Life & Fiction is my monthly column at Wyn Magazine where I apply my experience with Story, reading, and the writing life to the broader goal of mindful, healthy living.
When you go to counseling for the first time, it’s useful—for you and the therapist—to know why.
If you have something specific that drove you to counseling, it can help direct the beginning of your time together. The focus may change, but it’s a starting place.
I think of it as giving yourself a genre to work from.
In literature, or at least, in submitting a book for publication, you need to get more specific than “Dystopian-Paranormal-Fantasy-Romance with SciFi elements and a Chick Lit feel.” I can already imagine the type of novel that would fit that description, and I think it would be crazy-fun to write, but a bookstore, and therefore a publisher, will have to ask, “Where it would be shelved?”
In the same way, recognizing your issue down to a very finite level will probably give you a great deal of personal relief and even satisfaction, but being too specific will also limit the type of help you may receive.