Talking to Friends is Not Therapy
Some readers may remember an advertisement the British Telecom used to run with Bob Hopkins where the punch line was “Its good to talk”. A simple message but a valuable one, especially when it comes to mental health. Speaking to people can be a very useful thing. It can give a person a sense that they are not alone and that they have nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of. However, talking to friends and family, though helpful, is not therapy.
Our friends and family love us, therefore they have a vested interest in our wellbeing. That interest can cloud good judgement and sense. It can stop honest dialogue in favour of saying things to make a person feel better. In other words, it really may not have any benefits long term and can in some cases stop people getting help when they need it.
Therapy provides a safe place to explore our issues. This safety is derived by the therapeutic relationship and the impartiality of the therapist. Good therapy is not about being told what you want to hear, but rather what you need to hear for your own best interests. Your therapist will support you, but not collude with you. You can also tell your therapist anything without fear of judgement. If you need help, give your friends a break and go talk to a therapist.