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    Hi everyone,

    Was wondering if anybody has any suggestions. I know an individual who (to say it in a nice way) would greatly benefit from going to therapy. This individual does not think so. But numerous people agree that they this individuals life would be enhanced immensely if they were to go to therapy. Any ideas how to get someone to therapy when they adamantly refuse to go?


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    Yeshaya Kraus

    Hi, quietBoy,

    You’re in what can be a potentially frustrating situation. You know the person should be in therapy, their acquaintances and friends know it, and deep down, it’s possible they know it as well. If they’re not ready, though, they won’t go, and even if you manage to drag them into the office, the change you’re looking for won’t happen. People run with their own agendas, no matter how helpful or truth-based yours might be.

    It sounds like the best way to get this person to understand your viewpoint is to have a clear conversation about it. Plan out exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it, and invite the person to talk about it. Go in having in mind not just to share your viewpoint, but also to try to understand theirs. Also keep in mind that you may not get what you’re looking for.

    At the end of the day, we can’t change other people’s minds. We can hope to influence them for the better.

    Another question I’d ask is how this person’s need for therapy is impacting your life. You can’t change them, but you may be able to change your reactions, or the way their need for help impacts your life.



    Hi quietBoy,

    First of all, let me acknowledge that it can be super frustrating to see someone flail in life and refuse to accept help.  This frustration can get compounded when this person’s issues spill over into our lives in not very positive ways.

    At the end of the day though, we can never make anyone do anything they don’t want to do.  This is true not just for people in your position but for therapists too!  As a therapist, I can never make my clients do anything they don’t want to do.

    What helps temper the frustration is to focus on what is within our control.  And what is in our control is to share carefully, strategically, respectfully, and lovingly our concerns and support in one conversation, and then we allow them the courtesy and space to make their own decisions.  The other action we can take that is within our control is to make boundaries with this person if they are negatively affecting our lives, either by limiting our involvement with them or by having certain boundaries with our conversations with them, etc.

    It can definitely help to have options so we don’t feel totally trapped or helpless in these tough situations.

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