It could be hard seeing someone you love struggle emotionally. You might sometimes feel helpless in spite of trying everything in your control. One of the things you could do to help them is to encourage them to seek professional help. But in a society with social stigma and lack of awareness seeking therapy does not come easily.
Here are some ways in which you can convince your loved one to seek therapy.
The most important thing to remember is to not make them feel you are judgmental or pitying them. The conversations should begin from a place of empathy and focus on your concern and love for the other person.
Normalizing seeking mental health could be a great step. You can share about a colleague or a friend someone who recently went to therapy and how it helped them. By doing this we are able to work around the stigma and make seeking help more natural.
Have this conversation as a separate topic by itself. Ask them time and space ahead to talk about the same. A sensitive topic like this cannot be simply coming in between conversations when the other person is not ready.
Be mindful of the language you use in your conversations. Sometimes even if your intentions are great, your language may not reflect the same. Speak from a space of care and not stigma. For example, instead of saying “why do you feel anxious all the time, may be its time for therapy” you could say “I am really concerned about you. You have been struggling for too long, would you like to speak to a professional?”.
Explore different types of therapy for your loved one. Understand what could be a suitable option for your loved one. If they are not ready to go in person, help them find some online counseling resources or joining support groups.
Sometimes one might have questions around confidentiality in therapy. Educate them about the ethical counseling practices and how privacy and confidentiality is always maintained. Help them reach out to a credible resource.
Be prepared for some resistance and give them time to decide it for themselves.
Finally, be aware of your own mental health. Know how to seek support from family/friends/therapy if you need to. Take out time for yourself and indulge in self-care activities.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Sridevi Kakuturi is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.