Can I Talk to My Therapist About Private Family Stuff?

Can I Talk to My Therapist About Private Family Stuff?

My mom's been upset about something. We're real close, and I knew something was up with my dad. When I asked if they were getting a divorce, she sort of spilled and asked me not to tell anyone. I promised I wouldn't, but it's real hard because things are feeling a little confusing right now. I really want someone to talk tois it OK to tell my therapist?
- Kallie*

This is a good question because lots of people wonder who they can talk to about their feelings when someone asks them not to tell. It can be hard not having anyone to talk to when family unhappiness leaves you with a burden of feelings to carry and no one to confide in.

In your case you are lucky — you have your therapist to confide in. Talking to a therapist is different, because conversations with a therapist are confidential and private. You can tell your therapist that your mom asked you not to talk about this because it's still a private matter, but you need help dealing with it.

Part of your therapist's job is helping you cope with complicated feelings and thoughts. A therapist is the one person you can tell your troubles to without worrying about the gossip factor. This way, you can get the support you need without breaking your mom's confidence by taking to friends or family members before she is ready.

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: May 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

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Related Resources
OrganizationChildren's Rights Council Local chapters of the Children's Rights Council throughout the country deal with custody issues and divorce reform and work to ensure meaningful and continuing contact for the child between both parents and extended families. Contact them at: Children's Rights Council 6200 Editors Park Dr., Suite 103 Hyattsville, MD 20782 (301) 559-3120
OrganizationAmerican Association for Marriage and Family Therapists This organization provides listings of marriage and family therapists nationwide.
OrganizationAmerican Psychological Association (APA) The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.
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