Joyce Marter Fox 32 News How to Recommend Therapy

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Stress, depression, and anxiety are things we all deal with at one point or another, and sometimes we just need the help of a professional. But what if you know someone who refuses to get help? Joining us now with some tips on how to recommend therapy to someone you love is Joyce Marter, a licensed psychotherapist and CEO of Urban Balance. Thanks for coming in this morning, Joyce.

Joyce: Thank you for having me.

Host: This is a very tough thing to approach. You know someone, you love them, they’re a friend or a family member, and you know they’re going through some hard times. Where do you even begin?

Joyce: It can be a sensitive topic to approach. I think the first thing is really just to normalize that we’re human beings and we all experience depression, anxiety, stress, or relationship issues at different points in our lives. That’s part of being human. I see therapy as something healthy, normal, and proactive, a routine part of healthcare.

Host: I think that’s the difference. Most people think if you’re going through therapy, you’re having a major problem, and that’s one of the turn-offs. So at what point should you make a move and say something? Your first tip is to act early. What do you mean by that?

Joyce: Many of us tend to minimize things and hope problems will go away. The tendency is to wait too long. It’s important to say something sooner because therapy can be preventative. It can help people get assistance before they lose a job, a relationship, or experience other negative consequences. If you’re worrying about it and thinking about it, it’s better to say something.

Host: Another tip you mentioned is to normalize it and not make it a shameful thing. How do you go about doing that?

Joyce: Instead of saying, “I think you have problems” or “I think something’s wrong,” say, “I love you, I care about you, and I’ve noticed these things. I really want you to get the support you need.” Emphasize that their feelings are understandable and that they deserve support. It’s all in how you phrase it.

Host: You also advise expressing care, not judgment, because judgment will turn everyone off, right?

Joyce: Absolutely. None of us like to feel criticized. You don’t need to diagnose someone. Just say, “I want you to feel your best, and you deserve support.”

Host: You also mentioned addressing concerns. What do you mean by that?

Joyce: Be specific and explain what therapy is like. Many people don’t know. I always explain it’s like a personal trainer for your mind or relationships. It’s someone who can coach you through thinking things through in a more positive way.

Host: Providing resources is also crucial. Often, people don’t know where to begin.

Joyce: Exactly. People get overwhelmed. Mention that their insurance might cover therapy. At Urban Balance, we’re in-network with most insurance plans, and many practices offer a free initial consultation. If you need sliding fee services or have Medicaid, many communities have mental health centers and training facilities offering these options.

Host: Some people say they can’t afford therapy because it’s too expensive.

Joyce: Many don’t realize that insurance often covers it, usually with a small copay. And there are sliding fee options.

Host: There’s also the concern that reporting it to insurance means it’s on your record as a mental health disorder.

Joyce: It is a fear, but mental health issues are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This shouldn’t prevent someone from seeking help, just like seeing a cardiologist or any other medical professional.

Host: Finally, if you think someone needs therapy, what words should you use?

Joyce: Say something like, “It sounds like you’re going through a lot right now. Have you thought about talking to someone? I’ve found therapy helpful personally, and I’ve seen friends benefit from it. Maybe give it a try. I’d be happy to go with you.”

Host: Great tips. Where can people get more information?

Joyce: Visit our website at

Host: Thanks so much for coming in.

Joyce: Thank you. It was a pleasure.

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