Letter: Therapy helps adults rebuild the past

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DOROTHY ROWE undervalues friendship. How often, she asks, can you expect a friend to listen with undivided attention? Mine seem always able to do that, certainly more often than the once a week you would expect from a psychotherapist. Problems of their own? The fact that friends share problems is therapeutic in itself. We may not have the same struggles, but we all have some.

As for change, friendships would not last from childhood to old age if they couldn't accommodate change. Understanding? Friends may not understand, may not approve of all we say and do, but the fact that they carry on caring about us, putting up with us even at our most unsympathetic moments, reassures us of our value in a way that no professional can do.

By sharing our ups and downs friends make us stronger so that our problems are not sources of pity but tests by which we demonstrate our resilience. Friends don't need to understand whether all emotion is self-limiting. Their support just makes things better.

Virginia Low

London N1