How to convince my friend to go to counseling
July 29, 2012 1:15 AM Subscribe
Help me convince my friend to talk to a therapist
posted by grokfest to Human Relations (22 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm trying to convince my best friend, with whom I talk on a daily basis and have known for about 6 years, that she should talk to a therapist. She's going through a very difficult time in her life and while I am trying to help, I am not that experienced with the issues she's dealing with and I also feel that she has deeper issues that could be worked out by a professional. Important details:
1) She is a student and her health insurance through the school provides full coverage for counseling sessions
2) She dated her first boyfriend for 1.5 years and they broke up around December; this has led to considerable depression and rumination on the relationship and conviction that her self-worth is depleted; she is also experiencing stressful health issues that have clinical depression as a common symptom; these are at the root of why I think she should talk to a counselor, along with some general cognitive distortions.
3) I started seeing a therapist when I started grad school in fall 2010 and it was very successful for me in improving my depression and social anxiety. My success (and previous extreme skepticism about therapy) are part of why I think it will be so helpful to her.
4) Her opposition to the therapy suggestion wavers, with her sometimes almost agreeing and other times not being willing to even consider it. When pressed, she has a few root objections: a) culturally and personally she sees seeking therapy as admitting brokenness/failure; b) she fears that a therapist will tell her she is a horrible person and she must "fix" herself in order to be ok, and she doesn't think she can handle that emotionally; c) she is afraid of being brainwashed by the therapist. I see these answers as further support for the idea that therapy will be helpful, in the very least to alleviate some of these irrational fears.
- What can I say that may be more convincing?
- What alternatives could I suggest if she remains steadfast in her opposition?
- What am I doing wrong and what could I do for her additionally?