How To Tell Someone You Love That They Need Counseling

Posted By: on November 07, 2019
telling loved one they need counseling

It can be hard to watch a loved one suffer from low moods and depression, and sometimes it can be even harder to convince them that seeking professional help could lessen their suffering. While some are open to therapeutic methods of healing, many are not, and raising the topic with a loved one can anger or upset them, adding to their problems and increasing their stress levels.

So, if you have a loved one whom you believe would benefit from counseling, how could you tell them that?

Show them that you are serious:

Try to sit your loved one down in a place where you can both talk openly and calmly without the risk of interruption or distractions, and make sure they understand that the conversation is a serious one.

Explain that you may not be the best person to help them:

A trained, qualified and professional counselor can offer a completely different kind of help than the average person is able to give, no matter how well they know that person, and explaining this to your loved one could help them appreciate that a counselor might be what they need. A counselor may have an entirely different perspective on matters that could help them to see their problem in a new and informed light, and they are exceptionally good listeners with a wide-ranging knowledge of psychological issues.

Keep it confidential:

Help your loved one understand that everything they share with counselor is completely confidential, and even the fact that they saw one won’t be shared with anyone. That may help reduce any concerns about others “finding out”.

Be prepared for a negative response:

Mental health is still a subject that comes with certain stigma’s attached, and while society is getting better at embracing those affected by mental illnesses and supporting them, many people still find the idea of seeking professional help, a negative one. So, your loved one may be offended or upset that you have suggested they see a counselor but try not to take it personally.

Empathy not Pity

While an empathetic response to your loved one’s suffering is ideal, do your best to help your loved one feel you are not pitying them and their mental state, but rather understanding what they are going through.

Be honest and positive:

Always try to be truthful when talking to your loved one about their issues; when spoken with kindness and compassion, the truth is usually much easier to accept. Try also to convey your concerns along with a positive outcome; if they seek help from a counselor, they could be feeling happy again much sooner than if they simply do nothing.

While the suffering of a loved one can take its toll on you as well, it’s important that you remain a constant support and, when appropriate, encourage them to seek professional help. Have patience and show them that you’ll be there for them no matter what they decide.

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