Many of us have difficulties talking about our feelings and emotions, and sometimes, this form of repression can have a dramatic effect on our mental health and outlook on life. And even if mental health issues are talked about more openly nowadays, there is still a stigma when it comes to issues with mental health, and some individuals are still uncomfortable with seeking therapy, even when they need it. But therapy can be particularly beneficial to those who have deeper problems and mental health issues. If you have a loved one, family member, or friend who is going through a tough time and is having difficulties facing challenges or functioning in a positive way, they may need to seek therapy – but how can you encourage them to seek it out? Here’s how you can best encourage a loved one or family member to seek therapy.
- Awareness is key
The thing about therapy and counseling is that many people still have misconceptions about it. Your own family member or loved one may be aware of what therapy and counseling can do, but they may need additional support when it comes to seeking help through therapy. They may be afraid of the ‘stigma’ surrounding therapy and counseling, thinking that others will judge them for it. To encourage your loved one, give them the knowledge and information they need. Educate them about the process and what it can do for them; information is readily available most anywhere nowadays, and you can use this for their benefit.
- Preparation is important
On the other hand, if you broach the topic of therapy and counseling and find that your loved one or family member is more than willing to go for it, then you have to be prepared as well. Sometimes, all individuals need is a little push in the right direction; for all you know, they may have already been thinking of it for some time, but they just need a bit of encouragement and acknowledgement. When this happens, though, give them concrete help. Help them look for psychologists and therapists in your local area and read reviews with them regarding which therapist or center they can visit and choose. For instance, if you are living in Chicago and its suburbs, you may want to search online for therapists and centers in your area, such as the Lodestone Center for Behavioral Health (visit website here to get more information).
- Be realistic
If they are not particularly keen on seeing a therapist or psychologist, one of the best things you can do is show them that you love them. Let them know that you are only suggesting it because you love them and are concerned about their well-being and welfare. Tell them you are not trying to ‘fix’ them – instead, let them know that you value their happiness. The worst thing you can do, on the other hand, is to be judgmental at this point or bring up the topic dozens of times. What you can do is give them relevant information about therapy and counseling, continue to be patient, show your love and concern, and wait for them to come to the decision on their own.
Authored by: Clinical Staff Contributor