Why Your Friend Cannot Be Your Therapist

Two Beach Chair Why friend cannot be your therapist

Unlike a friend or family member, a therapist has no pre-existing relationship with you. Hence, a therapist can support and guide you through the reflective process objectively, allowing them to guide and help you process your emotions and thoughts.

These are some reasons why seeing a therapist is different from sharing your problems with someone you know:


1. A therapist is objective and stays impartial

Chances are, your friend or family member is more likely to be emotionally affected based on your relationships and existing dynamics.

A therapist, however, observes and listens based on facts and what is shared. They use their experience, knowledge and skills from their professional training to guide and support you. This also allows you to be your truest self during therapy sessions.


2. The therapy session belongs to you

Friends and family tend to respond based on their perspectives which may be shaped by their personal beliefs and how they think. However, in a therapy session, your perspective is central and the entire session focuses solely on you alone.

Therapists are trained to listen; guide your reflective process objectively and avoid personal biases from negating the therapeutic process.


3. You are not imposing on anyone

At times, you may feel guilty for taking up the time and emotional reservoir provided by a friend or family member that you continually turn to for support. Which, in the long run, may impact your relationships with them.

Therapy, on the other hand, is a professional paid service by a qualified therapist. A therapist dedicates time and a private and confidential space for you. This allows you to benefit fully from the sessions without feeling guilty, judged or worried.


4. Your privacy and confidentiality is strictly maintained

The practice of art therapy is bound by a strict and non-negotiable code of ethics outlined by the various therapy associations. What you share with a therapist remains private and confidential. This is important for our clients to feel safe and respected at all times.

Only under the following circumstances will information be reported to the relevant authorities:

  • (a) intended harm towards self or others, and
  • (b) when required to comply with the law


5. A therapist is certified as a trained professional

A friend or family member may not be equipped with the skills to give you the support needed for growth and change. Whereas, a therapist undergoes rigorous training; hundreds of hours of supervised clinical experience; and continuous professional development. All these better help clients process complex emotions, abstract thoughts and move past difficult experiences.


Finding a suitable or the right therapist

  1. Do your research! There are various health care and mental wellness professionals available to you. Find out their techniques and modalities and consider if these might work for you. If you would like to consider art psychotherapy, read more about what we offer and how we can help you.
  2. Shortlist your options and talk to them. Send them an email, arrange for a phone call or meet them online. As a potential client, you have the right to find out more about their credentials, experience and areas of specialisation.
  3. Seek the best client-therapist fit. It may take some trial and error to find a therapist you can connect with and feel safe to embark on your therapy journey with. Consider attending one or two sessions before committing to a longer package. Remember, you have the right to decline any therapist or centre that upsells or hard sells their services to you.

For a more detailed guideline on finding the most suitable therapist, check out our latest article, "How do I choose the right therapist?"

Solace Art Psychotherapy provides art psychotherapy in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space to help anyone with their difficulties and challenges. For more information, you can reach us via email or WhatsApp.