How to Refer Someone
Do you know someone whose life has been touched by cancer who could use my services?
I would love for you to let someone know about me, but I understand that it is sometimes difficult to refer someone to a counselor. You might feel that if you tell the person about my services, that somehow the person may take it to mean that you think there’s “something wrong” with him or her. There is still such a stigma around counseling and myths abound from movies and television shows about what therapy is like. The following are some ways you can help people to get the help they need:
Dispel the myths about counseling
One way you can help is to dispel the myths that are out there about what it means to see a counselor and what counseling is like.
- Myth: If you see a counselor, there is “something wrong with you.”
Let people know that seeing a counselor does not, by any means, mean there is something wrong with someone. Let them know that it does not mean that a person is “sick” or “crazy.” In fact, many well-adjusted people seek counseling to help them cope with and manage their life circumstances…especially people with cancer. Because having cancer is a traumatic experience, it can throw even the most “normal,” stable people for a loop.
- Myth: Counseling involves lying on a couch and talking about your childhood.
Let people know that counseling is not all about talking about the past. Although sometimes people do want to talk about the past, counseling can be very present- and future-focused. You can tell people that counseling can be about sorting through what’s going on inside them and around them currently. It can be action-oriented if they choose, focusing on steps they can take toward their goals. It can be focused on learning and applying strategies and techniques for coping with their life circumstances.
- Myth: “Counseling doesn’t work for me.”
If someone has seen a counselor before and tells you that counseling doesn’t work for him or her, you can tell the person that it is all about the match between the person and the counselor. I have been to counselors that were not good matches and because of that, they could not help me. Others may go to the same counselor and wonder what they ever did without him or her. And I have been to counselors whom I thought were brilliant that others decided they did not want to see. Choice of counselor is totally subjective and sometimes one has to look around a bit before finding the right match. Counseling works when a person finds the right match for him or her.
Refer People to My Website
Another way of letting people know that you think my services might be of help to them is to refer them to my website. You can tell them that you found this website and that it has some free resources and information, including coping checklists, book recommendations, inspirational quotes, and a blog with helpful articles, as well as a free workbook and video series they can download.
Once people read about what I offer and my unique background as a cancer survivor turned counselor, they may take it upon themselves to call for a free phone consultation. If not, then at least they will get some free information that will be of help to them.
You can let people know that I offer an initial 15 minute phone consultation at no charge so they can talk with me first without any further obligation to see if they would like to work with me. If someone can not travel to my office in Portland, Maine, you can let them know that I offer phone and video counseling & coaching as well.
Tell People About My Coaching Services
An additional thing you can do, especially if you think that someone would be particularly averse to seeing a counselor/therapist, is to inform people about my coaching services. You can let people know that cancer coaching can be a great way to get support for those who want to learn ways to manage the cancer journey more easily, and that coaching has an educational focus. You can tell the person that with coaching, they can focus on setting goals for what they want to be different or better in their life.
You can ask the person to consider that “coaching” for cancer is similar to coaching in sports. Every team or individual athlete has a coach. Having a coach does not mean there is anything wrong with the individual or team…a coach helps you learn new strategies, skills, and approaches. It can be a lot like that with a cancer coach. Because I have had cancer, I am able to coach people on ways to help make the cancer journey easier. Who wouldn’t want that?
You can also refer them to my Services page so that they can read more about coaching.
And please remember, I work with anyone who is affected by cancer…that means family members, spouses/partners, adult children, parents, and friends. So if you need counseling or coaching for yourself, or know a “caregiver” who does, please Contact Me.
To schedule a session or set up an initial phone consultation at no charge, call me at 207-773-1143 or email me at dawn[at]awakeningcounseling.com.