In the 1994 science fiction film Star Trek: Generations, retired ship engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott asks former Captain James T. Kirk if he finds retirement lonely. To this, Kirk replies, “You know, I’m glad you’re an engineer. With tact like that, you’d make a lousy psychiatrist!”
In a way, this shows why your best friend can never take the place of a licensed therapist. There are many reasons why this is so, but the most obvious is that your friend isn’t qualified to handle the situation, especially if the patient happens to be a child or adolescent. Other reasons why it’s better to consult a therapist when it comes to mental health issues and emotional problems include the following:
1. You get a full hour (or even more) of undivided attention
Your time in a therapist’s office is strictly yours and no one else’s. When you see professionals at your scheduled appointment, they are there for you and will listen to you. You don’t have to worry about giving them time to talk since the floor is yours. This can be difficult when you get advice from your pals since their time may be limited and they may not welcome listening to your problems for an hour.
2. You see everyone there
Sometimes all you need is a shoulder to lean on, an encouraging word, or someone to cheer you up and remind you that it’s not the end of the world. Your parents, best friend, or loved ones may not always be around to comfort you, but a specialist can assume these roles and do more.
3. You can be yourself
No matter how serious your problem is, you don’t have to worry when you discuss it with therapists. The latter take privacy and confidentiality seriously, which means your deepest and darkest secrets are safe with them. They won’t tell anyone about you unless you intend to hurt yourself or someone else.
Besides, therapists are not judgmental, so it’s no big deal even if you think you may be saying something unreasonable. You can show your anger and frustrations, but a therapist won’t mind and will still be there when you need someone to talk to.
You can express yourself freely, reveal your true feelings, and seek advice from a therapist. There’s no danger of being rejected or ridiculed by family members or getting unwanted publicity from a nosy neighbor. The therapist will guide and enlighten you so you won’t look like a mess no matter how serious your problem is.
4. It can be fun
Life is hard and it can be compounded by the problems you encounter daily. But that’s no reason to sulk in a corner or hide from everyone. Specialists can help you laugh at yourself and your problems in a productive way. They can teach you how to cope with things and how to move forward regardless of the circumstances.
5. You decide what’s best
Unlike family members or friends who may interfere in your affairs or give unwanted opinions about the things you’ve done or plan to do, a therapist won’t control your life or order you around. A clinician will listen carefully to you, show you the pros and cons of a situation, and let you make the final decision. Nothing can be more fulfilling than that!
As you can see, it pays to consult a qualified therapist who is knowledgeable in the latest mental health techniques and practices. But don’t go to the first one you meet. Instead, look around and choose someone that you respect and can easily relate to.
For the best mental health services, consult the qualified therapists of Meridian Psychiatric Partners LLC. Our professional psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists are ready to help children, adolescents, and their families in the Chicago, Evanston, Lake Forest, and surrounding areas.