"I don't need a therapist because my best friend is a therapist, I'll just call her."
Ummm facts. Here's the thing. Just because your friend is a therapist doesn't mean they are YOUR therapist. You need YOUR own therapist. In the same way you wouldn't assume because your friend is a primary care physician that they are your physician. We have professional boundaries we adhere to. Our professional license warns us against conflict of interest.
Remember therapist provide more than just a listening ear. They provide treatment that includes completing an evaluation, treatment goals, and clinical interventions. You best friend providing a listening ear is not the same as mental health treatment although it may appear to be.
Fact 2: Just because you meet a new person who is a therapist doesn't give you the green light to start self disclosing. We therapist don't particularly want to hear your issues when we are doing things outside of our office. I.e hanging out, grocery shopping, party etc....We have lives outside of our offices.
Facts 3: We have to maintain our own emotional boundaries for our own sanity. Imagine seeing people for 8-12 hours straight. You just want to chill, have some good laughs with friends, eat some good food, maybe even have a good cry. You know debrief like everyone else. Then.....only to be pulled into another unofficial therapy session with your friends. Doesn't sound fun right?.....Trust me its not.
Facts 4: When a therapist tells you, you need therapy they are NOT trying to insult you.
Please respect your friend who is a therapist boundaries. They are not trying to be cold or indifferent to your situation. Sometimes our relationships outside of therapy may look different then you expect. We need our own space to renew, rejuvenate and get strength. Listening to our friends issues doesn't allow us to always hold space for that.
The moral of the story is YOUR friend who is a therapist is NOT your therapist. We are not a resource for free therapy. Therapy still works though. Please get your own therapist it works.
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