by Dr. Bianka Hardin
It is an honor to be a caring confidant to a friend or loved one. Although it can feel good to be needed and trusted, it can also be difficult to see someone you care about having a difficult time. It can also feel overwhelming when your loved one asks you for advice or help and you are not sure how to help them. At times, it can also feel frustrating when they do not follow through, or continue making the same harmful choices or remain in toxic relationships.
It is a good idea to suggest your loved one see a therapist when if they could benefit from help or advice outside of your comfort level or expertise. Often, we are too close to a person or situation to be fully objective.
It is extremely important to recommend a therapist when your loved one expresses feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or makes statements about life being better without them around. Or, if a friend or loved one is unable to maintain their family, personal, or work responsibilities, professional intervention may be warranted.
It can feel tricky recommending therapy to a loved one because of a stigma related to seeking mental health treatment. Others may assume that seeking mental health treatment is a sign of weakness, or seeing a therapist means person is “crazy.” This could not be farther from the truth.
Although many of us are conditioned to “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps” or “handle it on our own,” we at CTC believe that seeking therapy is a sign of strength and that therapy can help improve life satisfaction and unnecessary pain and suffering.