Why indeed? What’s so different from speaking with a friend?
Why should a person pay for someone else to listen?
Friends and relatives may certainly be of help and support in many instances and their contribution should never be undervalued. However the unique advantage a therapist has over these close relationships is their ability to remain impartial and objective. Therapists have undergone many years of interpersonal training, personal therapy and reflection that has enabling effects on allowing them to walk alongside the client during painful journey while not becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the content.
Many of our friends and relatives are too close, knowing something very deep and personal may change the nature of the relationship,
Furthermore close people may have some vested interest in the material of the disclosing party and unintentionally end up exacerbating the issue(s).
Relationships with family members or friends often rely on how each person perceives the other. Revealing something that was hitherto unknown can inadvertently change the nature of a relationship.
A therapist can offer a safe space for an individual to try out and practice saying what they feel they need to reveal, at the client’s pace and only what the client feels is necessary.
A therapist is completely non-judgemental and intuitively knows what is necessary to reflect back to the client and may suggest alternative perspectives or strategies to consider.
An experienced therapist will have a wide range of therapeutic knowledge and a rich palate of world experiences to draw upon and provide for their client.
There is some further useful information contained in this article