If you have a patient, wise and understanding friend who will listen to your problems, you are very lucky indeed. But often, a shoulder to lean on is not enough. A professionally trained therapist has the objectivity and skills to help you uncover the issues that are really bothering you, see the patterns in your life that led to your unhappiness, and help you recognize and change those patterns.
Psychotherapy is a process that focuses on growth and change. Talking about our issues, assessing and understanding our feelings, makes it possible to become more aware of the source of our problems. This awareness enables us to make the most out of the options we have available to us. It also helps us to find ways to deal more effectively with our feelings and to choose the way we behave in every aspect of our lives. A good friend will offer understanding, love and comfort – nothing to sneeze at, but not enough.