If you are hurting inside, or your life just doesn't seem to be working, talking with  

     friends or family members can sometimes help you feel a little better for a while. But,

    even the most well-meaning friend can not provide therapy. Therapy is a treatment

    process that uses specialized techniques of caring that have been designed to offer 

    effective,long-lasting help for people suffering from a wide range of difficulties, such as

    emotional distress, anxiety, marital strife, fears, a significant loss, or a clinical

    disorder. Therapy can also help fulfill aspirations for personal growth or 


          One of the biggest misconceptions about therapy is that seeing a therapist is a sign

    of weakness. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Recognizing the need for help and 

    seeking professional therapy is a sign of both strength and your determination to live a

    productive and meaningful life! Working together, you and your therapist will identify

    your goals (what you want to have happen) and agree on how you'll know when you are

    making progress. Therapy has one clear and definite purpose: that something of positive

    value and constructive usefulness will come out of it for you.

         Therapy has often been called the "talking cure," since the exchange of words

    between the client and the therapist can appear to be the most obvious form of

    communication that is going on.  In reality, therapy can offer a much richer experience

    than the simple exchange of words and advice. The thoughts and feelings you share and

    the professional techniques the therapist uses are not nearly as important as the

    relationship you build together. Because the relationship with the therapist is so

    essential to the effectiveness of the process, it is very important that you find someone

   with whom you feel a comfortable connection, a therapist who makes you feel 


         As therapy progresses and your trust in the therapist's non-judgmental acceptance of

    your thoughts and feelings is established, you will actually use the relationship as an

    opportunity to reshape significant emotional experiences and work through problems in

    your life.

       In therapy, you intentionally make yourself vulnerable to another human being and

    you may talk about some things that are very painful for you. However, it is the very

    process of trusting that it's safe to release your feelings--the good and the bad--and

    knowing that the therapeutic relationship permits you to safely explore deeply felt

    sources of conflict and dissatisfaction that will finally allow you to make lasting,

    positive changes in your life. 

     Adapted from 4 Therapy Network