I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. Teenagers who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In sessions with your therapist, you’ll explore the problem(s) you are facing and find solutions by expanding on your strengths, skills, and capabilities.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way – teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counselling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed, sometimes counselling is needed, and sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counselling.
Will you tell my parents what we talk about in sessions?
Whatever you and your therapist discuss is confidential. This means that your therapist cannot share any information without permission from you. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:
- If your therapist has reason to believe that a child has been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused, or has experienced neglect.
- If your therapist has reason to believe that you might seriously harm yourself or someone else.
- If a court order or other legalisation legally requires your therapist to provide information.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general questions page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them. The length of time counselling takes depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counselling in the first place.