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I want to see a therapist. How do I tell my parents?

246 Answers
Last Updated: 04/24/2022 at 6:07pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Danielle Johnson, MSED, Community mental Health Counseling, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Sometime situations and feelings can be so strong that we struggle to function. You are not alone! My practice is flexible and open-minded and tailored to your personal needs.

Top Rated Answers
September 12th, 2018 7:33am
Growing up I had the same problem. I knew I needed help but I didn't know how to ask for it. I never actually had the nerve to talk to my parents about it. It's going to be a very uncomfortable conversation, I'm not going to lie. But the easiest way to do it is to just come right out and say it. Do it in a calm environment and don't beat around the bush. Do it fast and don't over think it, kinda like ripping off a bandaid. It might be hard to do but getting the help you need will be worth it.
October 5th, 2018 12:23am
how i asked my parents was what i thought was something really hard. i really did just ask. i told them i wasn't feeling well and i seem to feel like no one else can help me but i hear therapist try their hardest to. that i want to see if they can help me and see if i can feel better. you should tell them of course why you want to see a therapist and they'll most likely understand why and help you see one. dont be scared to open up just a little bit so you can seek help from someone else.
October 6th, 2018 6:42pm
If you don’t feel comfortable telling them you don’t have to. Your school probably has therapists you can see for free without telling them, if you think you’d be in danger if they knew you were seeing a therapist. But if you do want them to know, I think just approach them and say it’s like seeing a general practioneer for a yearly check up. Why should you be ashamed of taking care of your mental health but not your physical health? Exactly, you shouldn’t be. I hope I could help and good luck on your mental health journey.
October 21st, 2018 3:59am
First make sure they are in a clam and Comfortable situation pic a the time carefully, not exactly after they are back from work or in the middle of a meal .Start by explaining that you have a problem that is out of your control or there’s but it needs a professional help to deal with then explain the reason and how much that help is going to benefit you in your life . Make sure you are calm and not easily irritated . Be prepared to be asked all kind of questions your parents care about you and are worried so put that in your mind .
October 25th, 2018 8:11pm
Telling your parents is so difficult becuse sometimes they don’t see the whole picture and might not see what’s been going on. I think you need to be honest and tell them that you want to see a therapist and be willing to tell them a bit on how you are feeling, and just say that you feel like you need help and it’s okay to admit that, it’s not a bad thing and they would far rather you get help and speak out than not tell anyone and let the problems get worse and affect your life more.
November 14th, 2018 3:14pm
You can start saying that in the last period of time you are feeling more stressed and you don‘t know what to do. You heard from a friend that he went to a therapist and it helped him, that‘s why you had this idea too... and you would like to try it. If you are scared of talking, how about writing a letter? Or a message? You can just hand it out to them without the need of talking, they will ask questions but if they notice that it‘s for your best, they will hardly say no! Be strong
November 16th, 2018 6:05pm
Just approach your parents honestly and tell them that you feel like you would benefit from talking to a therapist. Be prepared to answer why, as they will probably want to know. They might need your help in understanding why you can’t just talk to them. Be honest, but also be kind. It might help to tell them you feel it would be easier to talk with a professional than someone who is close to you. They may be completely supportive. If they are hesitant, keep the dialogue open and try to understand their concerns.
December 7th, 2018 6:52pm
If you want to see a therapist, you can start by telling your parents what you have been experienced and how you felt, be completely honest because they may be your first therapists. If it's too hard to start talking to them, you can try leaving a note for them where you know they will come to (a refrigerator, laptop, etc), so they can briefly know what happens and find you to talk about it. In case your parents don't encourage you to see a therapist for some specific reasons, you should talk to your teacher or counselor so they can help provide the help you need from school. Good luck!
January 9th, 2019 4:23pm
Try telling your parents how you feel. Tell them why you think you need a therapist. If they don't understand, then try to explain specific issues you are having. sometimes it helps them to understand if you put some context to your words. give them a specific example of when a therapist could have benefited your well being. Unfortunately you can't force them to let you see a therapist. But another thing yo could do is just go on 7 cups! We have licensed therapists on here for people like you! I hope this helped, remember to shine bright and stay positive!
January 19th, 2019 8:00am
I think you should find a good moment when you're all free to talk for a while. Just say the reasons why you feel you need a therapist. If your parents know how you feel, they'll more likely than not try to help you. Your parents want what's best for you, and if they know how you feel, they'll try to help you as best they can. You're their child and you should feel comfortable telling your parents what you feel you need. Just say why you need a therapist and give good reasons. Therapy is expensive, and if you don't give good reasons, your parents won't want to spend money that they think is unnecessary, but if they know you need it badly then they'll probably get you a therapist. I hope I've helped you.
