There were 2 major influences for me to accept Confession. First was the proper understanding of Church history and authority. Essentially, once I came to accept that the Catholic Church is the one church founded by Christ, I recognized her authority over decisions regarding my spiritual welfare. Thus, if the Church instituted by Jesus says I need Confession for my own good, I accept that.
This is a very simple, childlike response, but didn’t Jesus say we need to be “like a child” to enter the Kingdom of God?
The second “help” I received came from a private reading of Scripture. I’ll give you the verse, first:
I read this at a time while still struggling with the necessity and purpose for Confession (Reconciliation). At that reading, God gave me a different context for this scripture. In the new context, the foot-washing is Confession and complete washing (or bathing) is Baptism. Re-presenting the dialog between Jesus and St. Peter in that context:
Peter said to him: I will never go to Confession. Jesus answered: If you are not Reconciled, you shall have no part with me.
Simon Peter said to him: Lord, not just Confession, but also Baptized.
Jesus said to him: He that is already Baptized has no need but to be Reconciled
Baptism already took away Original Sin so we are “clean.”
Walking in this world, we still commit personal sin. Thus, our feet are filthy and must be cleaned before we can enter Heaven.
Again, this is a private interpretation that helped me. If it helps your friend, too, then I am glad.