.
Currently, I have noticed a shift in people's perceptions. This of course may be biased due to a couple factors like who I spend the majority of my personal and professional time with, where I live, and the fact that I may just really want to believe people's opinions are changing. Nevertheless, I hear more and more people beginning to say:
There are some things about myself I want to change.
I want to fix this about myself so I don't continue repeating this negative pattern.
I want to understand why I feel this way about _____ (relationships, family, myself)
I perceive someone's desire to grow, develop, heal, learn, understand and accept as one of the most ideal characteristics to have. To not accept mediocrity, pain, sadness, loneliness, poor self-esteem- and instead feel inclined to thrive and find wholeness.
Coming to counseling doesn't mean you are weak or broken. It means you are tired of feeling or thinking in a given way and you're ready for a change. That is something to be proud of- not embarrassed.
What do you want to change? How do you want to grow? What do you want to learn? What will it take you for you to feel whole?