As a teenager, people didn't really seem to know what to say when you said you were depressed. Instead, a look of confusion, come across parents faces and the immediate answer is almost always therapy. Now I have a bittersweet relationship with therapy. I do think it's effective, but I think it also is overrated and overhyped to those who are uneducated about the power of vulnerability and how crippling loneliness can be.
Therapy makes sense for people who are depressed because they mostly feel lonely, so if they have a non-flaky person that they can count on, of course, they are going to like going. It gives them a sense of stability. Talking about anything you are going through, is going to help no matter what. In my opinion, the only difference between talking to a friend and a therapist is the objective/non-judgmental opinion. You can be completely open with someone and know that they won't judge you or look at you differently, which sometimes can make all the difference.
I did see a therapist for a number of months, after my parent's divorce. I loved the woman I went to see, and I always felt better, mentally, like I wasn't carrying around so much on my shoulders, after talking about my problems. However, I had so many questions going into therapy, and I was always looked for a simple solution, instead, every time I got more questions. It was incredibly frustrating. I also found the experience quite mundane.
Although money isn't exactly a problem for my family, I was outraged at the cost of going to see someone and paying for it. My mom loves therapy and has continued to go, ever since she split with my dad. The fact that I was forced into it, might explain my opposition to it. One thing you should know about me is I am incredibly perceptive about human emotions (not to toot my own horn) and so almost every time the therapist spoke I was speaking the same words in my head or out loud (oops).
So, I didn't get much out of the experience, other than just getting a few things off my chest. I had countless long talks with my mom about life, the future, how to deal with feelings, and moving on. For this reason, my mom has always told me to become a therapist, that it is my calling. However, I can't see myself promoting something, that I don't fully support myself.
I want to make it clear, I am not discouraging therapy as a whole, just that sometimes it takes the right person (therapist) to make it work and also you need to be patient and open to the experience. If you don't feel comfortable being vulnerable, you may as well not even bother with it.
I could see myself, giving it another shot. A lot of my friends see a therapist, in college and say its helped them with a lot, in terms of dealing with self-confidence and eating disorders, which is one of the biggest problems for most girls on college campuses.
I believe that therapy will be around for a long time because you can't underestimate the power of human connection and relationships. People will continue to go to therapy if they feel a connection with that person because that is where most joy in life comes from. It comes from relationships and the feeling of having someone listen no matter what. If we talk to friends nowadays, people have difficulty listening because they are busy with their own lives, and therefore you never get a potential solution to something you are going through. Hence, people search for other ways to feel whole or appreciated, aka therapy.
These are my thoughts and I hope you enjoy and give therapy a try one day, just for kicks and giggles. It might work wonders. Hell, what do I know anyway?