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  • Writer's picturePuneet Agrawal

Therapy: Is it different from Social Interactions?

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

The first and foremost purpose of mental health counselling or therapy is to provide you with a safe, judgement-free, private and dedicated space to talk and work on the things you want to work on at your own pace.

Then, how is it different from, say, talking to a friend or a family member?

Though you can find emotional support through friends and family as well, counselling is different on many counts:

1. It is a professional and therapeutic interaction. Meaning all the social norms, etiquettes, and expectations are suspended. There's no need for reciprocation. You don’t need to be concerned about the other person (your counsellor) at all. Inside of the sessions, everything is only about you.

2. If you have found healthy and effective emotional support in friends or family, that’s great. But not everyone may have that kind of luck. Therefore, therapy for them can become a place where they can come whenever they need to talk and vent without worrying about judgement and unwanted advice.

3. In social and interpersonal interactions, people might have their own stakes in your choices. They may have their own biases and their own agendas. Due to which they might incorrectly assume that they are acting in your best interest. In therapy, such biases and agendas are entirely eliminated. The therapist is a stranger to you, and has no personal stake in your decisions. Here you will always be encouraged to do what is best for you.

4. Lastly, therapy is also about resource creation. Therapy in itself is temporary. You'll come for a few or several sessions until your immediate distress is sufficiently resolved, and then you'll be tapered off. But now you have a therapeutic alliance with the therapist, a permanent resource that you can use whenever you decide.


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