Seeing a loved one wracked by anxiety, depression or lingering sadness is painful. Often we want to help but don’t know how to broach the subject at all. Or we’ve tried and been met with rejection.

First of all, it’s wonderful that you’re trying to help. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together five tips on how to convince someone close to you to start going to therapy. But perhaps the most important one is at the end of this article.

1. Choose an appropriate moment

In private, in peace and in a place where your loved one feels safe. The ideal opportunity is when he or she confides in you what is troubling them. But if such an opportunity is not in sight, start with yourself.

Never open this topic to anyone else, even family. Also, don’t mention therapy in a heated conversation. Otherwise, the risk is that the person will shut down and not want to talk to you about it at all.

2. Choose the right words

Just like the right moment, the right words are important. Even a seemingly innocuous phrase like “You should really get therapy” can sound like an attack in the ears of a person going through a dark time. Equip yourself with a great deal of empathy and try broaching the subject gently like, “I can see you’re going through a difficult time. Have you thought about trying therapy?” Or, “I love you very much and I’m sorry you’re struggling. I think therapy might help you.”

Your loved one may still get angry. Try to keep a cool head and not go on the offensive. Phrases like “you’re really not normal” will only add fuel to the fire. Also, try not to slip into lecturing


3. Prepare your arguments

You have finally brought up the sore subject, but your words have not fallen on deaf ears. My friend/partner/sister simply has her own arguments for not going to therapy. It’s good to be prepared for that too. Here are the four most common reasons why people refuse therapy, and how you can respond to them.

“I’m not crazy to see a psychologist”

  • He seems to be afraid of what others will say. He doesn’t want to be labeled a nutcase. So reassure him that you yourself will not tell anyone about the therapy and it is up to him who he (in)chooses to confide in. He can also meet the therapist online.
  • Find out if you know anyone who is or has been in therapy, ideally someone your loved one looks up to. Cite him or her as an example.
  • You might also mention that a lot of people are at war with depression alone. After all, we have to take care of the soul as well as the physical body.

“I don’t want to confide my personal affairs to a stranger.”

  • Explain that even if you wanted to, no one close to you can help like a true professional. A therapist hears many life stories every day and never judges anyone. The relationship with him is completely confidential.
  • Offer to help him find a therapist to sit down with. That’s why all of our therapists have video messages on their profiles where they introduce themselves to you in person.

“I’m just having a tough time, I can handle it”

  • Point out specific problems and changes you have noticed. The idea is not to blame, but to show concern. Think about how long it’s been too, and point it out with sensitivity.
  • Ask what’s stopping him/her from trying therapy? Why doesn’t s/he at least consider it? You may very well get to another one of his arguments.
  • Ask what helps him and what he plans to do to get better again.

“No one can help me anymore”

If your loved one has completely lost motivation and is apathetic, pay attention. Try to keep talking and find out why he or she is so convinced. But if it’s going nowhere and you’re worried that something bad might happen, don’t wait and call the czech Mental Health Helpline on 116 123. They can help you resolve the situation urgently.

If you’re not “on fire” yet and your loved one likes movies or books, try looking for one that describes a similar (ideally real) story with a positive ending. He will see that someone else in the same situation has found a way out and may be inspired.


4. Get together with loved ones

If you’re the only one raising the topic of mental health and encouragement for therapy, you may not seem so convincing. If previous attempts haven’t worked, try talking to someone very close to the person and ask them to talk to them too. Just be careful, Mom isn’t always the right person to talk to. Also, try not to make it seem like you’re “setting him up”. But if he confronts you, you’d better admit the truth so that your trust in each other doesn’t suffer.

5. Offer to help find a therapist

Maybe your loved one has been to therapy before and the therapist didn’t suit him or her. Or maybe he’s afraid of this scenario.

So ask if you can help with finding a therapist. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult these days. On our Hedepy platform you will find over 100 verified therapists with detailed profiles, video messages and references. You can also fill out a short questionnaire, based on which we will recommend the most suitable therapists for you. You can get an appointment for your first online therapy session the next day, even in a few minutes if necessary.

Just don’t forget yourself

The fact that you’ve read this far shows how much you care about someone. But don’t take full responsibility for someone’s mental health. Be supportive, listen, and try to motivate yourself to get therapy, but don’t let that jeopardize your own mental health. Just because you live with someone who is going through anxiety or depression doesn’t mean you can’t experience joy yourself.

If you don’t know where to go anymore, therapy could help you too. An experienced therapist can advise you on what other steps you can take and help you set healthy boundaries so you don’t beat yourself up. It may be your own experience with therapy that will ultimately convince you.

Don’t face it alone

Finally, we would like to tell you the last and most important thing. It is completely natural to experience a wave of emotions in a difficult situation. Every crisis has its beginning, but it also has its end. Yours too. Therefore, if you are at least considering it even a tiny bit, ask for the help of a psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or coach. Don’t face it alone; you can find help – At, there are more than 30 therapists. You can choose someone who is best suited to your needs, and make an appointment for the next day. You can then connect with the therapist online, from the comfort of your own home.

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