Therapy can be seen through various lenses. But I think the most important aspect is the relationship that is developed between a trained professional and a client where trust, disclosure and hope can be nurtured and fostered.
A former supervisor told me that a good therapist knows when to be a coach, a cheerleader and a pick-up truck (to get the client unstuck and out of the mud). I also see myself as a guide. Someone who has the academic and professional training to understand the psychological theories, but also the real life experience and humanity to understand and empathize with the struggles of being alive sometimes.
This article does a pretty good job of summing up what therapy is. It can be helpful for those who have never been in therapy and perhaps wonder, “Why would I tell a perfect stranger about my problems?! I have friends to talk to.”
I am currently reading Tools of Titan by Tim Ferris where he interviews high-class performers, billionaires and other icons on their habits and tools for life. I appreciate how many of the people interviewed cited therapy as one of the BEST investments in their personal and professional growth. Debbie Millman stated therapy “saved” her life. She stated, “Yes, it will be expensive. But what is more valuable than better understanding who you are, breaking intrinsic bad habits, getting over much of your shit (or at least understanding why you do it in the first place), and generally living a happier, more contented, more peaceful life. My advice to anyone looking for a therapist is to make sure they are ‘trained’ (PhD, PsyD or MD) plus post-doctoral training.” I mean, even Jay-Z talks about the importance of therapy in understanding his emotions!
So reach out. If not to me, then to someone.