I decided to write this blog as I often hear people say, ‘I have this issue but I don’t need therapy as I have friends and family I can speak to’. Whilst having a good support network is important for our well-being, sometimes we need more specialist assistance to help us through a difficult or challenging problem. It is great if you have someone that you can confide in and who will listen to you without judgement, yet not everyone has this. However, even if you do you could still benefit from therapy. I have listed a number of reasons which I feel that therapy is different from talking to a friend or a family member:
Although your friend or family may mean well they do not have the same training as a therapist. Counsellors can spend years learning to develop their skills. I will use these skills to help you to reflect deeply on yourself and your issues, to increase your self-awareness and to work through whatever it is that brought you to therapy.
A therapist will be objective. Friends and family may think that they know what is best for you and subtly, or not so subtly, try sway what you should do. A counsellor will do their best to understand you, to see things through your eyes, and to help you to figure out what it is that you want and not what others want for you.
You are not a burden:
A counsellor may feel moved by what you tell them yet they should not feel burdened by what you say. Often people hold back from telling their friends and family the full extent of their issues and the pain it is causing them for fear of burdening them. People sometimes worry that the other person can only take so much of their troubles and will tire of hearing about them. Counselling is a space for you to freely express how you are feeling without having to feel concern for the other person.
Counselling, with the few exceptions which are explained at the beginning of therapy, is a confidential space. Friends and family cannot always guarantee you this same level of confidentiality.