Despite the fact that almost 60 million people utilize mental health services each year, a common stigma surrounding these services still exists. We often think of people needing professional counseling as the extreme, right? The whole "I'm not that bad" argument. But it's more common than ever for people to seek the support of a counselor to handle everyday life stressors.
But you have great friends you say. Me too! Seeing a counselor certainly doesn't mean you can't get advice on life problems from close friends or sympathetic family members. However, there is often a good reason to seek professional help: Can your friends or relatives grant you an hour of undivided attention as often as you need it? Are they completely unbiased? Can they help you develop skills to improve your well being? Do they know how to help you challenge negative beliefs that negatively affect your life? If you're lucky, the answer is two out of four at best.
The benefit of working with a professional is that it is their job to listen, reserve their judgment, and guide you toward what is in your personal best interest. And even better, they are legally obligated to keep your private matters just that ... private!
So therapy might cost you some money, but it just might save your relationships! And the other benefits of therapy will likely improve all aspects of your life.