How to Encourage Someone to See a Therapist

January 30, 2021

It is very hard to watch someone you love struggle with their mental health, its even worse when you know that professional help could benefit them greatly. But encouraging them to see a therapist puts you in a tricky situation. You might now know how to start that conversation fearing it could aggravate your loved one or turn them against you or the whole idea of seeking professional help. You may also worry that they might think you’re tired of listening to their problems, which is why you’re suggesting professional help.

As uncomfortable as it may be, sometimes people really do need someone with an outside perspective to encourage them to get help. They will also need that trusted friend and supporter to be there for them throughout the process. This can feel daunting, so here are some tips for encouraging your friend, colleague or loved one to seek out professional mental health support.

10 Sure Signs You Need To See A Therapist (And How To Find The Right One)

Show Love and Support

Misconception about mental health and therapy has intensified stigma in society. Your friend or loved one may be aware that they need help, but may be afraid to seek it if they think people will judge or treat them differently. Therefore, it is essential to use non-stigmatizing language when talking with them about their mental health. Assure them that they will have your support throughout the therapy process.

Anticipate Resistance

Not everyone will welcome the idea of seeking help or get on-board with attending therapy right away. It is important for you to prepare yourself for the fact that they just might not be ready yet.

If they do not consider therapy useful, share your personal experience with counselling, it might be helpful to draw from it. Empathize with them and understand the problems / issues they’re facing and gently remind them that everyone deserves support for their mental health if they’re struggling and that mental health challenges often have a greater chance of being resolved when they’re addressed early.

Offer Help

You can encourage your loved one to go to therapy, but unless you are willing to offer meaningful support, it’s not going to motivate them. They may not know where to start when seeking help. You can guide them in finding a suitable therapist in their area, depending on their preferences. You can contact offices on their behalf or research various professionals, their credibility and reviews. If your friend or loved isn’t comfortable going on, you can offer to go with them until they’re comfortable.

How to See a Psychologist or Psychiatrist | The Light Program

Seeking therapy is one of the best and timely steps that a person with a mental health condition can take. However, it’s an effort that requires great strength and courage. Do not be afraid of sharing your suggestions as openly as possible and leave them to make the decision that best suits their needs. No matter what decision they make, assure them of your continued love and support.

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