I have friends, do I really need to see a therapist?
In his 1986 epic film, “Crocodile” Dundee, said it best:
Sue Charlton: People go to a psychiatrist to talk about their problems. She just needed to unload them. You know, bring them out in the open.
“Crocodile” Dundee: Hasn’t she got any mates?
Sue Charlton: You’re right. I guess we could all use more mates. I suppose you don’t have any shrinks at Walkabout Creek.
“Crocodile” Dundee: No back there if you got a problem you tell Wally. And he tells everyone in town, brings it out in the open, no more problem.
It’s true, friends are wonderful, and we are better off when we have good mates. Friends know your history, you are comfortable with them, and you share mutual love and concern for each other. Friends don’t expect to get paid either, and you can meet socially. Yet, there certain things a therapist can do that your friends can’t.
A Therapist is completely private. You won’t have to be concerned your story will travel places you don’t want it to go.
A Therapist is trained to see patterns in your thinking. We all have patterns that don’t work very well. A Therapist can help you enhance the good patterns and identify the unhealthy patterns and help you move toward change. Maybe you have a difficult time getting along with people at work, or difficulty making and keeping friends, or feelings of loneliness. A therapist is trained to help people with all kinds of relationships by giving honest and grace-filled feedback, in a judgment-free zone. She’s also trained to work at your pace, using techniques that will help you feel less anxious and depressed, so when something is difficult, she can slow things down and move at your pace. Friends may not be so truthful, because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Sometimes we just need advice. While a friend can share their idea of what’s best for you, or tell you what to do, a Therapist can help you figure things out for yourself. A therapist can help you look deep inside to help you find lasting solutions and discover and mark a pathway you can find again when you need it. By encouraging self-reflection, you are empowered to find solutions on your own and live a more rewarding life.
Will a Therapist take the place of my friends?
No. Although in the beginning you may feel dependent on your therapist for a short time, just remember a Therapist measures their success by their client’s abilities to learn and move forward toward lasting change. A good Therapist will want you to leave therapy with healthier strategies for living better.
Each person is different, and there is really no set length of treatment. You will know when it’s time to move on. When you feel like it’s time to cease treatment, talk it over with your therapist. She will help you review your goals and progress and set up an exit strategy with a proposed date for termination so you can say goodbye to each other properly. This review is meant to be very encouraging and empowering for you.