What To Say To Convince Someone To See A Counselor
What works for your loved one may not work for someone else, so you will need to adjust your approach to fit your situation specifically. Here are some tips for what to say during your conversation:
- Speak from your heart. Do not be afraid to share your concern with the person, as long as you let them know that you truly care about their well-being.
- Use the word “I” instead of “you.” In other words, explain that you are worried about the person, not that the person has something wrong. “I am concerned about…” sounds a lot better than “You need to…”
- If possible, ask for this as a gift to you or someone the other person cares about. “Going to counseling is the best gift you could give your mother for her birthday.” This will work for some people – not everyone. You will have to use your judgment to determine if your loved one will respond well.
- Stay calm. You may not get a positive reaction from this process, but you should still use a calm, concerned tone even if the person lashes out in defense.
- Offer to come along or to get counseling for yourself. If your loved one feels like he or she has a support system, you may have an easier time getting him or her to see a therapist.
What Not To Say To Convince Someone To See A Counselor
There are some tactics and statements that will almost always lead to a negative result. Avoid all of the following situations when you confront someone about seeing a counselor or therapist:
- Do not use derogatory, accusatory, or condescending terms like “crazy,” “weird,” “abnormal,” or “creepy.”
- Do not get angry or defensive. You have to expect the person to be upset when you first talk to him. Do your best to control your temper, even if that means taking a verbal bashing for a moment. This will pass when the emotions simmer down.
- Do not leave the person alone. They need support at this tough time. Let them know you’ll be there every step of the way.
A More Aggressive Approach (When Necessary)
If your loved one is facing a mental or emotional issue that puts himself or someone else at harm, you may need to take more drastic measures to get him to a counselor. For instance, if the person has an anger management issue and is physically abusing you or another family member, you may need to get the authorities involved with the confrontation. Contact local law enforcement about the situation to find out what your rights are as a bystander and what they will be able to do to help you.
Whatever the outcome of the confrontation is, make sure you stand by the person’s side so he knows that he has support. With the right commitment and devotion on your end, your friend or family member can finally get the help he needs.