Why Do You Need a Therapist if You Can Talk to a Good Friend? – by Dr. Gary Small

Dr. Gary Small

A psychiatrist or therapist, unlike a friend, has no agenda of their own when listening.  When a friend gives you advice, he may be thinking about how your actions will affect him, as well as you.  When you’re in therapy, it’s all about you, not the therapist.  Also, anything you tell a therapist is strictly confidential, and unless your friend has the training, you may not be getting the greatest advice.

Having good friends is important to our mental health, but if you need it, don’t hesitate to call a professional.


About Dr. Gary Small

Psychiatrist Neuroscientist Author
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3 Responses to Why Do You Need a Therapist if You Can Talk to a Good Friend? – by Dr. Gary Small

  1. Jed says:

    First, just finished reading your book”The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head” and enjoyed it. Not only did it reaffirm in my mind that therapy is good it also has helped me to delve into studying myself more.

    So, I am curious about being that friend whom everyone talks to. Since early childhood, friends and acquaintances come to talk with me about life and problems. I know that I am sensitive to others, empathetic and listen relatively well, but how do I encourage some of my friends to see a therapist without coming off that I want out of our friendship or hurting them because of the stigma “therapy must mean I am crazy!” and then the subsequent thought “I can’t believe that you would suggest that!” Really I believe that I have their best interest in mind, but the several times that I have encouraged friends to see a therapist it has not gone well. I enjoy listening most of the time, but sometimes it interferes with my time frame and that becomes frustrating. Also, I am not licensed by any means but I do try to stay as biased as possible.

  2. robin dumler says:

    Hi! I just finished The Naked Lady….Great book, demonstrated every scenario of medicine mixed with the mind and a dose of humanity. The world is a better place with a wider understanding of how the mind and the body work for or against each other. Bravo to you for a rich and wonderful synopsis of how an individual’s mental health is as important as the physical and spiritual realm ( or the inter-relation). Could we have an encore to celebrate Larry’s learnings? Thanks in advance.

    Robin Dumler, M.Ed. Baltimore, Md.

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