5 Reasons Why You Need To Stop Thinking Of Your Therapist As Your Friend
November 28, 2017|Sara Araujo
People often connect with their therapist in such way that they mistake the nature of their relationship.
Therapy is one of the most underrated health treatments out there. Even though some think it’s not a big deal, taking care of our mind is as important as going to the dentist. Although general knowledge says that therapy is just for patients with severe clinical issues, it is actually made for everyone. For those who've already have tried it, you know that it’s not a bad thing. It’s actually pretty amazing to have a whole hour dedicated to ourselves, to feel better and fix inner issues. Therapy is a very nice treat if you’re up for the challenge. What kind of challenge, you ask? Confronting reality, accepting who we are from head to toe, and letting go of the issues that disturb our soul. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but without a doubt, it is definitely worth the shot.
Mental treatments are all about us feeling better than ever. They have the power to unleash the best version of ourselves. Nevertheless, treating the human mind with other human mind can also have singular implications. This doesn’t mean that you must think twice before going to therapy. It’s just part of the deal. Very often, therapy sessions tend to dig up a side of us that not even our closest friends have met. We feel vulnerable, but not afraid. We feel comfortable and genuinely happy. We might even get the feeling that we’re bonding with our therapist in a way that may open up the possibility of a friendship once the treatment is done. But this is far from idea. In fact, having these thoughts can be awfully misleading. Mental health professionals are very nice people. They listen to every word we say, they respond to them, and help us overcome our deepest worries in life. It feels so good when we finally get to do this that we suddenly feel the urge to connect deeper with our therapists. But why can’t we be friends with them?
Very much like doctors, they are providing a health service for us
Their job mostly consists in helping people (not only us) to break free from a variety of issues whether academic, familiar, romantic, even occupational. A therapist will never tell us what to do. Instead, they will guide us into finding the best solution on our own. And well, in exchange for this help, we give them money. Isn’t it a high price to pay for having a friend, when we can literally bond with someone for free?
They are ethically restricted to have a relationship with their patients outside their therapy sessions
Psychologists have a strict ethical code. Among the guidelines they have to work by, therapists must own a postgraduate degree, can’t treat family, and can’t have close relationships (friendly or romantic) with their patients. So even if they would want to connect with us in this way, the rules clearly say they can’t.
We connect with them because it’s their job to do so, not because they’re looking forward to having a friendship with us
In a very psychoanalytic way, we connect with therapists because they somehow play the role of the people we trust the most: our parents. We most probably won’t notice this, but it helps a lot. This way, we open up deeply so they can get “easy access” to our history and help us make it better. Psychologists are literally trained to connect with us, in order to understand any context and situation. That’s why they are so understanding with our problems.
As mental health professionals, they must always remain impartial with us
Unlike friends and family, therapists won’t give us any kind of advice. They can’t provide their personal opinion because that will be unbiased. Since they are dealing with something as delicate as the human mind, they have to learn to remain impartial under any circumstance. This is the only way they can genuinely help us feel better.
Therapy relationships don’t last forever, friendships do
Once the treatment is done, therapists bid farewell, and disappear from our lives. Unless we feel we need to pick up the treatment with them, they will mind their own business, because they were only doing their job and now it’s finished. They won’t keep in touch with us. Our linkage with them will remain strictly professional forever, no matter what.
It may sound tough to remain distant from someone who makes us feel good with ourselves. But it’s okay, because that’s the beauty of going to therapy. These professionals are miracle workers that know how to deal with the human mind, to the point that even we get attached to them. They understand this phenomenon better than anyone else and will never let our feelings interfere with the treatment because their job is to unravel our psychological tangles, not to build a friendship with us.
Images by Melina
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