Is it just like a chat?

Speaking to a friend today, and she asked asked me if therapy was just like sitting and having a chat about stuff.
Wow… People really don’t know much about mental health treatment do they?! I suppose that therapy is about talking. But it is also about allowing silence and time for thought, and I have always found that my therapist has clear goals and exercises for each session. Any comments I make might trigger her to ask me questions, we may talk a little about something that becomes exposed inadvertently, but it is never just a bit of a chat.
My friend thought that I sat down, poured out my worries and then I got better. Therapy is much more than just having someone to listen to you, because it is based on scientific facts. Things like how the human mind works, methods that have proven effective in changing reactions to thoughts, and learning why an illness has developed and is being maintained.
My therapist has identified mental processes I have that I was unable to see myself, and I have also had sessions which have been more about talking positively than me simply moaning about all the issues I’ve had that week.
Yet again I am reminded that mental health is forgotten about. You can see a broken arm, but you can’t see a torturous mentality. They might be different forms of pain, but both deserve attention and understanding. Because my problems are in my head, it is rare that people know what is happening or offer to help, but if my arm was in a cast I’m sure there would be plenty of people willing to help me out.

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