Ask a Therapist: First Edition

The older I get, the more I realize one universal truth: we all have issues.  And while some of us are lucky enough to work them out through therapy, others never get the chance, for reasons ranging from the stigma surrounding mental health in America to the high cost of counseling (without insurance, therapy can range anywhere from $150-$300 per session).

But, don’t get too bummed out because starting now, Daniel Selling, founder of Williamsburg Therapy Group, is here to answer all of your deepest, darkest, and most profound life questions.

So, ask away Greenpoint!  Dump your problems here and Daniel will drop some words of wisdom that are sure to lay those winter blues to rest.

Read our debut advice from Daniel after the jump:

Dear Daniel, 

What’s the best way to get someone into therapy who doesn’t think they need it?

 

This is a very common question, and one that is both challenging and complex. First off, before you embark on this path, it is critical to accept that all you can do is provide compassionate encouragement. You shouldn’t feel that it is your job to “push” someone to do something that they are uncomfortable pursuing. Here are some tips:

1. Sort out your own reasons for wanting this person to go into therapy. Are you sure your motivation is not self-serving? Would this person truly benefit from working with a trained professional?

2. Talk openly and carefully about your concerns. Let the person know what you think they might be struggling with, as objectively as possible, and how you think they would benefit from seeing a trained professional. If you have prior therapy experience, share it.

3. Be patient. Some people react very poorly to the suggestion of therapy. They might feel as if you are pathologizing their experience. They may be inclined to see your suggestion as a sign that you perceive them as weak. Try to communicate the simple fact that everyone needs help from time to time and that you are not judging them.

4. Offer to help them find a good therapist, but encourage them to make the appointment. This is the only way to assess their true motivation. Feel free to accompany them to their first appointment, if they think that would help.

5. Be patient and kind throughout the process. 

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