Help me help a friend learn how to help himself and not feel helpless
February 23, 2014 2:03 PM Subscribe
I have a friend (Steve) that seems to be unable to try and help himself get along in life when certain problems come up. He's mentioned more than a few times he's not happy where he's at and I've been trying to help when I can.
About a year ago when we first talked on this he brought up the matter of not having finished highschool cuasing the problem in a big way. I knew a thing or two about some free programs so I pointed him in the right direction and he took it upon himself to get on it, get it done and move forward.
Now since he got his GED back in fall, it seems like I and our small circle of friends are finding out a few other things that are causing this problem Steve's problem to come back with a vengeance. [snowflakes and the like ahead.]
posted by ThrowbackDave to Human Relations (8 answers total)
Steve was looking at exploring some options at our local community college. He gets a few free credits through them as part of their GED program. He got on it, got to work, but then he got to the point he needed some paperwork from his dad and simply stopped for a couple weeks. I found a few skillfull means to help him sidestep that. In the meantime seems like dad kinda pressed him to have GED paperwork sent to dad.
He went to apply for scholarships and it went well until, again, he was waiting on paperwork and information from his dad. No way around that and it took the better part of two months to get a response. That was with everyone making sure to bug Steve about it because it was apparent after the first week he had given up on this situation. Dad does not exactly seem reliable here.
Now I've learned that among other things he relies on his dad to handle a lot of aspects in his life, up to and including the money he gets for his physical disability. I can't see this exactly helping his quest to break free from his routine. Every time the idea of dealing with something dad-related comes up he just stops. I can understand this as it kinda feels like dad is trying to hamstring this a bit at times.
He is otherwise good at seeking answers but when this comes up he becomes helpless. Even an easy task that he was excited about becomes something he sees as impossible to accomplish. He even stops asking people for help. It's like some impassable barrier and whenever he encounters it he withdraws and just stops caring about most else in his life.
I brought up the idea of getting more control over his situation as far as removing dad's control in his life and he sounded completely defeated and started defending the situation saying he'd just screw it up etc. but did agree that it would make things flow smoother should he be able to handle it.
I've realized in writing and editing this post these little hiccups serve as a pretty big barrier for him and that there's a lot else Steve has going on that can cause him to have some problems. I've been pretty good at helping him cope with his problems and getting past them but IANATherapist So I guess there's more than one question.
For the short term: What can I do to help him feel empowered about getting control of the situation and not be afraid of relying on himself? Should he choose to do so, how do you back up a buddy who seems afraid of dealing with his dad without getting too involved?
For the long term: I've had success with similar issues by seeing a counselor and doing some CBT. How do I politely bring up the idea of getting professional help and what resources are there for someone who currently relies on disability checks?