“Why should I seek a psychologist when I can talk to my friend?“, Or “My friend is the only therapist I need“, are the phrases, I, as a psychologist, hear quite often.
Yes talking it out and having to share our worries with friends does make a difference…
Friends are our comfort zone – they know our past and we connect well with them. Talking to them may help us with ideas about what is best for us. But talking to a therapist, can help reflect deep inside one’s own self so that we are able to look for our own answers. They help you be self-sufficient and teach you ways and techniques to fall back on when you need again.
“I don’t know which path to choose, I am confused among Civil Services(CS), MBA or taking up a job.”, said one of our client. He spoke to a lot of people, where some said to take CS, the others suggested to go for an MBA, and yet there were a few suggesting to take up a job first.
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With the same confusion in his mind he came to me, expecting me to pick one for him, I didn’t, for that is not what I am here for.
As a therapist, we do not decide for the people or give them ideas, instead we probe and help them introspect for themselves.
As the therapy processed with this client we spoke about the clients likes and dislike, and advantages and disadvantages of all the three career paths. Finally the client was able to see all the pros and cons and was able to decide for himself.
If you too face difficulty choosing the right career path for yourself, do try speaking with a YourDOST Counsellor for free.
Counsellors are Objective
“Why do you make me think so much? Why can’t you just give me a solution?” said another client who felt stuck in a relationship. Counselors are objective in nature as oppose to friends. As a counselor, what I think, say, or exclaim can have an impact on the client and his opinions. Hence making the client aware of his situation and helping him realize what might work best for him would help. On the other hand, a friend has a stake in your life and might respond according to the situations and people around making it less authentic.
Client being the focus of the therapy
“Therapy is designed to help you discover and achieve what you truly desire, and not what anyone else desires for you,” said Hibbert, a Clinical Psychologist. The therapy focuses only one the client hence the client is of the utmost importance. While friendship is a two-way relationship with mutual support and exchange of ideas and opinions. But one cannot keep listening to a friend all the time, it does become tiring. Here the therapist is trained to listen to the client actively and with compassion and validate his/her feelings
Therapy boundaries and ethics
Talking about therapy, there are certain ethics and boundaries that therapists keep in mind.
As clients welfare is the aim of the therapy, therapists are bound to stick to confidentiality and would never give away any personal information without the client’s consent. Nor do they talk about the clients outside the sessions. Since its confidential, a therapist would never acknowledge their clients in the public unless they do it first.
To sum it up, a friend is like the player that plays with you and goes along the way, whereas the counselor/therapist is like the facilitator that teaches you how to play the game.