How do I get my wife to therapy?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker


Since my family and I moved to Florida (5 years ago) my wife has been getting progressively worst with depression. She has 8 of the 10 symptoms from the depression quiz in your web site. She seems to always blame others for everything that happens to her. I feel very strongly that she needs professional help but she will not acknowledge that she has a problem. How do I get her to realize she does have a problem and get her the treatment she needs?

A: When a family member needs help but won’t accept it, it’s very frustrating I know. Please consider it another sign of her depression, not as stubbornness or pride or defiance. As often happens with depression, she’s not motivated to take care of herself. You made an important start by writing. The next step is to find an experienced mental health professional in your city and enlist some help. Go a few times to establish a relationship and to outline the problem. Then work with the therapist to figure out how best to bring your wife in. Often, when told that the whole family is going to sessions to try to help her, it is hard for someone to resist going along – if only to straighten out the therapist! Once she goes and finds that it isn’t so bad and maybe is even helpful, she may decide to continue. Your city has many fine therapists. Ask your doctor for a referral.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Apr 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). How do I get my wife to therapy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/04/21/how-do-i-get-my-wife-to-therapy/

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