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  • Writer's pictureLaura Rader

How is therapy different from a friendship?

Hello, I am Laura and I am a Counsellor offering Talking Therapy. I work a lot with helping you to feel your feelings too, meaning we pause when we talk, and we take time to reflect.

You might have tried many things before to deal with life’s stress, after all nobody is immune to hitting a low mood in challenging situations.

When things are troubling you and you're feeling anxious and stressed, talking with friends only goes so far. In their desire to help, they shower you with advice, try to cheer you up and distract you. But when distraction is no longer an option and you want or need to face what it is that is so troubling you, then I am here for you.

Here are the 8 main differences between a friendship and a therapeutic relationship

  • A therapist's attention is fully dedicated to you, whilst a friend might need support themselves at the same time you need support from them.

  • A counsellor does not offer direct advice usually, instead they work with you to find your own answers by looking with you at things from a different perspective.

  • The therapeutic space is non-judgemental, regardless of the mood you come to therapy that day in, and what you want to bring.

  • Everything we discuss is confidential, and we will discuss the full extent of confidentiality in our first session together.

  • Therapy is aimed at helping you to be more present with your own feelings and thoughts and this reflective process over time can increase your confidence in your own autonomy.

  • Therapy has boundaries that are very clearly defined, unlike a friendship.

  • In order for therapy to be as effective as possible, a therapist and a client cannot have any other form of relationship together. Therapists cannot treat family members or close friends.

  • Unlike a friendship, a therapeutic relationship has goals to be worked with for the benefit of the client, and also a defined end, whether therapy is short-term or longer term.

Why we would rather run away and hide than go to therapy

It is normal to want to run away and hide from emotional and psychological pain, because most of us perceive strong feelings as dangerous. When we are feeling anxious for example, our bodies send out signals that are also used in survival situations. Consequently, we feel an urge to fight or to run away.

If we can learn to acknowledge and to accept our feelings unconditionally, then we can begin to integrate the emotions that have been lingering in our subconscious minds for a long time, waiting for us to allow them to be felt and accepted.

Pain is valid and emotions are required. These sensations are means for communication, with the function to make us aware of ourselves.

Embarking on therapy can feel daunting but, once the decision to give it a try is made, many people feel a flood of relief: just the admission that they need some help allows them hope of something better. Coming to an initial session does not commit you. You can take time to reflect on the experience and decide if I am the right counsellor for you.

Email me today to book a free 20 minute consultation to see how I can support you.

Wishing you a peaceful and fulfilling week ahead.

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