Sorry if the title came across as a "Minimus question," but after posting to one of Joelbear's threads, I thought of my experience with therapists.
All together, I've spent between 20 and 30 hours in counseling on two separate occassions and, I'm happy to say, both of the counselors and both of the experiences remain very good memories. I found out early on that for them to do their job, you had to be bluntly honest so that's what I did. I also found out early on a very interesting secret about effective counseling and what made the two I've seen so good: if you're honest with them and, more importantly with yourself, not always but often YOU YOURSELF will blurt out the answer to your problem -- and man! What a beautiful thing when that happens!
Sometimes 'the answer' happens during the hour you're there in the office. Other times the epiphany comes while you think about what you and the counselor talked about. Whenever it happens, loads are lifted, the sun gets just a bit brighter, a warmth overcomes. A feeling of well-being that is as close to 'god' as I've ever had. Let me share with you one of my epiphanies...
I was there to get marriage counseling – to see how my JW wife and I could reach common ground and have a semblance of a happy marriage. It was the first time I'd seen Rachel. It was at her house on a lake. Fabulous house.
Anyway, half-way through that first session I had to "come clean." I said, "Look, Rachel... let me explain something...." For the next ten minutes I gave her my bio, most of it surrounding my life as a Dub. Rachel listened, took notes and when I finished, simply said: "Todd, you were a believer."
I never, in all my born days, looked at myself THAT way until that moment. It opened doors in my mind and cleared cobwebs like you wouldn't believe. Those four words. "You were a believer."