January 24th, 2019 5:26am
I think you should sit them down and tell them how you really feel. Tell them your thoughts and tell them that you will need to see a therapist. Explain to them that professional help will benefit you tremendously due to the thoughts you are having. Sometimes it can be hard but they will understand. Just be honest and be yourself and they will see it and understand. They love you, it is important that you understand. Don’t let anything stop you. You are strong and need to know who you are. This conversation will be very important for you and them as well.
January 28th, 2019 4:43am
You don't necessarily have to tell your parents if you don't want to. You can find out through your school or local doctor's office if there are free therapy services available that you could use. However, if you want to tell them, you could ask to chat with them and sit down in a calm place where you feel comfortable. You could explain that you haven't been feeling well and you'd like to speak to a counselor. They may want to know what you'd like to speak to a counselor about, but it's totally fine for you to say that you would rather not share that with them right away.
March 28th, 2019 3:09am
Make sure you tell them in a way that’s respectful to them and definitely don’t pass any blame onto them. If you haven’t talked to them about whatever issue you want to see a therapist for then that’s a conversation that you should have first. They’re more likely to respond negatively if they don’t understand where you’re coming from. I can see how in a family that isn’t the best at communicating but just remember that they’re your parents and they want you to be happy and healthy. Ultimately this isn’t any different than asking your parents to take you to the doctors because of a physical injury. Take into consideration who your parents are and how they’ve reacted to certain situations but really just try not to stress about it too much. Convey the fact that you want to see a therapist respectfully and clearly.
April 20th, 2019 5:31am
Why are you nervous about asking them if you can start counseling? Many teens are afraid that if they tell their parent, their parent will want to know everything they have going on so that the parent can ‘solve’ the problem. If this is the case for you, I encourage you to tell your parent that you are trying to solve some of your current challenges independently. Other teens know that their parents believe therapy is for “sick” or “crazy” people. If your parent has a belief similar to this, it makes sense to let them know that you are sorting through some personal/social issues that need an objective adult’s viewpoint. This has nothing to do with some scary diagnosis.
April 21st, 2019 2:16am
I would say just be open and honest with your parents about wanting to see a therapist. It may be difficult to do this initially, but Open communication is important so that you can get the support from them while you are receiving therapy. Tell them that it would be helpful if they support you in this, as it is harder going for therapy if you feel you are alone on this journey. If you are able to explain this to them it will possibly make it easier for them to support you and understand what you need from them.
May 23rd, 2019 9:41am
First of all congratulations for wanting to prioritize your mental health. If you want you can sit down both of your parents and explain that you want to make an appointment with your primary care physician. From that point you can explain to your primary care physician that you would like to see a therapist. This way you can have the support of your doctor on your side. Most likely what will happen next is the doctor will refer you to a therapist. Good luck on your journey and I hope this can help you even a little bit. Seeing a therapist for the first time can feel like a daunting task but you got this.
July 12th, 2019 10:42pm
this may be a hard thing to do, but it’s best to get help instead of stay in the dark!! a way to tell your parents that you want a therapist is to be straightforward, instead of beating around the bush or trying to give hints. not being clear can cause your parents to be confused on what you want. you can tell them that you’ve been dealing with some personal problems lately, and although you do trust your parents and their judgements, you want a trained professionals who really knows how to help you, and knows what is best for you.
July 20th, 2019 8:02am
Seeing a therapist is a big step forward in wanting to relieve stress. Therapy isn't just for mental illnesses; Therapy can be as simple as making a one-time-appointment to talk to someone about a big project coming up. Opening up a conversation about seeing a therapist seems scary, right? It doesn't have to be. Saying "Hey mom/dad/guardian, I was wondering if you could make me an appointment with a therapist." If they start to ask you questions on why, just let them know you aren't comfortable with answering. Or, if you are willing to open up, sit them down and have a serious conversation.
July 24th, 2019 7:46pm
The best thing to do is be honest. Not everyone's family is supportive of their journey, but if you feel that seeing a therapist will help you and you need parental support whether its emotionally or financially, it is best to sit down with yoour parents and let them know whats going on with you. You don't have to get into the heavy details, but let them know how you've been feelings and make it clear that you have considered your options and feel that the best one for you is therapy. Just like when making an good argument, consider how they might react, think about what questions they might have and come to the conversation prepared to address their concerns. You have so much more to gain by being honest and transparent about your needs than you do from putting off getting help.
August 4th, 2019 9:04am
Well, mental health is as important as physical health. Taking care of one self is our greatest responsibilty. Polite discussion with parents to make them understand your need is paramount. Communication is the key. Parents want our well being and if we feel that we need help then they would surely understand. We need to communicate freely and responsibly with parents and explain to them why we need to see a therapist. After all its our body and if we think therapy will make us feel better then that what we should be doing. Parents ultimately would definitely understand and agree with you for your well being.
