How is Psychotherapy Different from Talking with Friends and Family?

Vlog Summary: Many people wonder what psychotherapists can offer them that their closest friends and family members cannot. There are many times when a good heart-to-heart talk with a friend can do wonders for cheering up one’s mood and can even bring a new perspective to a problem. You are truly lucky if you have people in your life with whom you can talk.

No matter how much they care for you, however, your most cherished friends and family cannot always be neutral when it comes to offering support or advice. They may be affected by whatever decisions you make or they may not understand all of the issues involved. You may not tell them everything you are thinking or feeling. You may want some privacy for talking about certain issues or you may want to discuss problems involving family or friends.

Simply put, a psychotherapist listens to you objectively, with as little bias as possible. A psychotherapist is trained to listen in a special way and to offer direct, honest feedback in a setting characterized by warmth and support. With a psychotherapist, you are less likely to hold back from sharing all of your thoughts and feelings.

When you are dealing with an issue that is causing a lot of concern, talking with a psychotherapist can help you understand at a deeper level what is really going on. Therapy is a time for you to focus on yourself without being concerned about taking up someone’s time and without worrying that your secrets will be tomorrow’s news.

To cite: McCullough, C. (2008). How is Psychotherapy Different from Talking with Friends and Family? ASC on the Couch. Retrieved (date retrieved), from http://www.ascdeaf.com/blog/?p=345.

  1. Winne October 25, 2008

    EXACTLY. I srongly agree with Dr. Candace because I am one of them that is experiencing this.

  2. Sallie Mae October 26, 2008

    Brilliant and Very True, because I have had that kind of experience during my lifetime. I prefer stick with a real therapist because I will know that whatever I share with her will not go out…like Candance said, therapist will lose license and job if they go out and share your issues with others. This vlog is definitely very educational for everyone to watch.

  3. Lisa C. October 26, 2008

    I agree with you 100 %. GREAT vlog!

  4. RLM October 26, 2008

    I am really glad that you and the ASC bring up this topic for the DeafRead viewers to see the real benefits with the pyschotherapy sessions.

    Many deaf people find “pyschotherapy” and “counseling sessions” to be indifferent and abnormal – something wrong with this deaf person or have no friends at all.

    Professional counseling sessions would be better off for anyone deaf to receive the sounding board in such neutral and responsive manner than relying solely on our friends for their feedbacks or thoughts, etc. 🙂

    Robert L. Mason (RLM)

  5. deafk October 26, 2008

    Excellent and educational video!! Good job, Candance! 😀

  6. moebius October 26, 2008

    You are very right about psychotherapists being trained to be neutral. However, they are still human, and do have some strong feelings about certain things that could make them incompatible with certain clients. For example, could a Christian psychotherapist be able to counsel an atheist? Or a Pagan? There would need to be some compatibility between the psychotherapist and client for it to really work well. This can be a problem for deaf clients facing a limited choice of psychotherapists skilled in sign language and deafness issues.


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