How To Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy?

Last Update on July 18, 2023 : Published on April 21, 2023
How to tell your parents you need therapy

You’re not alone in dealing with mental health struggles. According to WHO, more than 20% of people (ages 12-18, mostly) live with some mental health issue, whether it be anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders. Sadly, this group of people is the one that suffers the most as their struggles are normally left undetected and untreated.

Accepting that you need to seek help is the first step in the healing process. And asking for one is the second-most important step. The idea that you want therapy can be daunting, and even more terrifying can be the thought to tell your parents that you need therapy.

Please know that it’s OK to feel scared and constantly question what your next steps should be. I didn’t have a guide when I wanted to tell my parents that I need therapy, but after some trial and error, I now understand what to do and say when I feel the need to seek help.

Discussing the idea of wanting therapy with parents can be scary, but this guide here can help you figure out steps on how to begin the conversation about how you need a therapist, questions your parents might ask, and what to do next.

How to Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy?

If you find yourself in a never-ending loop of questions such as, “How do I tell my parents I need therapy?” or “Should I tell my parents I am in therapy?” and more, then here are some tips for you on how you can begin that conversation;

Broaching the topic of how you need therapy can be uncomfortable especially if your parents are not very supportive of your condition. Teens and young adults often face this uneasiness, but there are always ways to make it less uncomfortable.

Before beginning the conversation with your parents, check in with yourself. Ask yourself;

Will the therapy be good for you?

Why do you need therapy now?

What goals are you looking forward to meeting in therapy?

Once you find some answers within, do research. You need good and valid points to argue your case. Research what kind of therapy you need, why is that approach good for you or meets your goals, and more.

Knowing what you want can help your parents understand what can help you feel better. It’s also important to remember to not speak anything that suggests that your parents are in the wrong or responsible for your condition. Try to share what you want to learn from therapy.

How to Prepare For the Conversation?

Now that you’re aware of what you want, here are some steps you can take to tell your parents you need therapy or wish to see a therapist;

1. Plan Beforehand

When you have a plan prepared, you feel more in control of the conversation. Figure out when to talk to your parents and what topics to talk about. It’s important to consider your parents’ stress levels before you tell them about the need for a therapist. Try to think clearly about what you want and leave no room for misunderstanding.

2. Choose a Mode of Communication

Another step you need to consider when wanting to tell your parents that you need therapy is to choose a mode of communication. Think about what is the best way to talk to your parents. Can you have this conversation face to face, or is it better to be done via video or audio call?

3. Practice the Conversation

It’ll be good if you can practice the conversation before a mirror or draft the content in a diary. Imagine the kind of responses you might get from your parents and be prepared for them. You can practice anticipating questions and answers to build confidence in the success of the conversation.

4. Involve Your Parents in the Final Decision

There would be parents who’d not believe that you need therapy or there would be some who would feel scared of what will happen if they say yes to therapy. In any case, try to involve your parents in the final decision. Ask them to help you find the right therapist or counselor. Allow them to be a part of your decision-making process.

How to Respond Your Parents when Talking About You need Therapy?

Your Parents Might be Concerned About…

The stigma surrounding mental health is strong and can make it challenging for anyone – an adult or a teen – to seek the help they need. With parents, there is a generation gap that can prevent them from seeing the truth or benefits of therapy. Even then, parents want the best for you and there would be parents who would want to learn more about your struggles.

With this in mind, be ready to answer some questions from your parents that might center around your condition or what you’re feeling;

  • How long have you been feeling this?
  • Did something trigger this feeling?
  • Were we responsible for you feeling this way?
  • What can we do for you to make you feel better?

When parents might ask these questions, there are some other ways they can respond to your conversation;

1. Talk to Us:

Parents become easily offended when you say you want to talk to a therapist rather than them. Because of this, you need to be prepared to let them know that you would like to speak to a professional as a different perspective might help improve your self-understanding.

2. Is it Serious?

Parents might also ask you if you’re planning on taking the therapy seriously. They want to learn more about your willingness to stick to your therapy goals. They also want reassurance that the money and time they put into therapy would be beneficial for you.

3. The Cost of Therapy:

On the topic of time and money, parents would also want to learn how much the therapy would cost. They might ask questions about your insurance or if you’d like them to pay, and how would you contribute to the cost of therapy. Research well beforehand about the financial part of therapy so that it’s easier to answer their inquiry.

4. Will You Disclose Your Therapy Sessions With Us?

Another thing that your parents would be concerned about might be their involvement in your healing. You need to consider how much involvement you want from your parents in your therapy. Discuss boundaries, expectations, and everything that comes with it.

What if Your Parents Aren’t Supportive?

Sadly, not all parents would be supportive of their child’s decision to seek therapy. If this happens to you, then you can try to seek or reach out to your school counselor or consider going to a free clinic. There are also community groups and centers that might offer counseling for free. These professionals might be able to help you convince your parents about why it’s good to seek a mental health professional’s counsel.

If your parents still refuse therapy or are unsupportive, then simply give them time. As I said, different generations have different perceptions of therapy. It could be the stigma that might be driving your parents’ mindsets. Let them sit with this for a while and let them do their research.


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If Your Parents ARE Supportive, Then You Can…

If your parents are supportive of your wanting to seek therapy, then you can involve them in seeking the right therapist. There are many mental health professionals that you can choose from.

If you want to seek online counseling, then there are many online therapy platforms for teens that you can connect with or if you want to seek face-to-face therapy, then consider reaching out to a healthcare provider in your vicinity.

Make sure you ask the right questions, credentials, and experience when selecting a therapist. You can also reach out to these online therapy platforms for teens or seek these resources for more help and support.

A Word From The Writer’s Desk

Telling my parents that I needed therapy was probably the most courageous and daunting thing to do in my life. And yet, my parents’ support and understanding of my struggles helped me gain the confidence that I was previously lacking. If you’re concerned about your mental state, then acknowledging you need help and then asking for help can be the first two steps to your healing journey.

If you’re asking yourself, “How do I tell my parents that I need therapy?” I hope the steps and tips in this article will guide you. Try to pick the right time and topic, and be clear about your goals or needs. If you need help to convince your parents about your need to see a therapist, then you can always reach out to a professional counselor for guidance.

For more, feel free to connect with us by writing to us at or leaving us a message on our social media. We’re always here to help you.

Take care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.


  1. sarfraz Ali
    sarfraz Ali

    Most of the time we never said but here you are explaining such a nice way to deal with it.

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