Is Therapy Any Different From Talking to a Friend?

by InnerHour on Thu, 19 Apr 2018

When we are going through a tough time, our natural instinct might be to speak to one of our closest friends. They are often able to provide the comfort and support we might need and can even offer some helpful advice. So the question that arises then, is why see a therapist at all?

Here are a few reasons why talking to a therapist is different from talking to a friend, and why in some situations, it might even be the better alternative.

1. Therapists are experienced professionals

Therapists usually have years of training and experience in human behaviour, thought and emotions. They understand the complexities of emotions and interpersonal relationships and are trained in effective ways to deal with various problems. Your friend might want to help you but could lack this training and background to completely understand what you are experiencing.

2. Therapists remain objective

Your friend might come with their own views and perceptions of the world, which could colour their advice. A therapist on the other hand, while having their unique opinions, is trained to put them aside in order to support and help you in the way you require. This means dealing with biases related to gender, age, sexuality and more, which could otherwise interfere with a helping relationship.

3. Therapists are non-judgmental

At times, you might feel worried about sharing something with a friend, for fear that they would feel upset or disappointed with you. A therapist will listen to you and respond with empathy, care and concern. This creates the space for a relationship in which you feel comfortable sharing, without the fear of being shamed or judged.

4. A client-therapist relationship is strictly confidential

Therapists maintain and uphold a strict confidentiality agreement. This means that they do not share the intricacies of your life with anyone else. As a result, you can be more open and honest in therapy, without having to worry that other people might learn about your problems.

5. Therapy is a goal-oriented process

A therapist will usually work with you to set goals for progress. As part of this professional relationship, your therapist will regularly check-in during sessions to ensure that both of you are on track. While talking to a friend might be cathartic, and could make you feel loved and cared for, it might not provide you with insights on how to bring about change.

6. Therapy provides you with lifelong learnings

A friend’s advice might be perfect for the time being or make you feel better temporarily, but might not be applicable to a range of scenarios. Therapy is intended to equip you with the skills and techniques you can apply to a number of concerns in order to feel better and in control.

If you are looking to speak with a therapist, we can help. Contact us on 9167771131 or to get the help you need.


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