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Offices & Services > Health & Counseling Services > Counseling Services

When Should I See a Counselor?

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Counseling Center

Furrow Hall

175 West Knox Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999

309-341-7492

vswedlun@​knox.edu

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Seeing a counselor is a way to address concerns you may have with your behaviors, thoughts, or emotions. You do not need to have a mental illness in order to utilize Counseling Services. As a general rule, it is a good time to see a counselor when you are experiencing significant distress in your work, school, home, or social life. There are many causes and responses to distress, and it can be difficult to recognize when to reach out for help. Below are some signs that counseling would be beneficial to you.


Your sleeping or eating habits have changed

Sleeping and eating are the foundation to our mental and physical health. If you are experiencing changes to your normal routine, or feel unable to build healthier habits, it may be a sign of other health concerns.

You are unhappy with your social life

It is important to balance our social activity with alone time, and everyone has a different balance that is right for them. Whether you find yourself isolated or overextended, counseling can help you examine the root of the problem and return to your normal social life.

You feel disconnected from your hobbies

If you are unable to enjoy things that previously made you happy, this may be a sign of an underlying concern such as depression. Counseling can help you regain your lost interest or motivation.

You lean on substances to cope

Addiction is a serious problem, and recognizing early efforts to cope using substances or other addictions (sex, gambling, internet, etc.) is important. If you are spending an inordinate amount of time or effort for an addiction at the expense of other responsibilities, counseling can lend support to your recovery efforts.

You have experienced a loss or trauma

We all experience trauma and loss differently, and counseling provides a safe environment to explore that experience. If your experience of an event in your life is too much to handle alone, speaking to a counselor can help you weather the storm.

You get trapped in negative thoughts

How much time do you spend worrying rather than doing? Does anxiety control your daily life? It is very easy for negative thoughts about yourself or others take over. Counseling can help break those patterns and give you some control over your inner dialogue.

You feel helpless, worthless, or hopeless

Sometimes life's challenges feel insurmountable and we can't see the way out. These feelings will pass quicker by seeking help. When feeling this way, it is normal to have thoughts of harming yourself or of committing suicide. Discussing these thoughts with a counselor is an important part of regaining a positive outlook.

Your friends are concerned

Often we are not the first to notice changes in our behavior or mood. Your friends may express concerns based on their observations. If something seems amiss but your aren't sure what it is, a counselor can aid in your journey to self-awareness.

Still not sure?

There are many other reasons to seek counseling such as academic stress, relationship conflict, and hallucinations. For tips on how to get the most out of counseling, see this page. If you still aren't sure if counseling is right for you, please schedule a consultation appointment with a counselor on campus to answer further questions. 

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, come to Counseling Services during business hours. After business hours call Campus Safety (309.341.7979) or call 9-1-1. Click Crisis Sessions for more information.

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Printed on Saturday, November 18, 2017

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