It never fails to move me when a client tells me they have no-one to talk to, yet they have lots of family and friends around them.
Sometimes we just need a conversation with someone who is impartial, who isn't a friend and won't tell us what to do or give us advice. Talking to someone who knows how to really listen and understand how we feel can be very empowering. One of my favourite sayings (and I don't know who said it) is 'To be loved is great, but to be understood is profound'. As friends and family members we are often emotionally involved and will say anything to make our friend/family member feel better, so much so, we forget to listen.
When I work with clients they set their own pace and their own agenda, its their story I want to hear. I want to help make sense of the story they are living and if necessary help them re-write their future story.