Asking your family for help can be scary, especially when you want to ask them to go to family group therapy. How do you ask your family to try group therapy? This question can seem impossible to answer right now. Just thinking about it may make you anxious. Depending on your family dynamic, it might feel extra nerve-wracking. You can find ways to prepare yourself for this conversation with your family and help guide them to where you are coming from.
Find Options for Family Group Therapy in Your Area Beforehand
The best strategy going into this conversation is to be as prepared as you can. Look online for therapists in your area that provide family group therapy. Try to find online and in-person options so you can find ways to accommodate the whole family. You could even find out whether each therapist is accepting new clients. By planning ahead, you have times and dates ready to work with your family on their availability.
Practice and Prepare
Now that you have found different options in your area, it’s time to practice. It may sound ridiculous, but practicing what you want to say to your family before you jump into a conversation can greatly decrease your anxiety about the conversation. This is a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) technique called coping ahead.
Find a mirror in your home and stand or sit in front of it. Start articulating your thoughts and feelings on why you want your family to try family group therapy. Write down the bits that feel most impactful afterward if that will help you remember. You want to begin to work out how you truly feel about the idea before bringing it up. This will help you stay open and honest with your family during the conversation. Don’t worry if it feels like you’re rambling. Just keep going; it doesn’t need to be perfect.
Repeat this process a few times. By repeating yourself, you begin to narrow down and organize your thoughts. It will make your points more easily understandable because they are well thought out. You can think of it like practicing a presentation or a speech. The more you practice, the more confident you can be. This may not take away all of your anxiety about the conversation, but it will help.
Working Through the 5WH Model
Now that you have figured out the gist of what you want to say, it will help to anticipate questions your family may have. You know the way that they think. As such, try to put yourself in their shoes while planning.
You can use the 5WH model to prepare:
- Who do you want to be a part of family group therapy?
- What is family group therapy and what does it consist of?
- When would you want to start?
- Where would you want to have it?
- Why do you want to try family group therapy?
Even throw in the “h” questions. How do you start? How long do you want to participate in family group therapy?
By having the answers to these questions going into your conversation, you will feel more confident in asking your family and encouraging them to try it out.
Lastly, prepare for rejection. It isn’t always easy for family members to be open and honest with each other. In an emotional environment like family group therapy, some of your family may feel anxious or uncomfortable. They may reject the idea right away. Let them know you understand their hesitation. Tell them they are free to join you and the rest of your family if and when they feel comfortable doing so.
Ask to Try Family Group Therapy in a Place You Feel Safe
Because this conversation may stir up a lot of anxiety, it is best to try and make yourself as comfortable as possible. You want to ask your family to try family group therapy in a place that feels comfortable. Asking in a crowded restaurant where passersby can hear may not be the best option. Maybe try a quiet park, a family member’s home, or even your own home.
One feeling we want to avoid is the feeling of being trapped. Try to have a place that feels like you have an escape if you need it. Whether it is an escape to another room or a completely different location, having the option to leave on your own terms can be very comforting. Your goal is not to have to use that option, but having it available to you isn’t a bad thing either.
Don’t Hold Back
When asking something of your family — something like trying group therapy — you may have the urge to hide certain details. Try your best not to hold anything back. You are asking your family to try family group therapy for a reason, and you should never feel shame for that reason.
If your family asks you questions about how you feel, answer them honestly. Ultimately, if your family agrees to support you by going to family group therapy, you’ll need to get in the habit of being honest with them. Even if you think what you feel might hurt their feelings, you should still express them. More often than not, your family doesn’t realize you are struggling with those feelings and will want to help.
Ask a Therapist for Help
If you feel that you cannot approach your family alone, try asking a therapist for help. There is nothing wrong with doing so. A therapist can help you prepare for the conversation and help you find different options for family therapy.
Mindfuli understands that family bonds can come with difficult emotions and experiences. It doesn’t have to stay that way though. Mindfuli can help change that. Through online family group therapy, you and your family can begin rebuilding healthy bonds. You can develop trust in each other. Moreover, you can be there for each other in ways you haven’t before. No matter how you feel, you deserve support. Family group therapy can ease stress, better communication, and improve coping skills for your whole family system. If you need extra help to prepare, or you and your family are ready to start, call us today at (866) 973-4415 to learn more information.