It’s interesting because I’ve never viewed it that way! In fact, I probably felt just the opposite. The idea of getting my “stuff” out there to someone who doesn’t know me is horribly intimidating! I’ve even heard conversations where the very idea of visiting a therapist for any kind of problem sends some into panic mode with an adamant exclamation that “No one is going to tell me how I feel!”
I have never visited a therapist aside from close friends or my daughter! I chatter in such a disjointed way, I’m not sure anyone who doesn’t know me could understand my thought process anyway! That’s not a bad thing, I guess. And for me the best therapy is sitting in front of my computer writing thoughts and comments on a screen! And ….I journal!
I’ve been journaling for so many years, it’s become second nature. When I started it was not done on the computer, but written by hand. That said, like anyone else, there were pages I ripped out after the fact, because I just didn’t want my “emotions” out there! I have a cousin who said she wouldn't consider journaling since she’d never want in print what her children might find from those moments when she was angry, hurt or otherwise not pleasant, even years after she’s gone! I say, “Thank goodness for the “delete” button!”
Now, admittedly this doesn’t work for everyone, and I realize that; but there is something to be said for writing down emotions, feelings, and those thoughts no one else needs to hear! Even President Lincoln did this during the Civil War. There was one occasion where he was completely upset with the General who did exactly opposite of what he was asked to do and consequently caused the war to last a great deal longer than necessary. But the letter President Lincoln wrote was never sent. Now apparently he did not destroy the letter, since it’s a historical record at this point. But rather than give a tongue lashing to someone who could no longer do anything about his decision, he vented on paper, and put his feelings to rest.1
I remember many years ago a hit country song was written about a woman who wrote this incredible letter to someone she’d known and loved thirty years before, but due to circumstances, never shared her feelings. The letter questioned what would happen now if they were together and how their lives would be different if they had been a couple. At the end of the song, she says something to the effect, “It doesn’t matter now; you’ll never read this letter and it’s probably best left unsaid anyway.”
My point to all this is sometimes we need to vent, to share our issues, and feelings even if some would call them wrong. How and to whom we share our feelings is key to knowing if we are doing the right thing! If it’s going to hurt someone and we’re lashing out because of anger or pain, we might want to wait until we are calm and thinking clearly. If it’s in the form of an unsent letter, then go for it! And if sharing with a therapist who knows nothing about you works, then that’s also a good thing. As long as there is relief and a breakthrough, it simply comes down to personal preference!