How to Encourage Your Loved One to Start Therapy

crying wife husband therapy loved one

There is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health issues in the U.S. and abroad, despite the efforts of platforms such as Talkspace that aim to help everyone achieve mental wellness. The good news is, due to social media campaigns such as #EndtheStigma, there is a greater conversation going on about mental health. This opens the door for meaningful dialogue about how to live with the most challenging feelings.

With growing mainstream exposure of mental health issues and therapy, many of us are becoming more attuned to the impact of psychological issues on ourselves and those around us. With a greater sense of awareness, more people are seeking therapy for themselves and promoting mental health care to their loved ones.

One of the most difficult things to witness is having a loved one who is suffering in silence and desperately needs help. It can be difficult to know how to help your loved one access the services and treatment they need to get better. Read on for our suggestions to help your loved one begin therapy.

Share Information

There are a lot of misconceptions about mental health and therapy. Your loved one might have some awareness they need extra support but continue to struggle with the stigma surrounding mental health and therapy. They might be afraid of facing stigma if they seek support or think you will negatively judge them.

One of the most powerful things you can do to motivate your loved one to consider counseling is educating them on the therapeutic process. If you’re not familiar with the process yourself, take some time to research counseling and learn about the different options available.  What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About How Therapy Actually Works is a great place to start.

Face-to-face therapy is a traditional model that works for many, but your loved one might want to consider online therapy if face-to-face isn’t a good fit for their concerns or lifestyle. You can read more in the post 7 Interesting Things You Should Know About Online Therapy and see if it might be a good option for them. Look up some information about face-to-face therapy as well so that you can be an informed source when you educate your friend or loved one on what therapy can do for them.

Be prepared

You might be surprised if your loved one is raring to go and ready to start therapy right away. Sometimes all we need is an extra little nudge to help us get going. In the event your friend or loved one is already interested and motivated to seek help, you want to be prepared with some concrete suggestions. Do some research about local therapists in your area who you feel might be a good match. Directory sites such as Psychology Today allow you to search for therapists by zip code or other specific demographics like treatment focus or specialties.

If your loved one pushes back and refuses to listen to the information, make sure they know you are only suggesting this because you love them. You are not trying to fix them and they are not a burden to you. You care about them and want them to be happy. Don’t express any judgment or hesitate to gently bring it up multiple times.

Be a role model

If all else fails and you’re not able to motivate your loved one to start therapy, you might want to consider beginning counseling yourself. Therapy will offer you the opportunity to honestly and openly reflect on the concerns about your loved one and explore other ways to further engage with them. Therapy is a chance to get your own emotional support and air out some of your concerns with an objective third-party.

Whenever it becomes stressful, think about how much you love this person and want them to lead a happy and healthy life. Don’t give up on them, and make sure you’re getting the support you need too.

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