You aren’t currently in therapy - but your loved one is. How do you support someone you love as they seek help for whatever it is they may be struggling with?
Voice your support: unfortunately, therapy still carries a stigma for some people. Your loved one may be feeling uncertain about how others would respond if they knew they were in therapy. Tell your loved one that you are proud of them for going to counseling. Assure them of the value of therapy and seeking help. Encourage them that you don’t see them differently and that you support their choice to go to counseling.
Ask how you can help them: therapy can be mentally and emotionally draining. Ask your loved one how they typically feel after a therapy session. Do they want company and something to do? Or are they tired and simply want to be alone? Send them an encouraging text on the day you know they have counseling. Follow through on what they would find helpful.
Respect their boundaries: you may be curious what your loved one is discussing in therapy. You may wonder if they are talking about you! Respect their boundaries if they tell you that they aren’t comfortable talking about or sharing. Be willing to listen if they would like to talk about therapy.
Be understanding of the process: therapy is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a process that involves emotional ups and downs as a person attempts to work through things. Your loved one may be angry, sad or frustrated at different points. Be understanding when they feel discouraged and find ways to encourage them through the process.
The process of therapy can be deeply fulfilling as well as incredibly challenging. You can help your loved one navigate this process by supporting them as they seek help. Your loved one will benefit from your care and support!