Your life: Therapy can only help those who want help

Charlotte Lankard: When someone you love is acting in a way that is irrational and disrupting to your relationship, sometimes the wisest action you can take is to get help for yourself.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD clankard@opubco.com Published: April 8, 2013

When someone you love is acting in a way that is irrational and disrupting to your relationship and also creating difficulties for themselves with other family members, friends and co-workers, a common response is to try and get that person into therapy.

When you suggest this to loved ones, their first response is typically to refuse, saying they are just fine.

Convincing otherwise

Then you may try other methods of getting them to agree to get help, such as manipulating, bribing, crying, pointing out their flaws, using logic and reasoning, begging, pleading and leaving self-help books around the house.

In desperation, you may resort to an ultimatum, “You go to a therapist or I'm leaving you.”

While this may get your loved one into treatment, it is common for them to drop out, because even the best therapist cannot help someone who doesn't want help.

Who needs help?

What happens next is as predictable as the change of seasons.

They tell you they are fine, that you are the one who needs help.

Continue reading this story on the...