After treatment, therapy is suggested as an ongoing part of the recovery lifestyle. It’s easy to regress into old patterns and stop going to therapy once life starts feeling “better”. If you notice your loved one starting to struggle and want to encourage them to go back to therapy, here are some suggestions.
Needing Fixing Doesn’t Mean You’re Broken
We place a lot of value on independence and self-sufficiency in today’s society. When encouraging someone to see a therapist it is important to emphasize that needing outside help isn’t a sign of weakness or failure. In fact, it is a sign of courage and strength which helps gain the tools and empowerment for being more independent in the future. Mental health is as important to take care of as physical health. Encourage your loved one to understand that seeking a therapist is just another tool for taking care of themselves.
Therapists Aren’t Out To Get You
The therapist’s job is to be 100% objective in their listening and response to their patients. Judgments, criticisms, or shaming is not part of the therapy process. Trusting a total stranger with the deepest thoughts and intimacies of one’s life is intimidating. However, seeking a therapist won’t mean starting therapy. Finding a therapist is only part of the process. Remind your loved one that it will be one step at a time. First, they need to find someone they like and feel comfortable with- comfortable enough to eventually dive into their inner selves. For now, they need to just take the action to find potential therapists and have preliminary sessions.
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
“But I’m fine” is a common response when we urge a loved one to seek therapy. Fine is not great and it isn’t always an example of good mental health. Remind them of things they’ve opened up to you about, or what you’ve noticed about their mental health which has caused you concern. These aren’t damning or shaming observations. They’re objective facts about your loved one’s life.
Recent research has found that people who go to therapy are 30-40 years ahead of the game in their personal development. Instead of taking a lifetime to work on their ‘stuff’, people who regularly work with a therapist expedite the process, leading to a happier, healthier, more productive life.
From recovery planning to discharge planning, at Avalon By The Sea, we work with each of our clients individually through the entirety of their treatment and recovery. Providing primary mental health and substance use disorder care, our residential facility is the perfect place for healing mind, body, and spirit. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today at 888-958-7511.