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How is Psychotherapy Different from Talking with Friends and Family?

Posted Apr 01 2009 2:52pm

Vlog Summary: Many people wonder what psychotherapists can offer them that their closest friends and family members cannot. There are many times when a good heart-to-heart talk with a friend can do wonders for cheering up one’s mood and can even bring a new perspective to a problem. You are truly lucky if you have people in your life with whom you can talk.

No matter how much they care for you, however, your most cherished friends and family cannot always be neutral when it comes to offering support or advice. They may be affected by whatever decisions you make or they may not understand all of the issues involved. You may not tell them everything you are thinking or feeling. You may want some privacy for talking about certain issues or you may want to discuss problems involving family or friends.

Simply put, a psychotherapist listens to you objectively, with as little bias as possible. A psychotherapist is trained to listen in a special way and to offer direct, honest feedback in a setting characterized by warmth and support. With a psychotherapist, you are less likely to hold back from sharing all of your thoughts and feelings.

When you are dealing with an issue that is causing a lot of concern, talking with a psychotherapist can help you understand at a deeper level what is really going on. Therapy is a time for you to focus on yourself without being concerned about taking up someone’s time and without worrying that your secrets will be tomorrow’s news.

To cite: McCullough, C. (2008). How is Psychotherapy Different from Talking with Friends and Family? ASC on the Couch. Retrieved (date retrieved), from http://www.ascdeaf.com/blog/?p=345.

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