Most of us get overwhelmed some time or the other. At such times, it is natural to wonder where it is all going. Sometimes it is difficult to determine how ‘okay’ it is to feel something so intensely or to go through a difficult situation just by yourself and for how long.
At Inner Space, often people write in to us asking, “How do I know whether I should seek counseling or just manage by myself?”
To answer this question, it is important to know that the state of your well-being is not binary, i.e. it isn’t enough to wonder whether you are okay or not okay. There is a pretty broad range: do you need professional therapy right away or do you simply need a vacation to be okay? Your current psychological state could lie anywhere on a large spectrum.
Just to give you an idea:
So how do you decide where you are now?
We believe that there are two factors – Self Efficacy and Experienced Level of Distress, which combine together to form your overall wellbeing. Let’s look at what each of them means.
Several factors decide how you cope – your personality, your social support system, your financial well-being, the inherent severity of the situation and so on. However, it is possible that despite having all the resources, one might feel too incompetent to deal with their circumstances. Conversely, it is also possible that a person might feel like they can cope, irrespective of any support being present.
Thus, we believe that what seems to be overarching all these factors is your belief in your capacity to cope with the given situation. The technical term for this belief is Self-Efficacy. However, having this belief does not mean that you are not affected by difficulties or that you will always cope successfully with them. It simply means that you believe you will be able to. And believing so, matters.
Experienced Level of Distress:
Though self-efficacy is an important measure and a predictor of overall wellbeing, we feel that it does not form the entirety of it. Your actual psychological state during a given point of time, subjectively experienced by you – composed of all the different thoughts and emotions that you are uniquely going through – forms a significant part of your wellbeing. At the end of the day, how you feel plays a very important role in how you act. We have called this factor Experienced Level of Distress.
Assessing Your Current Wellbeing:
Now we believe that if we put these two ideas of Self-Efficacy and Experienced Distress together, we may get a sufficiently fair assessment of your current state of wellbeing.
Keeping this in mind, we have designed an assessment system to help you determine if you need counselling, and to what extent. In case you’re confused, this tool will help you gauge how distressed you are in comparison to how much you believe that you will be able to cope. Knowing this objectively will help you make an informed decision about how you want to proceed ahead.
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Post Contributed by: Sindhura Tammana