When a client enters the counselling & psychotherapy room they can talk with the confidence that what they say will be kept confidential. They enter a non judgmental space which is not available within all friendships. The issues discussed in a session are treated with respect, no matter what they are. A friend may have another agenda, such as how this will affect others that they know or will relate it to another event which is not actually connected. They may inadvertently reveal the personal issue to someone else which may add to the stress of the situation. With a well trained and fully qualified therapist you will not be compared with anyone else, but treated as unique and individual.
A well meaning friend may relate the issue to his or her own experience, such as the person whose handbag was stolen whose friend and may presume the reaction will be that of fear. People react differently and it may be that you get very angry.
A good friend may give you sympathy or may try to fix things for you. Sometimes if you ‘help’ someone all they feel is that they needed to be helped. As a therapist I provide support and enable you to find ways creative ways to help yourself.
Reactions to life issues can differ depending on previous life experience. As human beings we are programmed to work in a group and there it is nice to ‘fit in’ while still maintain a sense of our own individual identity. When problems arise people may feel they are alone and that friends do not understand them. This can increase the feeling of isolation which can escalate into further anxiety and depression.
As a therapist I look for the strengths and resources that have served you well. Sometimes these resources can be overlooked due to stress. You will be reminded of them and rediscover your strength and the work will be collaborative so you gain a sense of control over your own life.
When you have worked out your issues in therapy you will own all the power and praise that comes with this achievement and the friend will not be there to say ‘ I helped him sort that out’ because you will have done the work on yourself.