Counselling, Psychotherapy and Talking to a Friend

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Adam Szmerling's picture
Submitted by Adam Szmerlingon 15th Mar 2010

This is an important topic. So many people rightfully wonder, what is in fact the difference between having a heart to heart with a close friend, or speaking to a professional psychotherapist or counsellor. Really, this is so important, in fact, that the topic just can't be overstated or overdone.

Firstly, many clients initially assume that professional counselling and psychotherapy is just talking. And how can they be expected to know any different? But the reality is, a professional psychotherapist and counsellor will spend a lot of time thinking about the person, and will be informed by therapeutic expertise and experience in light of the presenting issue and past history of the client.

Furthermore, with professional counsellor, for example if you were to obtain counselling in Bentleigh or Melbourne counselling, you can reasonably expect to get a lot more than you would with a close friend. Although they may try to be objective, a close friend acting as therapists, is actually creating a dual relationship with you in which friendship boundaries and therapy boundaries become blurred. This can significantly compromise the friendship in later years, and render you more vulnerable and unhappy.

Similarly, an ethical psychotherapist or counsellor would never enter into a friendship relationship with the client. This enables the professional relationship to be safe, secure and unconditionally accepting without any threat of ruining the relationship. Whilst there is a monetary component to professional therapy, the experience must be emotionally unconditional. A professional counsellor and psychotherapist can offer a significantly containing corrective emotional experience for individuals suffering troubled behaviours and difficult emotional experiences.

If you are seeking professional help of counselling in Bentleigh or counselling in Melbourne with an insight oriented psychotherapist, help is available.

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