Three Reasons Why a Therapist can be Better than a Best Friend
It is very important to have someone to talk to. Best friends are great for that. I love the cathartic feeling I get when having a deep conversation with a friend and therapy can certainly have the same feeling. Some may think that a therapist isn’t necessary if they have a best friend that can do all these things for them. However, therapy is more than paying to chat with someone, and it carries less risks than treating your friends like therapists. Below are three reason therapy has long-term value that goes beyond chatting with a friend.
First, therapists are trained to listen.
Therapists have years of schooling and training in human behavior, relationship dynamics, and have effective interventions in treating life challenges. Clinicians are trained to understand their clients, encourage independent thinking, self-reflection, and highlight unseen areas in their life. Most best friends are not.
Secondly, good therapists are legally and ethically obligated to keep your information
Secretly jealous of your best friend? Secretly resent your brother? Not sure if you should marry your significant other? Your therapist keeps those secrets and allows a safe place where you can explore what’s going on behind those feelings you’re too uncomfortable admitting elsewhere.
Thirdly, your therapist will not judge you.
Friends don’t want to judge you but generally a friend will have a stake in your life and their views and needs may change the dynamics of your relationship, whether they are aware or not. Therapists care for their clients but do not have a stake in the relationship. Therapists are trained to be aware of their biases and reactions and work through them, allowing you unbiased guidance.
Therapy may cost you some money but will allow you to save your friendships. Your friends and your therapist have different but very important roles. Find a trusting therapist and let therapy be an awesome way to enhance your life.
~ Jennifer Sorensen, MA, ACMHC