How can a therapist help me if he/she has not been through the exact same thing?
This is a fantastic question that is commonly asked. This is one I also understandably get a lot, as I may not have experienced exactly what you’re going through. Female therapists are commonly asked, “well if you don’t have children, you just don’t know, you are not a mother, how could you possibly help me or know what it is like to have children?” or “you have never been married (or divorced), so how could you help me?”
Here’s an analogy I love to use: A doctor does not need to have had a broken leg to know how to fix it. I posses extensive education, research, certifications, and training I have received in order to be an experienced therapist. I have worked with hundreds of clients totaling thousands of hours of counseling; I know what works! My job is not to share personal biases or experiences from my own life (after all your therapy session should be about you), but to be an unbiased, third party observer and use my education, research, experiences, and skills gained through counseling others to help you reach your goals.