Q & A – can a friend or family member be your therapist?

It is not recommended for a friend or family member to serve as your therapist or primary mental health provider. While it’s natural to seek support from loved ones during difficult times, therapy requires a level of professional training, skill, and objectivity that is not typically present in personal relationships.

There are several reasons why it is not recommended to rely on friends or family members for therapy:

  1. Lack of objectivity: A therapist is trained to remain objective and non-judgmental in their interactions with clients, which is difficult for someone who is close to you to do. A friend or family member may have their own biases or opinions about your situation, which can influence their ability to provide unbiased support.
  2. Boundaries: Therapy involves establishing clear boundaries between the client and the therapist, which can be difficult to maintain in personal relationships. A therapist is trained to set appropriate boundaries around confidentiality, communication, and expectations for the therapeutic relationship, which can be challenging for someone who is not trained in therapy.
  3. Lack of training: Therapists undergo extensive training and education to develop the skills needed to provide effective therapy. While a friend or family member may have good intentions, they are unlikely to have the same level of training and expertise needed to address complex mental health issues.
  4. Potential strain on the relationship: Relying on a friend or family member for therapy can put strain on the relationship and may create an imbalance of power or expectations. It can be difficult for a friend or family member to serve as both a support system and a therapist, which can create conflict and strain in the relationship.

Overall, it’s important to seek support from trained mental health professionals when seeking therapy or treatment for mental health issues. While friends and family can provide valuable support and encouragement, they are not a substitute for professional therapy.

Author: Linda Turner

Coaching and Therapy Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy. Qualified NLP, EMDR and CBT therapist. REIKI Master. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

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