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. I have the academic and professional training to understand the psychological theories, but I also the real-life experience and humanity to understand and empathize with the struggles of being a human.
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 questioned cited therapy as one of the BEST investments in their personal and professional growth. Debbie Millman stated therapy “saved” her life. She said, “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’ (Ph.D., 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.