I Need Help in Getting to a Therapist

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the U.S. I’m 16 and I want to ask my mom to take me to see a professional therapist about a few mental disorders that I feel like I may have, but I just don’t know how to go about it and some part of me doesn’t want to go through with it.

My family treats me differently as is because they think something is already wrong with me, but they way they treat me is harsh and it really bothers me (they aren’t abusive or anything, just their words aren’t always they kindest). The part of me that doesn’t want to go through with seeing a professional is because I’m afraid that if I were to be diagnosed with what I do think that I have I might be treated even more different than I was before, but not in a positive way.

I feel like my family won’t try to be supportive or kind, but will treat me differently ( like an outcast), even more harsh, more rude, and won’t be supportive because they know what’s wrong with me. I just don’t know what to do, I want to get help for myself, but I don’t want it if my family is going to outcast me even more than they do know now. I could really use some advice. thank you.

A: There’s nothing so powerful in derailing an argument than to agree with the person who is arguing with you. I wonder what would happen if you quietly and calmly, in the most mature way possible, agreed with your folks that, yes, something is wrong with you and you want to fix it. Then ask that they please find a therapist. If they treat the request rudely, just repeat that you agree and want to try to change. It may be hard to keep your cool. But, as you already know, adding your rudeness to their rudeness doesn’t get you anywhere.

You might ask your school guidance counselor or your doctor to give you the names of some local therapists who work with adolescents. Once you get started, your therapist might ask that your parents join you for a few sessions. I encourage that. It will be harder to hold onto any changes you make if you go home to the same situation every day.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jul 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). I Need Help in Getting to a Therapist. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/07/21/i-need-help-in-getting-to-a-therapist/