How To Convince Someone To Go To Therapy
Therapy can be difficult for many. It is a time to be vulnerable and reveal personal dilemmas to a stranger.
When it comes to therapy, a person has to have the courage to leave their comfort zone and put their trust in someone they are not comfortable with. Only then will therapy be of any value.
It is common to have a loved one, whether that be a friend or family member, go through a difficult period in their lives.
Because of this, you may see the only answer to be therapy. The hard part is getting that loved one to go.
In this article, we will be helping you guide that loved one in the right direction by convincing them to attend therapy sessions.
The Importance Of Therapy
Therapy may not be for everyone, but it can be very important. Therapy has the power to change a person’s life, to get them to open up and release all of their pent-up emotions.
Speaking to a therapist can be challenging as an individual is having to put all their trust in someone else, however opening up can lead to a number of benefits.
- Addresses important issues
- Improves communication skills
- Is empowering
- Teaches life lessons
- Encourages trust
- Promotes support
There are different types of therapy, and they should not all be looked at in a negative light. Many people choose to speak to a therapist as a way to fill that void or to discover who they are.
Types of therapy include…
- Couples therapy – supports marriages and relationships
- Family therapy – helps the family unit
- Individual therapy – for individuals to speak privately one-to-one
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy – to discover and treat conditions
Convincing A Loved One To Attend Therapy
Pushing someone to attend therapy is no easy task, and to be on the receiving end can feel pressuring. Although the intention is good, that loved one may find this suggestion intimidating and embarrassing.
However, there are ways to convince someone to get mental help without being forceful. First, it’s essential to talk with them about your concerns. Let them know you’re worried about them and want to help. You can also share your own experiences with therapy, if you have any.
Once you’ve had this conversation, you can start to explore different options with them. Many different types of therapy are available, so it’s important to find one that’s a good fit for their needs. You can help them research different therapists and treatment modalities.
But how can this be achieved?
Transforming Negativity into Positive Conversations
Therapy for many people is looked at in a negative light. It is viewed as a place for people with emotional issues and for people who have nowhere else to turn.
It is important when suggesting the option of therapy to show them all the positives that therapy can do. Have you had any experience with therapy?
If so, talk about the good that came from speaking to a therapist. Highlight the comfort that you felt and how free and safe you felt in that environment.
Do not go into the conversation declaring all of their problems, but instead talk about all the positives.
Timing: A Key Factor in Encouraging Mental Health Help
It is important not to suggest therapy to a loved one at the wrong time. If they are just waking up, this is not the best time.
If they are getting ready for bed after a long day, this is not a great time either. With this said, bringing up the topic shouldn’t be forced.
Perhaps you are out for some coffee together and you are both feeling happy and comfortable. This would be the perfect time to naturally bring up the idea of therapy.
By choosing the right time, you are able to know when they are comfortable, and it may make them feel more understanding towards the idea.
Suggesting Alternative Paths to Mental Wellness
For many, the idea of speaking openly to a stranger is intimidating, especially in a location they are not familiar with.
Although a therapist is trained, it can still be difficult to take that leap and open up, and this is one of the main reasons for avoiding therapy.
This may be the case for that loved one. If so, suggest other alternatives such as having an online therapist. Online therapy has grown more and more popular and is ideal for those who struggle to attend sessions.
With online therapy, they will be in their own comfortable space (that can be in their bedroom, kitchen, on the couch, wherever) and will feel relaxed enough to speak to someone.
Building Support, Not Pushing Them Away
It is critical to know when enough is enough. You are probably a worried friend or family member who only wants the best but continuing to suggest therapy can be enough to push someone over the edge.
It is important to know when to stop because continuing to pester will only make them dislike the idea of therapy even more.
You should also remember the value of your relationship. If you are suggesting therapy to a loved one, then there is a high chance that they have already opened up to you about their problems.
Although this does not compare to therapy, they have you as a friend. Make sure your friendship stays and don’t drive them away.
This is not to say to give up but to not force them into therapy for your own benefit. Let them know they have someone who they can trust and rely on.
Therapy is a difficult topic for many people, and it is even more difficult when you are having to watch someone you care for suffer.
Whether your marriage is suffering, you are dealing with family issues, or your friend is experiencing some mental instability, therapy is always a valid answer.
But this should not be forced. It is a great thing to suggest therapy for it can change someone’s life completely.
Therapy is there to have someone to talk to when lost and alone, to clear your mind, to discover underlying conditions, yet it is viewed negatively by so many people.
If you know someone who is silently suffering, do not be afraid to suggest therapy, but know the right way to go about it.
Do not force them to go for your own benefit but ensure them that you will always be there for them no matter what.
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: November 29, 2023