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Supporting Your Loved Ones in Therapy: What To Say To Encourage Their Journey

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When a friend or loved one decides to start therapy, it's like they've chosen to embark on a grand adventure towards understanding themselves better. Think of it as them gearing up for a journey to the inner workings of their mind—a quest for treasure where X marks the spot of self-improvement. Here's how you can be the best support they can ask for as they embark on a journey that will truly change their life.

Discovering that someone close to you is starting therapy can be a moment filled with various emotions for everyone involved. For one, It’s a sign that they're taking a crucial step towards self-care and mental wellness. However, they might feel vulnerable or uncertain about this decision. As friends it's also tough to determine exactly what to say next, especially if you've never done the journey through counselling and therapy yourself. But believe it or not, your words and support will make a world of difference to that person. We at Refresh Counselling wanted to equip you with some words and thoughtful tools (really words) to express your support and encouragement for them.

1. Affirm Their Strength

  • "I'm proud of you for taking this step. It takes a lot of courage to seek help when you need it."
  • "Starting therapy shows how strong you are, and I admire your bravery in taking care of your mental health."

2. Offer Unconditional Support

  • "I'm here for you, no matter what you need. If you ever want to talk, or if you need someone to just listen, I'm here."
  • "Remember, you're not alone. I'll be here to support you through your journey, in any way I can."

3. Reassure Them of Their Decision

  • "It's a great thing that you're prioritizing your mental health. Taking this step is something to be proud of."
  • "Therapy can be really beneficial. I'm glad you're giving yourself this space to grow and heal."

4. Maintain Privacy and Respect

  • "Thank you for trusting me with this. I want you to know that your privacy is completely respected."
  • "This is your journey, and I'm grateful you shared it with me. Know that what you choose to share stays with me."

5. Encourage Openness Without Pressure

  • "If you ever feel like sharing what you're learning or experiencing, I'd love to listen. But no pressure—you get to decide what you want to share."
  • "I'm interested in your journey, only if you're comfortable sharing. It's okay to keep things private too."

6. Normalize Their Experience

  • "A lot of people find therapy helpful. It's a healthy way to work through life's challenges."
  • "Seeking therapy is as normal as going to the doctor for a physical illness. It's all about taking care of your well-being."

7. Offer Practical Support

  • "If you need help managing your schedule or need someone to accompany you to an appointment, don't hesitate to ask."
  • "I know starting therapy can be a big adjustment. Let me know how I can make things easier for you."

8. Celebrate Their Progress

  • "I've noticed the changes in you and how hard you're working on yourself. It's really inspiring to see."
  • "Every step you take in therapy is a step forward. I'm so happy to see you investing in your growth."

Starting therapy is a deeply personal decision which is not an easy one to make, but it is one that can lead to significant personal growth and healing. When a friend, family member, or someone close to us embarks on this journey, our support and understanding can significantly impact their experience. By using the suggestions above, you can express your support in a way that uplifts and encourages them, reinforcing the positive step they've taken towards their mental health wellness.

Remember, the journey of therapy is unique to each individual. Your role as a supportive friend or family member is invaluable, providing a safe and encouraging backdrop as they navigate through their sessions. Celebrate their courage, respect their privacy, and be there for them—your support can make all the difference.

Your Partner In Wellness

Your Partner In Wellness

Refresh Counselling is committed to providing the most elevated mental health services to our patients in at either of our locations in Calgary and across Alberta. We promise to meet you where you are, provide insight and a safe space, and help you get to where you want to be. Take advantage of our complimentary consultation to connect with a psychologist who can be your expert guide as you journey towards mental health and well-being. Book now in Jane, our virtual system.

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