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by Abigail Van Buren

Supportive Friend Should Leave Therapy to an Expert

DEAR ABBY: I am a college student on the East Coast. A dear friend of mine who attends the same university goes home on break to the West Coast.

She was raped at a party. Over the summer break she found out she was pregnant and had an abortion. She's now suffering from some intense emotional and psychological problems and sees a campus therapist.

Abby, I want to be supportive, but I'm not sure how. I don't know what to say around her or how to keep her mind off it, or if I should. Can you help me? -- CONCERNED FRIEND

DEAR CONCERNED FRIEND: You are this young woman's friend. Let her know you are there for her. Treat her as you always have and talk about the things you always have with her. It is not your job to distract her from thinking about what happened to her.

If she wants to talk about it, be prepared to listen and sympathize. But if she needs more than that, remind her that she has a licensed therapist who is more qualified to help than you are, and encourage her to contact the person if something is dragging her down.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Work & School | Mental Health