The Therapeutic Power of Friendships

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with one of my dearest friends. Actually, the word "friend" doesn’t fully describe the richness of our relationship. Dina’s more of a soulmate. She’s a person who delights in the fact that I’m uniquely me – a man who makes mistakes, gets confused, scared and has a silly sense of humor.

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Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with one of my dearest friends. Actually, the word "friend" doesn’t fully describe the richness of our relationship. Dina’s more of a soulmate. She’s a person who delights in the fact that I’m uniquely me – a man who makes mistakes, gets confused, scared and has a silly sense of humor.

What’s remarkable about our friendship is that it transcends time and space. We haven’t lived in the same city for years (Dina lives in Los Angeles and I now live in New York City). In spite of this physical distance, the bond between us hasn’t diminished. To the contrary, it has developed a rich and deep patina. We pick up where we’ve left off and connect in moments of laughter, tears and a foundation of trust. 

Of the many gifts in my life, my friendship with Dina is one of the most valuable. In it, I find incredible comfort and heal from the challenges and pain that frequently come my way.

As a therapist who works in the realm of human emotions, I know that human beings heal in safe, contained and understanding therapeutic frames. In this space, people learn new methods of being in the world and process their pain in constructive – not destructive – ways.

In a similar fashion, deep and soulful friendships enable us to heal, grow and change our lives. In them, we find the capacity to give and receive love and delight in being authentic with one another.

I encourage all of you to nurture and celebrate the significant friendships in your life. In so doing, you will add to its richness and process emotional pain in healthy and constructive ways.

Blog written by Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, JD
Paul Hokemeyer is a licensed attorney, researcher and Marriage and Family Therapist who works with individuals, couples and...