Table of contents:
- Books and blogs on various aspects of mental well-being are becoming increasingly popular. More and more people are consciously and openly undergoing psychotherapy. However, many still ask the question: "Why go to a psychologist if I can talk about my problems with friends?"
- Scary shrink
- Six important differences
- Become your best friend
Video: Psychologist Vs Friend - Society
Books and blogs on various aspects of mental well-being are becoming increasingly popular. More and more people are consciously and openly undergoing psychotherapy. However, many still ask the question: "Why go to a psychologist if I can talk about my problems with friends?"
The decision to seek help from a specialist is often very difficult for us. A huge number of fears and prejudices limit and stop us. For example, the fantasy that a psychologist is such a special person who is called upon to "correct" our mental health by special painful manipulations. Not like beloved friends with whom we feel relaxed and happy.
Of course, if you are tensely expecting a "cunning" blow from a psychologist, there can be no question of any trust and benefit of therapy. How often, after the first meeting, the client literally “exhales” and says something like: “I was very nervous and was afraid to come here”, “Wow, it's not so scary. I thought it would be much worse!"
The truth is that while we may encounter unpleasant and difficult experiences during psychotherapy, meetings with a psychologist, especially at the very beginning, should not be painful at all. If the thought of your next visit causes you resistance, it may be that this specialist is not for you.
There are a lot of psychologists and psychological approaches. You have a choice. Try to find someone for whom you will feel respect, in whose presence you will feel calm, comfortable, and whom under other circumstances you could easily present as your good friend. Of course, outside of the office, your therapist cannot become your friend in the conventional sense, but the establishment of a relationship of trust is an important condition for successful therapy.
Six important differences
So what is the difference between meetings with a psychologist and friendly intimate conversations and why conversations with loved ones can never replace the help of a specialist?
For 50–90 minutes, once a week or two (depending on the agreement) you, and only you, become the main focus of attention - your own and your therapist. This is a specially allotted time without external interference and distractions. You do not need to worry about whether you are tearing off your interlocutor with your problems from his important affairs, whether you are “loading” him with yourself and your worries, whether you are taking too much of his time and attention.
You may not be afraid to voice your "strange" thoughts, seem crazy or selfish. You don't have to hold back your emotions, choose your words, be afraid to cry and seem weak. Or be careful not to suddenly hurt the feelings of the interlocutor: you can get angry, lose your temper and just be yourself. Your psychologist will still be waiting for you next week to be with you again on your journey of self-discovery.
2. Meeting the "dark side"
A good psychologist does not "close his eyes" when meeting your "dark" sides, he does not turn away from you when faced with your "difficult" or "shameful" manifestations. In friendships, there is always the possibility that some "lurking" traits can lead to chilling if the friend is unable to understand and accept your "bad" traits.
A professional therapist carefully helps to walk this path in safety. You will gradually come closer to the most hidden fears and by you deeply hidden and rejected personality traits. The psychologist will patiently guide you, help you create a "map of the area" and will not allow you to go too far to avoid retraumatization. In joint work, you can safely live unpleasant feelings, burn out and accept your own imperfection. And as a result, become a more whole, harmonious person.
A really good therapist never shares your secrets, secrets and details of your life with anyone without your knowledge. This is required by professional ethics. The psychologist can discuss your case with his supervisor (a more experienced colleague), but must warn you about this in advance and get your consent. The same applies to the use of information received from you in scientific activities or when writing a book, article, blog post.
You do not need to be afraid to discuss topics that you do not always dare to open even to a close friend - envy of the successes of a friend, resentment against relatives, doubts in a partner, disappointment in a relationship - this will not "pop up" anywhere at the most inopportune moment and will not be used against you. In therapy, not only can you admit these uncomfortable feelings, but you can also explore what is behind them, what needs are not being met, and decide what you want to do about it.
4. View "from the outside"
Most likely, you and your friends are "the same berry." Your experience, views, character traits, interests form a certain picture of the world, which inevitably affects the angle of consideration of the problem under discussion. No matter how hard friends try to help us analyze the problem situation soberly, being part of the “inner circle”, they are inevitably involved emotionally and cannot abandon their own interests and attitudes. On the one hand, we get the support we need from them, on the other, is it always what really benefits us?
The professional therapist keeps you in focus. He has no personal interest in discussing your request. The main task of a psychologist is to help you get to know yourself better, recognize and accept your feelings, explore and appropriate your needs. And all this so that in a difficult situation and in moments of decision-making, you can rely on yourself. In addition, the therapist, with the help of a side view and a good joke, can help you treat some problems with humor and thereby reduce the catastrophic nature of your perception, without devaluing your experience.
Meetings with a psychologist are an island of stability in a constantly changing world. Once you have a productive, healthy, and warm client-therapy relationship, the therapist's office becomes a haven that provides sustainability and safety on an ongoing basis when everything else seems to be going awry. Friends who face their own challenges and difficulties may not have the time and energy to provide you with this kind of stability.
6. Different roles
Friends are not made to serve our needs whenever and wherever needed. They should not change and choose an approach only in order to provide the form of communication we need today. Sometimes we need a "magic pendel", sometimes - "faithful Sancho Panza", sometimes a "vest for tears" or "solid shoulder". Today we need a good listener, tomorrow - an "arbitrator", the day after tomorrow - "the devil's advocate."
A good therapist with whom you have developed a trusting relationship and to whom you have opened up in all your vulnerability, in the long term, is able to see and understand what support and in what form will be especially useful for you for a fuller self-discovery right now.
Become your best friend
Try psychotherapy and take away some of the responsibility for your emotional service from your friends. As you explore yourself with the help of a psychologist, you will become better informed about your feelings, needs, and reactions to other people's actions. You can become the best friend and partner for your loved ones, less often using your relationship with them as a place to "drain" unpleasant, disturbing feelings. You will learn to self-regulate and stop demanding that they be responsible for your emotional state.
Finding "your" psychologist, as well as a true friend, is not an easy task, but quite feasible. It is not so important in what approach the therapist works or what techniques he uses. Research shows that the success of the therapy is more influenced by the personality of the practitioner and the degree to which he has developed a trusting, friendly and respectful relationship with the client. Find a psychologist to whom you feel trust, with whom you can cry and laugh, and then you will have an exciting journey towards yourself.