You: I am an intelligent person and I can figure out my problems. Why should I go to therapy and pay someone to give me advice about my own life? How can anyone know me better than myself?
Me: I agree with all that you have said. And I want to point out that sometimes we have some blind-spots that not even the most self-aware person can see. It helps then to have someone who is very interested in you, and in the dynamics of your psyche to show you what those blind-spots might be. Also getting help when you need it is the intelligent thing to do. Just as you need to go to a cardiologist when you have physical heart problems, it helps to go a psychotherapist when you have issues with mental or emotional health.
You: Well other people around me can tell me what my blind-spots are. Why should I go to a therapist?
Me: True, people around you can tell you a lot about yourself too. If you have those kind of relationships in your life, where you can trust people to say the truth, without any intention of hurting you. Great! That is wonderful. I will add that even the best-intentioned people have their own dynamics with you, since therapists are paid professionals they are trained to keep their biases out of the way and to serve you fully. Also more often than not they do not give you advice, but listen in a way that helps you sort out what all you are thinking and the different layers and aspects of your thinking and feeling.
You: But that will only show me that I am confused or have many different things to consider. If you are not giving advice then how can you help?
Me: That is the beauty of therapy. The therapist listens in such a way that by reflecting back what they hear and by asking the right kind of questions, you come to a place of clarity and understanding.
You: So what kind of questions are these?
Me: The kind of questions that allow you to drop deeper in to your process, that allow you to discover aspects and sides of the issue that you may not have considered before. They ask the kind of questions and/or observations that allow you to make connections between what you said earlier and what you are saying now. They make the kind of observations that bring the sub-conscious processes into your conscious awareness, so you can integrate them better.
You: I am not sure if I want to know what is in my sub-conscious. If it is not coming into consciousness than there must be a good reason why it is there, so why rouse the sleeping dogs? Isn’t there some such proverb?
Me: Yes, I believe there is a proverb like that. The gain from uncovering the sub-conscious material is that once it comes into consciousness it no longer has a hold on you. You can choose how you want to handle it once it is in your awareness.
You: I am guessing that the reason it was put into the sub-conscious was that it was too painful. Will not all that pain come up then? So why pay someone money to rake up old pain?
Me: Yes, sometimes painful memories might get dredged up. But being in therapy helps you to process them and work through them so they no longer have control over you. They are only memories, they belong to the past and the therapist can help you to lay them to rest and make your peace with the past and move on in a lighter, freer way.