Monday, February 8, 2016

How Counseling is Different than talking to Friends or Loved Ones

Today I am taking a moment to spend some time writing about the counseling profession that I love very much, to explain how counseling is different than talking to a friend or loved one in our life. As a therapist in private practice, I’ve been able to witness firsthand how counseling can offer support and help people in a multitude of ways; from offering a place of safety and non-judgment to being able to facilitate important behavioral changes in a person’s life. I am passionate about the field of counseling and I’m honored to be invited into each of my clients lives and have the ability to witness their incredible strength, courage, and resilience while supporting them in moving towards a meaningful and fulfilling life.

I find that some people worry that going to counseling as a sign of weakness or means that there is something wrong with them. I can confidently tell you that this is not true. It is generally the healthiest member of the family system that seeks counseling. There are many aspects that make up our as people and attending to each of these parts of ourselves is important to our overall wellness. Mental health is part of this picture and attending to our mental health by seeing a counselor is like attending to our physical health by exercising and eating a balanced diet. This is not mean that everyone needs to see a counselor but I believe that everyone can benefit from seeing a counselor at some point in time in their life.

People often wonder how they can benefit from counseling. There are many benefits to counseling and I can focus on one of them in this article. You may be questioning why you would pay to talk to someone when you can talk to friends, your husband or wife, partner, siblings, parents or colleagues.

Counseling is different than talking to a friend or loved one.

Counselors receive extensive training on effective evidenced based techniques to support people in their desire to change or grow personally and how to cope during difficult times with painful issues and concerns. Counseling can offer a space that is rare in our fast-paced, technology focused society, and that, for one hour each week you can focus on your experiences thoughts, emotions, self-growth, goals, and behavior while connecting to another human being face-to-face instead of device. Another important difference is that counseling is confidential and provides you the opportunity to explore your life experiences in a private, nonjudgmental, and safe environment. Well-trained and ethical counsel will not tell you what you should do through advice giving but will rather take an active role in supporting and assisting you in taking action that moves you toward your goals and what’s important to you. Finally, our friends and loved ones are often unable to be objective may try to reassure you before you haven’t had a chance to feel heard or understood. Friends and family often offer solutions that work for them but not for you. Friends and family also may begin to refer to their own experiences, thoughts, and opinion and opinions and a desire to relate to you and offer support, yet you may not find that helpful. While friends and loved ones are a vital part of your support, counseling offers an additional and professional, confidential type of support that differs from your interactions with the people in your daily life.

If you have been thinking about starting counseling, I encourage you to contact a counselor or therapist today and ask how they can help you. For more information on how to find the right counselor or therapist, check out this great article explaining Key Questions by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. at Psych Central.  You can also check out 11Intriguing Reasons to give Talk Therapy a Try over at  

I would love to hear about your experiences!  

This post written By Barika Grayson LMHC, NCC, CCM for Concierge & VIP Counseling.
B. Grayson

For more information about finding the perfect therapist visit Concierge & VIP Counseling.  Please find us on Facebook or Twitter for relevant material and motivation @PSYCHConcierge.  You can also access our entire gallery of FREE picture Quotes on FLICKR by clicking here please link back to our website  


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