How do you refer a friend for therapy


 

44. FriendHugIt’s a tricky situation this one. When you notice a friend or family member could do with help or support beyond what you’re equipped to give, how do you suggest to them ‘I think you should see a therapist?’ without hearing expletives come back at you?

 

There are lots of reasons why we can spot things about our friends that they can’t see for themselves. You might see:

 

  • A recurring pattern: dating the same type of controlling guy for example. They’re too caught up in the details of ‘but this guy’s different’ to notice that they’re repeating a life lesson
  • An addiction: could be to alcohol, drugs, sex or a personality type – whatever it is it takes a very aware person to acknoweledge that they’re living with a dependence on something (or someone)
  • A sadness: most people get sad sometimes – it’s part of the spectrum of emotions we’re privileged enough to encounter. The frequency and the depth to which we feel sad can differ greatly and when you’re in it it’s possible to say ‘doesn’t everyone feel down sometimes’ without recognising that you’ve been like that for 6 weeks now – your mind needs help to get back its resilience and bounce-back
  • A destruction: self harming and eating disorders can often be hidden from those at work or others in a house hold. Over time though it’s often the case that family or friends will notice a routine forming or a regular oddity (why does she always go to the toilet after dinner; or why does he always wear long sleeves even on a hot  summer’s day). Often just asking the question is enough for the person to share some extra details – but reason on its own (even with the best of intentions) is rarely enough to transform the behaviour
  • A debilitation: with panic attacks or with anxiety or stress, it can be the case that your friend will begin to retreat from socialising (with valid enough sounding excuses), will have increased sick days, will step down from opportunities they may previously have been front of the queue for.

 

To be helpful in all the above situations you would first have to be able to:

  • spot the harmful changes (being drunk as a one off is different than drinking to excess 4nights a week)
  • know how to confront the topic (to come alongside the person we care about and not judge them or offer simplistic solutions)
  • know the limitations of what can be dealt with as a friend and what should be passed to a professional (plus also, could you recommend a great therapist? – Like a personal trainer there are ones who can talk the talk, and those who can get authentic results fast).

So here are 5 ways you could approach a conversation with a friend or family member so they might hear that you care enough to suggest they see a good therapist:

  1. Ask some questions: you can’t show you genuinely care unless you’ve proved your willing to listen. ‘So what’s been going on’; ‘how have you been feeling’; ‘what are you thinking is going to turn this round’; ‘what have you tried’; ‘what are the consequences if you keep going like this’
  2. Plant a seed: do your research well and tell your friend (child, sibling, parent) that you’ve heard of someone (or some therapy type – like for us it’s Human Givens therapy) who gets extraordinary results fast. ‘I can email you the website or the number if you want to check it out’.
  3. Tell a ‘dear John’ story: like if you’d heard that ‘this friend of mine’s daughter’ had an amazing turn around from her addiction after she spoke to this great therapist.
  4. Don’t judge: a friend doesn’t want to hear a judgement about the tough point they’re going through right now. It might seem simple to you from the outside. It’s not simple for them, so if you’re going to say a ‘should’ or an ‘ought’  – stay silent and count to 10!
  5. Care & invest: if you need to go with them on session one, do it. If they need a bit more support getting into a new routine, be there. Encourage, cheer and love. They’d do the same for you.

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Stress relief


299. CalmnessStress and its side effects are on the increase. The worst-case knock on effect of acute or ongoing stress can be depression, illness and a sense of being out-of-control of your life. So what are the stressors you need to look out for? How do you spot them? Then manage them in order to stay calm?

 

I was at a weekend conference recently and one of the topics was an exploration of how our world and cultures have evolved. Turns out that while you have more choice than every before in history – where you live, what you eat, which relationships you commit to and how your career progresses – you’re actually not always fully equipped to manage the range of choices too far beyond what you’ve been taught are ‘normal’ and ‘right’.

 

So if your parents did a church, white wedding, you’re more likely to want the same regardless of whether you’ve been active in developing your faith up to the point of choosing marriage. Equally if your peers all commit to university as the right next step after high school, you may well be swayed that way even though the best choice for you could be to go straight into work, do an apprenticeship or start up on your own from day one.

 

Each of these compromises, the choices that take you away from where your intuition is guiding you, increases the stressors in your life and impacts your health and sense of wellbeing. So how do you navigate your own path? How do you get to a place where life has success and meaning for you for now and for whenever you view your future?

 

The key is calmness. Keeping an emotional equilibrium allows your brain to filter in the best choices for you at any given time. Investing time in knowing what you want from life will also fast track your decision making and your ability to achieve. So get some clarity around who you most like to spend time with, what your career goals are, where you want to travel, how fit you want to be, how you want to contribute to your community and what activities make you most happy in any given moment.

 

Developing calmness – which leads to awareness – can be done in any number of ways. You can do it through breathing, mindfulness, running, swimming, mediation, prayer, reading, writing, talking, quiet contemplation, exploring, painting … the list is endless. You can work out what’s most effective for the person you are and the lifestyle you lead. Then as you practice integrating conscious calmness into your life you’ll notice that your thoughts remain clearer, your decision making becomes more targeted, your compromising reduces and your sense of self-worth and achievement are daily celebrations.

 

Relief from stress is a positive choice. It’s a necessary part of achieving in today’s increasingly complex world. And it’s your route to opportunity and meaning in a way that only you would resonate with. Your life, your life choices, your calm happiness.

 
 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.