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Where Do I Even Start? – How to Support Someone You Love When They’re Struggling

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and one question I am constantly asked is, “If someone I love is struggling, how do I even start the conversation about them getting some professional help”?


Discussing therapy can be a delicate and sensitive conversation. It’s natural to want to help them find support and healing, but approaching the topic with empathy and understanding is crucial. I want to provide you with some easy-to-follow strategies for having a productive and supportive discussion about trying therapy with someone you care about.


Express Concern and Care: Begin the conversation by expressing your genuine concern and care for their well-being. Let them know that you’ve noticed they’re going through a tough time and that you want to support them in finding ways to feel better.


Normalize Therapy: Normalize the idea of therapy by mentioning that many people find it helpful to talk to a professional when they’re facing challenges. If you can, share your own positive experiences with therapy to reduce any stigma or hesitation they may have.


Focus on Benefits: Highlight the potential benefits of therapy, such as gaining new coping skills, gaining insights into their feelings and behaviors, and receiving support from a trained professional who can offer objective guidance.


Offer Options: Instead of pressuring them to immediately start therapy, offer options and flexibility. I would suggest researching different therapists or counseling services together, discussing online therapy options, or even starting with a support group – this can build community and be a low-pressure first step to getting professional counseling.


Respect Their Decision: Ultimately, it’s important to respect their decision, even if they’re not ready to try therapy right away. Let them know that you’re there to support them in whatever way they feel comfortable, whether it’s exploring therapy in the future or finding other forms of support.


Having open and honest conversations about trying therapy can strengthen your relationship with your loved one and show them that they’re not alone in their struggles. By approaching the topic with empathy, understanding, and a focus on their well-being, you can help them take steps towards healing and support them on their journey to mental wellness.


Does this blog resonate with you? If you know someone going through a difficult season in their life, we can help. They can contact our office for a free, 15-minute consultation to see if we’re a good fit to help them move forward!