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4 Ways to Talk to Someone About Going to Therapy

Tips for Encouraging a Friend or Loved One to Address Their Mental Health

If you have a friend, sibling, loved one, partner, or another cherished person in your life who is struggling with their mental health, knowing how to help can feel impossible.

On their end, choosing to meet with a therapist can be a stressful decision. The person might feel ashamed or embarrassed by their struggles, or perhaps they don't see therapy as a helpful solution. You can't force them to seek help, either.

Fortunately, there are effective ways to bring up the idea of going to therapy with someone, and these 4 tips can help you approach the topic with empathy and understanding.

1. Share your own positive experiences with therapy

There's a stigma attached to seeking out mental health help, and many people avoid therapy because they're afraid of what other people might think.

If you are currently working with a therapist or have in the past, attack the stigma by talking openly about your own journey in therapy . Explain how your life has benefitted, share some of the biggest insights you've learned about yourself and the world around you, and let the person know you're happy to answer any questions.

When it comes to struggles with mental health, sometimes we just need to know that we aren't alone.

2. Pay attention to the time and place

When someone is having a bad day, it's not a good time to approach this sensitive topic. Similarly, it's never a good idea to talk about something so delicate in a crowded place. Approach the idea of therapy when the person is feeling relaxed and attentive, and keep the conversation private.

3. If finances are an issue, share affordable therapy resources that can help

For too many people, money is the main hurdle to therapy . Fortunately, there are a number of ways to find more affordable therapy and counseling options. Consider sharing some of these resources and tips if they can remove barriers:

  • Open Path Collective therapists provide affordable, in-office psychotherapy between $30 and $60 per session. The lifetime membership fee of $59 provides access to therapists who have agreed to offer their services at a lower rate.
  • Dial 211 to learn more about local support groups and other options that are available ( learn more here ).
  • Search for counselors in the area who accept patients on a sliding scale. Some therapists even offer pro bono support at no charge.
  • The National Alliance of Mental Illness operates a helpline staffed with people who can help callers understand their options — their number is 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).

4. Prepare yourself for resistance

You can share your concerns about someone's mental health, highlight the benefits of therapeutic help, and offer support, but people will only go to therapy when they're ready. Pressing the issue or giving someone an ultimatum will only increase resistance.

In these cases, it's best to listen and assure the person that you will continue to love and support them through their struggles and triumphs. After all, you can always revisit the therapy conversation another day.

Our caring therapists can help you overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!