Depression is incredibly common in the United States. It’s estimated that in any given year, 5 percent of adults 18 and over will suffer a major depressive episode. That’s roughly 44 million people. However, only 41 percent will seek professional help to deal with the problem. But how to approach therapy with your loved one?
If you suffer from depression, it can be tough to get yourself to admit you need help and seek out the proper professionals. It’s an even trickier proposition when you believe that a dear friend, a partner, or a spouse needs help. How do you convince them that they should find a therapist without upsetting them? What damage could you do to your relationship? And what if you put them off the idea of therapy altogether?
How to Approach Therapy with Your Loved One
There is no easy way to approach therapy with your loved one. The trickiest part is that you’re not them. Despite your best intentions, you don’t know what they’ll think or how they’ll react. And since every person is different, there’s no fool-proof method for broaching the subject. However, there are a few things you can keep in mind when approaching counseling services in Florida with your loved one.
No matter what happens, keep your wits about you. Don’t make assumptions, don’t take things personally, don’t over-react to what’s said or revealed. These can all make things more complicated, not to mention make your friend even more distraught. Try to remain calm throughout the process and be patient. If you’re not getting through, consider trying at another time. Your persistence and kindness are likely to pay off eventually.
This may seem obvious. After all, you want to help them, right? However, put yourself in their shoes. There are likely reasons they haven’t sought support. Perhaps they’re afraid of being thought of as weak by other family members or considered “crazy” by coworkers. Maybe they had a relative that suffered similarly, and they don’t want to endure the comparisons. Maybe they simply don’t want to admit they have a problem. There could be any number of reasons.
Furthermore, it’s easy for someone who’s suffering mental illness to feel very much alone with their problem. Not only is there still a significant stigma attached to mental health issues in this country, but it can be utterly terrifying not to be able to trust one’s thoughts and feelings.
The most important thing you can convey to your loved one is that you’re on their side. You’re not there to judge them for benefiting from individual counseling in Palm Beach Gardens. You’re not going to make them do anything they don’t want to. You’re just worried and want to help. Even if you get no further than this, you will have shown that you’re there for them.
The old saying about good intentions remains true. And without some preparation, your good intentions will lead you down the same road. So do your research. You may not know everything about your friend or partner, but you likely know enough to start figuring out the next steps. If your efforts to lend a hand yield immediate results, you need to know where to guide this person to keep the momentum going.
Remember, though: you’re not a doctor. You’re not here render a diagnosis or solve their problems for them. Your job is to get them the help they need and be there to help support them through the process. That’s it. Establishing boundaries is important for you and your friend. You should both know what you can expect from the other person and what’s out of your scope. This will keep from creating new problems while trying to solve the initial one.
When In Doubt, Listen
If you find yourself in a place where you’re not sure what to do, usually the best thing to do is let the other person tell you. Ask them what they want, how you can help, what would help alleviate some fear or tension. Then listen. Don’t try to draw conclusions or make comparisons or guide the conversation. Just listen. Sometimes, just being heard can make a person feel better.
About Remedy Therapy
If you’re concerned about the mental health of a loved one in the Palm Beach Gardens, FL, area, Remedy Therapy is here to help. We provide our clients with the tools and support they need to address their issues and lead more fulfilling lives.
Contact Remedy Therapy for a wide range of services to suit your individual treatment needs. We’re ready to provide your loved one with the best care possible. For more information, please call us at 516.414.2607.