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If You Need Someone to Talk To - Counseling and Therapy

woman talking with counselor

Print the full article here!

When do we get hurt?

  • Your body hurts when:
    • You fall down and hurt your leg.
    • You drink hot coffee and your mouth burns.
    • You get a cold and you hurt all over.
  • Your head and heart hurt when:
    • Someone says something mean.
    • You feel sad about something.
    • You think about bad things a lot.

What can you do when your body feels hurt?

  • You go to a doctor:
    • To find out what’s wrong.
    • To find out how to get better.
  • What do you do when your head or heart feels hurt?

What can you do when your head and heart feel bad?

  • It helps to talk to someone who will:
    • Listen.
    • Ask questions.
    • Share ideas.
    • Keep things private.
  • You can talk to someone who knows and cares about you. For example, you can:
    • Talk to a friend.
    • Talk to someone in your family.
    • Talk to someone you work with.
  • You can also talk to someone called a counselor.

What is counseling?

  • Counseling helps make the hurt in your head and heart go away.
  • Sometimes counseling is called therapy.

Who does counseling?

  • Counselors are sometimes called:
    • Therapists.
    • Doctors.
    • Psychiatrists.
    • Psychologists.
    • Social Workers.
    • Marriage and Family Counselors.

Read Maria's story. 

  • Maria and her parents fight every day.
    • They yell.
    • They call each other names.
    • Then they don’t talk to each other.
  • At work, Maria thinks about her family and starts to cry.
  • She asks her minister what to do.
  • He says they should talk to a family counselor.

What happens in counseling?

  • In counseling, people talk.
    • Don’t be afraid to say what you feel.
  • Some people use drawings or music to show how they feel.
  • The counselor will listen and ask questions.
  • Together, you can decide:
    • Why you feel bad.
    • What you can do to feel better.

Is your counselor right for you?

  • After your first meeting, ask yourself:
    • Do you feel good talking to this person?
    • Do you trust him or her?
    • Do you want to go back?
    • Did he or she explain everything so you understand?
  • If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you can ask for another counselor.

You may want to join a support group.

  • A support group is a group of people who get together to help each other by:
    • Listening.
    • Sharing stories.
    • Giving ideas on how to feel better.
  • People talk about lots of things in a support group, such as:
    • Feeling sad after someone dies.
    • Feeling unhappy with life.
    • Drinking too much alcohol or eating too much.
    • Anything that gets them down.

Where can I find a support group?

  • Ask your Regional Center service coordinator.
  • Ask your support staff.
  • Ask your friends.
  • Call 211 - Ask about support groups for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Call your local Area Board.
  • Go online and search for support groups.

Read more about Maria and her family.

  • The family went to a counselor several times.
  • He helped them talk to each other.
  • They shared ideas about:
    • What makes people angry.
    • How to get rid of anger.
    • How to do positive things every day - like telling each other something good that happened.
  • They are getting along much better these days!

Learn more on the DDS SafetyNet:

Last updated on Fri, 05/21/2010 - 14:28