I’ve recently begun meeting with a school psychologist for a lack of motivation and a sexual assault by a random assailant that I suffered this summer. However, due to our state laws a school counselor is required to report any kind of sexual abuse to the police and my parents. There is no way I would ever want my parents to find out; I would most likely be blamed and it would be terrible for all parties involved. This means that I cannot speak to the therapist about the incident because she’ll be legally bound to report it. However, there really isn’t anyone else for me to talk to about this besides the counselor. It’s been 6 months and I still have yet to sit down and tell someone what happened. It is a tremendous weight, and I really wish I could just say what happened so I can begin recovery and really move on. My 18th birthday isn’t for a long time and I don’t think I can carry this for that long. Is there anywhere else I can seek help as a minor that does not involve parents? It’s so important that I begin letting go and moving on, but this law is a huge communication block for me.

A: I deeply appreciate the courage it takes to write us. This is a safe place for you to discuss this issue. I would certainly stay with your counselor for now, but supplement this in three ways. First I would join the forums here at PsychCentral as a way of developing a communication and support network. Here is a link for you to try.

Secondly, every state has a hotline that can be called anonymously, and the counselors there a very well-trained. You can learn more about your options by talking to them anonymously, yet directly. You can get more information about this here.

Finally, believe it or not, you can talk to your counselor about the difficulty of talking to your counselor. You can explain the struggle to him or her and together come up with a plan. You wouldn’t be the first teenager caught in this dilemma. If you explain that you feel at this time this will make things worse, not better, the school counselor will be able to help.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral