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Amaka Obi: Who Cares About My Problems? A Campaign for Professional Counselling in Nigeria

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I bet you must have seen the meme that says “Don’t tell people your problems. Half of them don’t care and the other half are happy you have them!”

I actually feel a type of way whenever I see that meme. Because I know for a fact that that is an unfair sweeping generalization of people’s intentions (and even though the creator might not know this) aimed at creating more emotionally devastated individuals than we can even imagine!

This is the day and age of social media, and interestingly, social media has taken over so many things for us. It is now our relaxation therapy, our entertainment, our news portal, (and gradually) our court of law, wrestling arena and shrink!

Most people these days see nothing wrong in bringing whatever itch they feel on social media.

From what they crave to eat to the “who snatched who from who” allegations.
It’s a No-Holds-Barred space – social media.

This development, though with huge benefits, has it own downside which we need to be conscious of.
A lot of us, by not knowing what and what to put on social media, have ended up causing ourselves more harm than good!
This is even truer with our problems, challenges and confusions.

Going back to the title of this write up, “Who cares about my problems? Truth is, a lot of people do care. But caring and being able to help or proffer solutions or objective counsel are 2 very, very different things! Friends may care about that problem you posted up on your social media profile. They may actually take time out of their busy lives to sympathize and proffer solutions to you, which (they really) think will help. But they are in no position – experience, information or knowledge wise – to give any meaningful suggestions!

Most times, their best intentions is from a place of sentiments and bias. Which will end up spoiling things more than it already has.

True story (names and exact events have been tweaked to preserve privacy)

Miracle, a married woman with 2 children was always having issues with her mother in law. Nothing Miracle did seemed good enough for her and this drove a serious wedge between Miracle and her husband, almost crashing their marriage, as one issue found a way to lead to other more serious issues. They separated at a point.

While separated, Miracle posted on Facebook about “diabolical mothers in law who just want to suck their daughters in law dry and end up marrying their sons.” I bet you know how those kind of posts go! Social media advisers, shrinks and counsellors flooded her timeline with ‘advise’. Many reiterated how evil MILs are and how she was so lucky to have escaped the abyss with her head still intact. Many congratulated her to giving it to MIL fire for fire and praised her as “No – Nonsense” and “feminist” and “strong”.

But Miracle was dying inside. She was broken. She loved her husband and she knew he loved her. She knew her husband was just confused. She knew he needed help as much as she did. She eventually confided in one of her friends who is a professional counsellor. The friend referred her to another colleague (seeing as she was very close to Miracle, she wanted someone who would be an objective mind in the matter)
Miracle met with the counsellor for a few sessions. The counsellor helped her work through the origin of the issue, her feelings and actions and her thought process. By the end of the 4th sessions, she was in a better place, mind and emotional wise.

She approached her husband and had a heart to heart with him. He admitted his confusion and his part in the escalation of the matter. He went to the counsellor with her a couple of times and this helped him view things from a whole new level!
They both approached his mum.

With their new understanding of people, and feelings and emotions, they were both able to get Mama to sheath her sword and let peace reign. Miracle admitted that, she realized her part in the whole drama which was a result of the mindset she entered marriage with. Which was that “MILs were evil” (Thanks Nollywood!) and so she had been on the defensive and fight-ready from day 1.

You would agree with me that, if she had gotten intervention early enough, she would have been able to better manage her MIL, would have never had most of the unnecessary fights she had with her husband, her family wouldn’t have gone through the pains, hurt and trauma they had passed through, including the children.
Miracle is back home now. She is very happy. Her MIL is now her best friend. She now has a better awareness of SELF. She is now in a better place emotionally and all her relationships are better for it – all because she sought for and got professional help!

The point? We all need to realize that, there are people who are knowledgeable, well equipped and trained to handle sensitive issues in our daily lives. These people are PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLORS.

There are counsellors for every facet of life – relationship, career/business, parenting, spiritual, mental health, substance abuse etc – there is a counsellor for every issue!
Lack of awareness of this industry has been a major issue in this regard, especially in Nigeria. Another issue is ACCESS to these counsellors. Many of them are online, but a lot of people do not know where to look and how to approach them.

Don’t wait until the issue is driving you stark raving mad or has made you suicidal before you begin to think of getting professional counsel. It’s also isn’t only for mentally ill people. EVERYONE needs help every once in a while – even with issues which may appear trivial. Anything that destabilizes your emotional, mental and physical balance should be taken professional who will help you make sense of it.

To know more about how to reach professional counsellors on the go, please visit WivesRoundTable/ or send me an email to [email protected] Let’s strip the stigma away from seeking help and raise a healthier, well and wholesome people for a better nation.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Amaka Obi is a family Life counselor, relationship counselor, wife, mother and talk show host. She is an ardent lover and advocate of women. Founder - Wivesroundtable She is passionate about providing women with resources, tools and information to help them be their best possible selves. Her vision is to raise a community of totally well and wholesome women who will actively pursue happiness and fulfillment in every area of their lives. You can follow her on Instagram - @amakaobi_, Facebook – Nwamaka Obi, Twitter - @amakaobi_ www.wivesroundtable.com.ngFor easy and on-the-go access to these professionals, please visit www.wivesroundtable.com.ng to see a list of seasoned professionals as well as their different competencies. Or send an email to [email protected]. Do yourself some good, speak to one today!

3 Comments

  1. Uberhaute_Looks

    January 29, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I need a therapist I can just talk to…this country is killing

  2. Ulus

    January 30, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Nice one. That issue can actually be discussed. “…There is a counselor for every issue….”

  3. Ade-Oluwa

    January 30, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Nice piece there, Amaka Obi. I always knew I needed therapy, but I have been waiting for my ‘big money’ to start flowing, so that I won’t bum off someone’s professional services. But I think I might reach out to a therapist sooner than I think. Thanks for that nudge!

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