1. Take their concerns seriously

  • Listen first to understand and acknowledge
  • Pause on sharing your point of view or trying to fix a problem

2. Validate their experience

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Request clarification
  • Paraphrase what was said so they know you’ve heard them

3. Help them feel supported

  • Mirror feelings
  • Use positive body language (stay open, have a relaxed body posture)
  • If relevant and applicable, share a similar experience you may have had

4. Give your full attention to their words and body language without judgment to deepen your understanding of their concerns

  • Try not to interrupt
  • Avoid giving advice

5. Offer help

  • Offer to walk with them through the process of finding and seeking help from a therapist or online resource
  • Offer to help schedule an appointment
  • Offer to accompany them to their first session