If you know more than a few LGBTQ people, chances are good that you've heard at least one coming-out "horror story." These are the sad stories in which a person who is brave enough to tell the truth about themselves is shamed, disowned, kicked out of the house, or worse. Sometimes these people come around later, but sometimes they sadly don't.
"You don't need a therapist, you just need a friend!"
Sound familiar? I've certainly heard it. You might have said it to yourself, or maybe you had someone say it to you when you told them you were thinking about going to counselling. Clients have told me that they've thought it, and that they've heard it from others. It's an idea that exists in our culture -- that therapists really just do the same things that you really should be able to get from a friend.
You may have already heard of Brene Brown -- her TED talks on vulnerability and shame went viral on the internet and have been viewed by millions of people. If you haven't seen them, I highly recommend that you watch them, because they are great.