Name an emotion, and it has a function that’s been handpicked by millennia of natural selection. Unfortunately, our culture’s view of emotions is pretty unsophisticated. We tell people that having emotions is weak or shameful, which is about as dumb as telling someone that eyesight is weak, or that you should pretend not to have a sense of smell, or that using reason is something only sissies do.
A part of me dies every time someone asks if my job is just to sit there and “listen to people talk about their problems.” That’s actually not what therapy is, but somewhere along the line, people got the wrong idea. It’s probably mostly Hollywood’s fault, although some blame can be placed on therapists who actually do just sit there slack-jawed for an hour and then take people’s money as if they’d just provided a valuable professional service.