Setting up the appointment It’s often difficult for someone going through a hard time to find the energy to set up a counseling appointment for themselves. It’s absolutely fine for you to support them to do that by emailing me on their behalf to arrange the first appointment.
Getting to the appointment Traveling with public transport can be another big challenge at times when we’re really struggling emotionally. Some people help their loved one by traveling with them to my counseling room and making sure they find me.
After the counseling session Offer to let them tell you about their experience but understand that they may prefer to keep it private. It is important for people coming to counseling to know that their sessions are private and that they don’t have to tell anybody else anything about what they discussed in the session. Also remember to be sensitive about other people you talk to, your loved one may not want other family and friends to know they are going to counseling.
Between sessions A lot of the work in therapy is done outside of the counseling session when people start to put insights and ideas into practice in their day to day life. This is where a supportive friend or partner can really be a big help.
Sometimes counselling can result in your friend or partner wanting to try interacting with you in different ways than before. They may start to share more of what they’re feeling with you, or they may try to make some changes in their habits or patterns of behaviour around you. As a supportive friend or partner it’s great to encourage open communication about this and even ask if there is anything you can do that would support them to make the changes they want.
Finding the right counselor If they don’t find the right counselor for them at first, encourage them to keep trying. There are many different styles of counseling and the personality of the counselor can also have a big impact on how comfortable your loved one feels in the session. If they try counseling once and feel like it doesn’t work for them, point out to them that it can be a process that takes a few tries to find the right fit for them. Suggest that they request free initial consultations from counselors so that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to find the right one.