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The Transition House, Inc.

How to support a loved one in counseling for a trauma

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When a family member or a loved one goes through a trauma, our natural response is to help. How can we do this? By showing support. The decision to attend counseling is generally not one that comes easy. Getting help and taking steps to improve your overall mental health is something that should be supported though. Even if you aren’t attending counseling yourself, it's important to be supportive to those who are and help them anyway you can. Here are some tips for showing support to friends or family in therapy for a trauma.


Every person's journey in counseling is unique. The important thing to remember is that your loved one is seeking help. Show your support by listening to them. While they may not want to talk about the incident right now, the probably will want to some day and that’s okay. Respect your loved one's boundaries and be mindful of the questions you ask. Be there when they need you. Show your support by telling them you are there when they are finally ready to talk.

Learn about it

When someone experiences a trauma, it’s not uncommon to develop PTSD. Research the disorder and familiarize yourself with it. Knowing what triggers your loved one can be very helpful. The more you know about what they are going through, the easier it will be to empathize with them.

Be patient

It's difficult to be patient when your loved one is suffering, but keep reminding yourself that it takes time. They may not always want to open up right away, so be available when they are ready for you. It’s good to understand that recovery is a process. We all have good days and bad days. Even if you are attending counseling, your process is not always linear. There will be setbacks. The support you show during this time is important for your loved one.

In the end, showing your support and being there for your loved one will mean more than you know. If you or someone you know needs counseling, TTHI Counseling Center is located in Kissimmee, St. Cloud and Longwood.

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