My loved one is reluctant to attend therapy. Can I attend on my own, to learn tools for how to help them? If I attend alone, can my loved one later attend sessions with that same therapist?
This is a very tricky situation. First of all, its completely understandable that you want to help your loved one, and unfortunate that they are reluctant to seek help. In therapy, there is always an identified “Client”. The client (while you may wish it was your loved one) will actually be You, if You are the one attending the sessions. Put differently, if you seek help from a therapist, you become that therapist’s client (not the loved one).
Here are two options:
1. The person who is struggling, i.e., the “Loved One” would ideally attend the therapy session, even if they are feeling reluctant. The “Helper” can accompany the “Loved One” to the appointment, and even attend the entire appointment if the “Loved One” agrees.
2. The “Helper” can attend without the “Loved One”, if the “Loved One” refuses to attend therapy. However, if the “Helper” attends without the “Love one”, it may not be possible for the “Love One” to see that same therapist afterwards. The reason is because it can create a conflict of interest between the therapist and both the “Loved One” and the “Helper”. Therefore, whenever possible, the “best” course of action, is option 1 above.