7 Things You Shouldn’t Say to People in Psychotherapy

photo by David Goehring (creative commons)

Nice piece at PsychCentral about misconceptions around psychotherapy. Here is number 5:

5. “Why not talk to your friends and family instead of a stranger?”

A friendship is a two-way street, where there’s a mutual sharing of struggles, triumphs, and opinions. That can make being an objective listener difficult.

My relationship with Dr. R is a one-sided. I’ve only ever seen her in one setting, and the irony isn’t lost on me that I know nothing about the woman I pour my heart out to each week.

She doesn’t share her own experiences, nor does she use her own struggles as a point of reference. I can freely share without worrying about offending her.

She’s also a doctor who’s spent years mastering the therapeutic process. If I needed physical medical treatment like an examination or surgery, I wouldn’t go to my best friend just because she cares about me. The same reasoning applies to mental health care — the experts know best.