This question can be addressed in two ways. It can be answered from a strictly scientific, research-based perspective. In this case the answer is a decided yes. People undertaking therapy do better in alleviating their symptoms than control groups not doing therapy. But, I strongly suspect this is not what drives this question. After thirty years of working with people in various capacities this question is usually a disguised form of statement. So, all we are going to do is just sit and talk. How is that different from talking with a good friend? It also disguises people’s fears and anxieties that their inner world is murky, unknown and shouldn’t they be the best person to know what’s right? A similar fear is being forced to learn and experience unwanted feelings and the very idea of change.
Friends have an agenda. They may have your interests at heart but they have needs in the conversation that are self motivated. A therapist is there for only you. An experienced therapist has a lens that keeps a focus on you and helps with perceptions and feelings that your friend does not have as a skill set. The second part of the question that concerns our unknown inner world is the reality that learning to be comfortable and open to the deep mystery of awareness goes a long way toward lowering anxiety and struggle. Also the fear of the unknown and the uncertainties of change quickly give way to excitement and inner comfort.