There’s No Way He’d Talk to a Therapist

Your dad’s assisted living community just recommended psychotherapy for your dad. His wife died 5 weeks ago.  He now rarely comes out of his apartment. When you visit, you have noticed that his clothes are getting looser, his demeanor gruffer, and his desire to sleep stronger. Once a jovial, outgoing guy, he is now grumpy and difficult to approach.

He does seem depressed.

When the nurse suggested a therapist you immediately scoffed. “Sure, he’s depressed. Who wouldn’t be?”  His move to the assisted living was hard. He only agreed because your mom needed so much care. He realized he couldn’t do it any more at home. Now, he also needs a lot of care; and losing mom was really difficult.  It’s been a tough transition.

But he’d never talk to a therapist.

“Therapy is great–I even have my own therapist I’ve been seeing for years. But my dad would never see a therapist.”  Many older adults, especially men, have spent decades keeping their feeling closed off. Vulnerability is akin to weakness, they think. Or talking about problems doesn’t make anything better

He might talk to us.

You’d be surprised by how many individuals are willing to talk to a therapist. When we engage our clients with a kind, genuine, open manner that expresses compassion and acceptance, they feel their suffering acknowledged, their pain validated.  And in that is healing and a powerful therapeutic relationship.  Many clients, whose families thought they would never talk to us, have agreed to meet with us and have effectively connected with our clinicians.  

The Clinical Social Workers at Mindful Transitions work exclusively with older adults, most of whom live in independent living or assisted living communities.  We are experienced in working with clients that have never been in therapy before, and we approach each client with gentleness and acceptance.  If you think your loved one would never see a therapist, give us a call anyways. You might be pleasantly surprised.

To learn more about the social work services at Mindful Transitions, please contact us at

or (678) 637-7166.