I came across a facebook status that said, If you FAIL never give up because F.A.I.L. means “First Attempt in Learning”   I love this message and smile when I see it because such a small word has such a huge meaning.  So many times when someone make mistakes or fails at something the first reaction is to immediately give up. Why give up?   Some give up because maybe they have no encouragement from others.   Others don’t attempt their tasks or goals again because maybe it’s too hard or it took too long.

Many times, what people see in success is SUCCESS!  That’s it. What people don’t see is: the disappointment, the persistence, the sacrifice, the failure, the dedication, the hard work, discipline…we forget that failure is such a common experience!  Did you know some of the most successful people – have failed at some point in their lives? My favorite one to share with students or teens in my office who are struggling in their classes is Albert Einstein.  Did you know he was expelled from school due to failing grades?  I share with others another favorite  – Dr. Seuss.  Did you know his first book was rejected REPEATEDLY by various publishers before finally being released? Can any of us imagine our childhood without Dr. Seuss books? Thankfully Albert Einstein and Dr. Suess kept trying.

If you have had less than stellar experiences with a previous counselor or you have had disappointing experiences in previous counseling sessions, I encourage you to try counseling again. Whether your counselor failed you or you dropped out of counseling – it’s ok to start over again.  Sometimes that might be asking for a different counselor within the counseling practice you are going to. Or maybe that’s looking for a specific type of personality or specific credentials…keep looking until you can find someone who’s a good fit and who can help you on the path to feeling better.    Whether you are a couple on the verge of divorce and counseling “didn’t work”  try someone else.  Or maybe you have a resistant teenager who has blew through 3 counselors in the past 6 months because of one thing after another, look for someone who specializes in resistant teenagers.  Or maybe you have a 5 year old with some extreme behaviors that you are at a loss for what to do, seek out a provider who primarily works with this age and has additional education and credentials to help you and your family with those behaviors.

So, I leave you today – keep trying until you get the results you want.   In the words of Dory, from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, Just keep Swimming,  Just keep swimming swimming swimming….”

Jennie Wilson is a child and adolescent therapist. She holds the credentials of a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor.