How to convince someone you care about to go to therapy?

A family member is dealing with something secret but intense in his personal life. He's considering moving away to cope with it and to get a fresh start. I'm fortunate that he confides in me, so I know a lot more about what is going on than anyone else in his life. I'm supportive of him moving, especially if it will help him. At the same time, I believe he could benefit tremendously from therapy. "Wherever you go, there you are," as they say, and I'm worried he'll do this expensive move and wind up dealing with the same problem just in a different geographic place.

I sent him some information about therapy a few months ago which he thanked me for, but he hasn't really pursued anything to my knowledge.

Does anyone have stories or tips about convincing someone to go to therapy? I'm not trying to trick him into going or anything like that (and it's not a financial problem for him to afford it). In our family and our part of the country generally, therapy was a dirty word, yet many of the women in my generation have been in therapy as we've become adults.

Wish I could help him better.

I'm not a therapist, but here's one thing I've learned from my friendships with people who have struggled with their mental health: don't try to "fix" them. Therapy is a personal choice, especially as an adult, and after sending him some information about helpful resources, leave the rest to him to reflect and decide. As painful as it feels, we can't hold others back from doing things that seem self-destructive, irrational or irresponsible. It's their choice and their journey, and we have to respect that. If he went off and did all these crazy things, got in trouble or fell flat on his face, and still didn't go to therapy, would you still be there for him? The answer is within your sphere of control, and if you can say "yes" to that, then letting him know would be a powerful thing.
I love getting people into therapy (and I'm pretty good at it!!). My most successful strategy is to talk about it as a GP for your brain/mental health. Everyone needs a GP, but you especially need one when you get sick. The worst time to find a GP is when you're already sick. The same is true for your brain. Having someone "on-call" whom you have a relationship with for when you actually need them is a best practice. There is no worse time to find a therapist than when you really need one. That being said, if you've already given them the information and they're still resistant, then all you can do is be supportive. Sharing your own experience with therapy can also help normalize it. If they decide the best decision is to move (which it could be!), having a therapist in the new location can help set them up for success. I hope this helps. It's so hard seeing someone struggle <3
Well this guy doesn’t have a GP either! But I agree that this would theoretically be a great strategy.
I use the personal trainer or house cleaner example. You know you have someone come in "once a week" and clean a bit, and of course,I use the personal trainer or house cleaner example. You know you have someone come in "once a week" and clean a bit, and of course we can clean by ourselves, but it's especially nice when someone comes when we are either too busy, or don't have the energy to deal with it. It gives the opportunity to keep stuff somewhat in an ok format.The thing I found tho, is that it's very easy to land with a therapist that doesn't fit us fully, but it's hard to change because we don't know what "good therapy" means starting out. I used betterhelp, and changed the therapist weekly until i found someone where each session is a mix of review and growth, and I couldn't be happier. (I don't think they pay their therapists the best rates, but it's a good way to build/expand clientele). They also offer group sessions, which were really interesting from the point of view of seeing other people share. (here is my referral link:, and here is the link without the referral:
From my experience, trying to convince others to go to therapy when they don't want to is futile. You can only set your own boundaries around your relationship with the person and encourage them to talk to a professional about certain things you don't feel equipped to listen to or give advice on, while still being supportive.I can definitely understand certain cultural stigmas around therapy though. I've dealt with much of the same but realized that it does benefit me personally in the long run. I've learned that that along with other things are personal revelations though that will only happen when the person is ready. I would continue to be there for this person, and do what you've been doing with providing resources, and encouragement about his new chapter.
I wish that I could help you, and help your friend. I know it's painful to see someone in pain. Maybe get therapy for yourself, because you're holding space for someone who is obviously draining you. Either that, or cut him out of your life. Set boundaries. You cannot let him take more attention from you than you signed up to give. Do you want to give him 24/7 attention? Or let him solve his own problems, like a big boy? Again, I know it's hard, but it's his job to fix this part of himself. You already showed him some info. Let the universe be his helper, your guide, and let go.
Hmm... I guess I didn't explain this well. Yes, I am currently in therapy, which is why I think he could benefit from it.He confided in me once about this almost a year ago, and since that time I have witnessed one of his friends mistreating him repeatedly, but also mostly due to his own failure to set boundaries. He is not venting to me about it AT ALL (I wish that he would). The most he has said is that he believes moving to a new city would help him get away from this friend.Selfishly I think it would suck if he moves away, especially if it's purely in reaction to this one "friendship" in his life. But I hear what everyone is saying about letting him solve his own problems like a big boy (which is what I've already been doing).Rather that cutting him off, I suppose the main personal boundary I could set in the meantime is to try to avoid being in situations where I see him and his friend together, because it's painful to watch the friend's behavior towards him.
It's great you recognise you can't control his behaviours, and are willing to take action to make yourself feel better. That's all you can do. But the thing is, he did discuss best options with you. Letting him vent is nice, but it's also not your business unless he decides it is. Everyone is a reflection of you. Your job is to recognise this, honor the divine in others, and be willing to let the inner child, and the one outside of yourself, do what they need to do. I am not advising you about him, so much as understanding the need to understand how to healthily understand that we exist in oneness, but detach healthily as well. No one can control things, but we can do our best. What we can do to help one another arises from the other person. <3 As they say, always put on your oxygen mask first. Self-compassion is the foundation of compassion, and so helps build the empire of empathy. If avoiding this friend's interactions between him and another will help you, perhaps begin there.
As they say, always put on your oxygen mask first. Self-compassion is the foundation of compassion, and so helps build the empire of empathy. If avoiding this friend's interactions between him and another will help you, perhaps begin there.
IMO you've already done what I would suggest, bringing up therapy. When I got professional help, it was a personal choice. Someone in my life recommended, but I had to digest it in my own time. I think it helps that you have talked about it, so he knows if he wants to talk about therapy there is a family member who would be open to do this without shame.Some people in my circle have started working on their mental health after I became open about the changes I was making. I think seeing the improvements in my life let them decide they were interested in some of those strategies too.
at the end of the day, it's his journey + not your responsibility. considering how much you care, you could ask to have a discussion with him about how you're feeling. I would encourage you to do that openly + not need him to do anything in order for you to feel better - that in itself takes away his freedom of choice. having said that, if you had a discussion, it might take the pressure off the emotions that you're feeling - I find that sometimes I just need the space to express them.
I love talking to people about therapy as, it's just asking a professional to help you learn how to use tools to better your mental health and make you more resilient. It helps you live a more fulfilled life by challenging your current thought patterns and learning new perspectives. It helps you navigate the complexities of family, friendships, and relationships so that you can feel more confident in taking care of yourself.That being said, if people haven't spiraled enough times or struggled with enough things to realize they're feeling stuck, there's nothing you can do to convince them that maybe it's time to seek external help. For example, my parents went to couples counseling before settling on divorce, but my mom's mentality the entire time was "I'm not the problem, he is" which, is a very rigid place to be. If the person isn't aware that the work of therapy is INTERNAL, instead of EXTERNAL, and just want to go to point at other people as the source of their problems, then they haven't suffered enough from their own choices to see that maybe they are the common denominator.
Hello human, as a therapist, I can tell you that even if you do convince someone to go to therapy, no one can convince them to do the work. It needs to come from within. Therapy is not just someone talking about their problems, it is also taking action, and unless people are motivated to do this themselves, to change things that are too painful to keep doing, there isn't anything that we can do or say to change their minds.It is good to want to help them, but at a certain point it is worth asking yourself - are you taking over the responsibility for whether they are or aren't doing this? Wanting to help others is amazing, as long as it doesn't negatively impact us, which is why we need to do it mindfully so that we do not end up taking over the responsibility for their actions. If you would like, I am open to having a private chat or call. You can message me directly and set something up, get more details about what it is that you are dealing with and how it might be best to approach it.