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Attention: The information provided in this forum is intended for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Helping a Loved One Through Adversity
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
When supporting a friend through difficult circumstances, you will do best to follow these four steps:


Listen. Only ask questions that help you fully understand your friend's struggles.


Express compassion.


Offer your opinion when requested. If they ask for advice or indicate that they are open to it (you might need to ask this), feel free to share your feedback. Then leave it alone — your comments should be suggestions, not directives.


Be there. It can be difficult to sit with someone as they struggle, but this is often exactly what is called for.


Consider how this advice resonates for you. Have you found it helpful when people have been there for you in these ways? How has it been for you to be there for others in these ways? What has given you the strength to do this?


If you would like to read more in detail about this topic in my The Art of Relationships blog, click here .




Dr. Becker-Phelps's discussions and her responses in those discussions are for general educational purposes only. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.


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