Today, the focus of psychological treatment, therapy, or psychotherapy if you'd prefer that term, is much different than it once was. We've come a long way since Freud swaggered through the scene -- Now, a very large body of research has established evidence-based treatments using interventions that are regulated and have been shown to work. Often, these treatment approaches have nothing to do with your childhood. Sure, your therapist will take some basic background history just to get a sense of who you are, but rarely do we explore deeper than that. Now, treatment is brief (~12 sessions or less), collaborative, focused on the present, and directed at giving you tools you can use for the rest of your life. Also, psychologists are not psychics; the words sound similar, but no, they can't read minds! It's up to you to be open and honest while at the same time willing to explore possibilities so that the therapist can best help you make changes.
In addition, therapy is not only focused on ameliorating disorder or preventing disease; therapy also focuses on helping overall healthy people live healthier and better by fostering self-discovery, self-growth and working with them to adjust behaviors and reach goals. Therefore, yes, you can see a therapist if you are depressed or have anxiety so that you can get the help you need to recover. You can also see a therapist if you need some help, say, losing weight, or to stop smoking. You can even see a therapist to simply identify career goals, get your values back in line, and increase your feelings of fulfillment and overall happiness. Many therapists now approach therapy from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, meaning they work with you to identify and adjust thoughts (cognitive) as well as behaviors that may be holding you back. This gives you the perspective and tools you need to better yourself and improve your life, for the rest of your life. It's an approach that is very present-focused, skill-based, and effective.
One last point: Mental health professionals now are focused on being transparent and communicative, not necessarily secretive or forming opinions of which you will never be made aware. Therapy is about helping you learn about yourself, resolve any issues you may have, and recover a well-balanced & rewarding life. The relationship you have with your therapist is an important one, as trust has to be established, so it is often harder to find a therapist you feel comfortable with than it is to find a good primary care physician. This means if you're seeking one and having trouble, don't give up.
So, how might you benefit from therapy? What kind of ideas about therapy might you have previously held that have prevented you from ever pursuing it before? And, what can you explore about yourself to begin to improve your life?
Get involved in your own self-betterment initiative, whether that be through therapy, or simply working with yourself to adjust your perspective and reach your goals. Surround yourself with people who build you up (another blog post on this is coming...), seek resources that help open your mind, and aspire to never become too comfortable with the status quo of an unfulfilled life.
So, how does that make you feel? ;)