Psychology is a respected discipline. Yet in a number of ways it’s not a hard line science based on theories proven by things such as peer reviewed papers and double blind studies. What goes on inside the human mind is as mysterious and complicated as the cosmos itself. Over time there have been many types of individuals who people would go to for advice pertaining to psychological matters—shamans, village elders, healers, pastors, rabbis, and clerics, among others.
For psychological advice, you'd likely desire whoever you consult to be someone you respect, someone with experience regarding psychological issues, and someone who knows you personally. It can be a problem to go to friends and family for help regarding psychological issues. That can be the case both because they might be easily offended by things that we say and because of their lack of knowledge about psychological disciplines.
Structured therapy overseen by people such as knowledgeable facilitators is one of the best ways of addressing psychological problems. But it seems to be human nature to avoid connecting with good therapists. I avoided doing so. Once I overcame my reticence about it, I found it extremely helpful. That's also been the case with everyone I ever knew who connected with good therapists.
Therapy is incredibly important for many reasons. One is that we need a neutral ear to witness our life. That's a very validating and self-esteem building function that someone can offer us. Talking about the problems of life and their solutions with another human being is very effective in helping us make behavioral change happen. It puts an element of reality into emotional healing processes.
Let me explain what I mean by that. When I think of my own problems and perceptions of the world, I tend to fantasize, seeing what I want to see and little else. We all do. But when I'm in the presence of others, I'll be more likely to be completely open, honest, and goal oriented. I may be in a situation in which I'm admitting a personal problem for the first time. If I'm around others when I'm making such an admission, I feel a sense of responsibility to myself to fix the problem and not wallow in it.
If I'm with a good therapist, I'll be frank and he or she will be frank with me. I’ll be offered advice based on things about which they’re very knowledgeable, likely things they did in their life. A particularly good therapist will serve as a role model to clients.
If you're in addiction recovery and wish to make progress quickly, therapy is absolutely essential. It's very important that you be very selective about the therapist that you choose, though. You should talk to a fair number of them, perhaps five or six, before choosing one that you will stick with throughout a given time period. The screening process will pay off greatly in the long run.