It’s hard to watch someone we care about struggle with mental health. It’s even worse when you know they can benefit from professional help. Encouraging someone to seek therapy can be a sensitive situation. If you approach the conversation the wrong way, you could turn the person against the idea of therapy. However, there are effective methods to use during this conversation.
Here are a few steps you can take to tell your loved one about the benefits of seeking therapy.
1. Show Support and Be Gentle
Misunderstanding has intensified stigma in society surrounding mental health and therapy. Seeking therapy can be difficult for an individual. Your loved ones may be aware that they need help, but they also may be afraid they will be judged or treated differently if they seek therapy.
When you start to discuss therapy with them, it’s essential to use loving and non-judgmental language. Assure them that you will support them through the whole process and while they work towards achieving their mental health goals. They may be more open to the idea of seeking professional help if they know they have your full support and understanding.
2. Choose the Right Time and Place
Talking to someone about mental health requires emotional sensitivity and physical sensitivity. The “where” and “how” the topic is presented may determine how a person reacts to your suggestions.
Pick a good time and place to let your loved one know that you care about them and that you want to help them. Avoid starting this conversation in front of other people or where others can hear the conversation. For example, avoid talking during a group event or after an argument. Try to approach them when they are in a good mood (i.e., not while they are in a bad mood, tired, or stressed out). Most importantly, approach them with empathy. Remind them that you’re talking with them because you care about their health, wellbeing, and happiness.
3. Clarify Your Motives For Wanting Them to Seek Help
It’s natural for someone to be defensive, or even offended, by the suggestion of “needing” psychological support. Since motivations are often misunderstood, it’s important to be clear about why you’re suggesting your loved one seek support for their mental health.
Be clear about how you feel. Use phrases like, “I am suggesting therapy because I see you struggling,” or “I love you and I’m concerned for your health and wellbeing.” This will help the other person understand that your suggestion is made from a place of love, support, and concern.
4. Share Your Personal Experience
If your loved one is hesitant or resistant to the idea of seeking psychological assistance, it can be helpful sharing your own experience. If you’ve gone to therapy, explain what it was like, how it’s confidential, and how it helped you. Sharing your personal experience not only de-stigmatizes it, but it also reduces any embarrassment about going to therapy.
5. If You Can’t Get Them to Go, Prioritize Yourself
Not everyone is open to the idea of therapy. You need to be prepared for the other person to resist your suggestions. At some point, you need to protect yourself and understand there are limitations to how you can help other people. Ultimately, you can’t force someone to seek help. All you can do is encourage them.
Psychotherapy at BE Psychology Center in Dubai
If you or a loved one need help improving mental health or addressing a mental illness, you’re not alone. The professionals at BE Psychology Center want to help you on your path to achieving your mental health goals. Our team consists of Psychologists with a wide range of expertise and experience committed to helping your personal development.
Contact a member of our team to schedule your free initial consultation with a psychologist in Dubai today.