How to persuade someone to go to psychotherapy? Let’s see guidelines to do it without pressing.
We are empathic beings. This makes us worry not only about ourselves, but also about the well-being of our family and friends, who may be going through a bad situation.
Sometimes it is necessary to turn to a psychologist, who can help improve the condition of our loved one. However, going to therapy is not a decision that is usually made easily and it may be the case that those who need professional help may not ask for it for different reasons. The fact that someone close to them has a problem not only affects them. him, but also his close circle, and it is his close associates who consider it appropriate to visit a professional.
The question that many people ask themselves when they find themselves in this situation is: how to convince someone to go to the psychologist? Proposing to do so can become a very sensitive issue, and create a situation of tension when feeling offended and that you may be calling “crazy.” Let’s look at several key tips and ideas for how to tackle these kinds of problems.
What resistance can arise when proposing to go to psychotherapy?
Although in recent decades the profession of psychologist has been gaining popularity, in addition to being better disclosed what is done in the psychological consultation, the truth is that many people are reluctant to go to psychological therapy.
Although the image of the psychologist as the person who only takes care of people with serious psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, has gradually been overcome, there are many who continue to believe that going to the psychologist is “crazy” .
It may also be the case that the person who is suffering considers that they are in such a serious situation that they no longer have a situation, or that they fear that when they go to the psychologist they confirm that there is nothing to do, and decide not to face it .
Some see asking for help as a sign of weakness, and fear that they will end up depending on a mental health professional. Also, due to a lack of knowledge of what psychologists really do, they believe that they will end up medicating them and will really know how to deal with their situation in a profound way.
Although there are people who are aware that they are suffering and need help, the fear of a high economic cost of psychotherapy can prevent them from going to the psychologist.
It is important to indicate that, except in situations where there is a very serious psychological disorder, it should be the person who goes to the psychologist freely, without their family, friends or partner having organized a deception or taking them to the consultation forcibly . For a clinical psychologist, these types of situations are especially difficult, since the person to be intervened does not want professional help.
Tips to convince someone to go to the psychologist
As friends, family or partner of someone who is suffering, you can follow a series of recommendations that can help us make the person aware that they need help and that they can improve, in addition to showing them that we are on their side, that we support them and we want the best for her.
Here are some tips to help you know how to convince someone to go to a psychologist.
1. Choose the best time and place
Proposing to go to the psychologist is a sensitive issue. That is why it is advisable to choose a time and a place in which calm and intimacy predominate, in which there is no tension and there are no other people who can react negatively to the proposal to go to the professional and influence who needs help.
2. Listen to him and be empathetic
We want to help you, and therefore we have to show that this is our intention. Ask about their feelings, how they are living the situation and how they perceive that it may evolve. If something similar has ever happened to you, tell him about it and make him understand that everything can be improved with the right help.
3. Suggest a first visit
Recommending starting psychotherapy immediately can be seen as proposing something complicated and financially unaffordable. Instead, you may recommend that she try a contact with a psychologist, and see what happens and how she feels after the session.
4. Accompany him in the first session
Going to the psychologist for the first time can be perceived as a daunting task. To ensure that the person goes, but without pressure, it is a very good idea to accompany them during the first session, that they feel that they are starting the process with the support of someone close.
5. Do not presuppose the reason for their suffering
Although all human beings have a lot in common, each one can attribute and experience suffering in different ways. Do not interpret the reason for their suffering, simply comment on your perception making it clear that everyone is free to live the same experience in a varied way.
6. Offer accurate and professional information
Many are the myths that exist around the figure of the psychologist. The best way to fight them is to offer articles, books, websites and other resources prepared by the professionals themselves to help to have a real vision of the professional of psychology and their work.
7. A psychologist and a psychiatrist are not the same
Many people believe that going to the psychologist implies being medicated, despite the fact that this professional is not the one who prescribes psychotropic drugs, and they are afraid of that possibility. Prescribing drugs is the task of the psychiatrist, and only medicates if necessary. For this reason, this aspect should be reported in case it is an obstacle when convincing someone to go to the psychologist.
8. Facilitates the search process for a psychologist
Thanks to new technologies, many psychologists have web pages where appointments can be made, in addition to explaining their scope of intervention and what they have specialized in. So it is very easy to help find a psychotherapy professional who is tailored to the needs of the person you want to convince.
9. If possible and necessary, subsidize treatment
Psychotherapy can be seen as an expensive process. If you can afford it, offer to pay for the first session. This will show that you are very involved in the therapeutic process and will motivate him to go to therapy. Once you have started, it will be easier for you to lose your fears and possible prejudices.
10. Make him aware that it is he / she who decides
Everyone has the right to be involved in improving their mental health. Even if we propose to go to the psychologist, we must also make him / her aware that he / she is free to decide whether or not to go for a consultation, and that he / she is responsible for their psychological well-being.
In the event that, despite having followed these tips, the person does not want to go to the psychologist, insist, but remain calm and try to argue the benefits of receiving therapy.
Author: Nahum Montagud
- Brammer, LM, & Shostrom, EL (1977). Therapeutic psychology: Fundamentals of counseling and psychotherapy (3rd ed.). Oxford, England: Prentice-Hall.
- Norcross, JC (Ed.). (2002). Psychotherapy relationships that work: Therapist contributions and responsiveness to patients. New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.