Why Did 'Leigh' Bring a Friend to Therapy?
Much to my surprise, as I greeted my client “Leigh” the other day, I saw that she had brought a friend along to her counseling appointment. Leigh asked if her friend could join us in the session. After discussing potential confidentially issues with Leigh, I agreed that her friend could sit in on our session.
Leigh had gained so much from her therapy that she wanted to show her friend what it is like and, in doing so, empower her to seek counseling for herself. Toward the end of the session, I asked Leigh’s friend if she had her own therapist. “No. But I need one!” she replied. We then discussed some ways she could engage a therapist of her own.
Like Leigh's friend, many people wonder if therapy could be helpful in their lives, yet hesitate to act on that thought. It’s easy to misunderstand the purpose of therapy or counseling – or to think it’s only for “other” people. In the past, it was commonly believed that counseling was only useful for individuals affected by serious mental illness, dysfunction, crisis or trauma. While it is appropriate to address these issues in therapy, you don’t need to experience a major life event or trauma to benefit from therapy. Research has shown that verbalizing feelings can have a significant therapeutic effect on the brain. Discussing your worries, even seemingly minor ones, with a trained professional can be surprisingly beneficial. Successful people don’t fear therapy; they embrace it.
Other benefits of therapy may include:
- Having someone on your side, a “cheerleader” as you face life’s challenges
- Dissecting and gaining a better understanding of a problem you face
- Developing a picture of how you’d like your life to be and imagining possibilities
- Receiving the feedback and insights of a trained, objective professional
- Setting goals and creating a roadmap for life
- Learning new coping skills
- Gaining the peace of mind and confidence that can result from working toward a goal
- Learning to be the happiest, most productive and loving version of yourself
CJFS provides individual and group counseling for people of all ages, religions, races and income levels. For more information, contact Clinical Director Stu Jaffe, firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.879.3438.