August 18th, 2019 6:17pm
If you are wanting them to know you are wanting to go and see a therapist then be open and honest with them. Tell them that you are wanting to go and see a therapist, your reasons for wanting to do so and that you would like their support and encouragement. However telling your parents that you are going to see a therapist isn't for everyone and it is much better to not tell your parents and seek the help and support that you need than to not tell your parents and not seek the help from a therapist because you are worried what your parents will think. Just be mindful that most parents want the best for their children and therefore most parents will be proud that you are reaching out and seeking support.
September 1st, 2019 4:47pm
You can start off by first centering around your feelings which make you want to see a therapist. It is they who drive you to take this journey. They are evident to you and if you are in touch with them, they will become evident to your parents. Communicate with them from that point of reference. I know this can get voulerable, but it is honest and it is true. You cannot control your parent's reactions, readiness to hear you, nor their opennes. The important thing is that you stay true to your feelings, desires and way in life. We all have this inner sese in us. If things don't work out with your parents and they act negaitively, you can always rely on yourself and your sense of personal truth. This will never fail you and it will ultimately guide you towards the right help when the conditions are right.
October 2nd, 2019 4:41am
I would sit them down and explain to them that you need someone to talk to, you have issues you want to deal with and you think seeing a professional would be good for tot and your mental health. Your parents love and support you and they will be able to help you and will be understanding. The first step is admitting you need help then it’ll go by smoothly after that I think. Therapy is very beneficial and even your parents would probably go with you if tou wanted them too. They will understand! Good luck and I hope you get the help you need
November 27th, 2019 10:31pm
Your parents are there to love and protect you. Asking them may be scary, but you need to trust that they will listen. The worst they will say is no. Just believe in them. Once you ask there will be a weight lifted off of your shoulders l, and you will get the help that you need. If they say no, you need to do why you need. Ask any of you trusted friends or adults in your life. They too will be willing to listen. You need to believe in yourself and do what’s best for you. “ You can do it”
December 25th, 2019 10:39pm
Hey! Ive had times when i wanted to see a therapist too! I had no one to help to, no one to who could understand me! I didnt want to tell my parents about it, because i didnt want to upset them! So i just looked up online and got help! Most of them require a payment, so if you have access to a card or anything cool, if you dont then you can look for a free place! You can always go and talk to your parents and explain your situation and make them understand your need to see a therapist! Parents will always want good for their children right? Hope i could help :)
December 26th, 2019 6:28pm
If you are going through something that is greatly bothering you and you want to see a therapist, telling your parents is tough. I would recommend talking with them when they are not busy and nobody else is around. At home is a good option. If one the parent is not so understanding, talking to the parent who is the most understanding first will do. Letting your parents know what you are going through will ease your thoughts and hopefully give you the support you need. No one should go through their dark times alone. If you can't find support from your parents, letting a friend, relative, or another adult figure know is great.
January 19th, 2020 12:52am
It is your choice on how you tell your parent that you want to see a therapist or a councillor etc. First of all, you should be proud of yourself for reaching this stage on your journey and realising that you can get the help and support that you need. Try by telling your parents how you have been feeling lately or what issue has been bothering you. You could mention how it feels like the best choice for you at the moment and how you need a professional to receive support, and diagnosis. Remind them how you feel and what has led you too this moment. Good luck.
January 19th, 2020 6:12am
First decide for yourself that you want to go. Then take the first step, I know it's hard to start that conversation but it's needed and you can say as much or as little as you feel comfortable with sharing. For me I went to my mom and just said hey Mom I'm wanting to see a counselor I gave her the reason of anxiety but I didn't go into it more than that and just guided the conversation as best I could. She said she doesn't think they can help with that but I told her well I'd like to at least try it. It was that first step that has me now going.
January 23rd, 2020 12:43am
I struggle with this myself. Telling a parent you need or want therapy is not only stressful for yourself, it's also stressful for parents. Your parents could be worried about you and try to ask why. They could also refuse and get mad. While I'm not very knowledgeable about what to do if they get mad, I think coming clean is the best option for both. If you have a really good relationship with them, then you can tell them if you are comfortable. If you aren't, and you believe they really care, then you could just tell them you aren't ready to tell them. Ask them if you could try and get more at peace with yourself and your confidence about this before you tell them. I hope it goes well!
February 29th, 2020 7:53pm
I think that the best option is telling them the truth straight. I know it can be hard, but if you are considering seeing a therapist you are probably on the edge. Seeking help is the best way you can go in this stage. BUT on the other side, I don't think too much emotions would help. If I was in this point of my life I would talk with them in a realistic way with minimum emotions. I don't want to make them feel guilty or failure. The point should be to tell and make clear, not blame anyone.