Will my therapist tell my parents? This is a very serious concern for many couples and is one of the main reasons that couples seek therapy. Parents are often innocent participants in the therapy process, but they too can become confused and even defensive about the therapist’s attempts to gain information from them about their family. This can have a detrimental effect on the entire therapy process. Below are some things that parents should watch out for when their therapist asks them about their family.
You may feel compelled to tell the therapist everything you know about your family. Even if you don’t, your therapist may try to get you to do so. The more you give away, the more he or she will be able to draw conclusions from you that are likely inaccurate. This may cause emotional pain to you and your partner, especially if your therapist begins to question your motives. You may also discover that you were not really given an accurate assessment of your situation and that your therapist made many mistakes that were not clarified when you talked with your parent.
When you and your therapist are communicating, there is usually an assumption that your parent is just along for the ride. You may not realize that this assumption is false, but therapists do tend to view all of their clients as naive or unknowing of what is really going on. If your therapist starts asking questions about why you did something that you may have considered inappropriate, you may feel that your parent is purposely trying to find reasons to criticize you. You will soon learn that it is unproductive to criticize your therapist when he or she is merely trying to obtain additional information through communication.
If you are careful and remain honest with the therapist, you will be amazed at how much information they will be able to gather from you without you having to say a word. You may even discover that the original question that you had is actually not the most important question. This is the point where you can open up and say, “Well, actually, the question I was asked was whether or not I felt that I was making mistakes. And while I am sure that you think that I am making mistakes, and I do too, but I want to hear your opinion on the matter.” This may sound like a simple request, but you must be completely honest with the therapist in order to receive this valuable feedback.
It is very important to remember that your child is the one who is experiencing all of these emotions, including shame, guilt, fear, and self-pity. As such, your therapist is attempting to understand all of the conflicting feelings and behaviors that your child is experiencing. Your job is to let your therapist know exactly what those feelings and behaviors are and to help your therapist to make an accurate assessment. In some cases, your child’s problems are so overwhelming that he or she is simply unable to participate in the therapy. If this is the case, it is important to let your therapist know this as well. Tell your therapist exactly what you are doing and why; if nothing changes, it may be time to seek help from another therapist who may be able to provide your child with additional guidance.
If your therapist tells your parents that you are making mistakes, does this mean that they should leave the room? Therapy can be uncomfortable for both your child and for your parents, and everyone has a right to feel uncomfortable when their body is being examined. However, if your therapist tells your parents that they are making a mistake, it may be time to consider looking for someone else to help out. You should feel comfortable leaving your children alone with your therapist. You should keep in mind that the purpose of therapy is to help your child become empowered through facing his or her own problems and learning new ways of thinking.
When your therapist tells your parents that you are making mistakes, it is important to stay calm and listen to what their therapist is telling you. You are your child’s best advocate, and you need to remain professional and unbiased throughout the entire therapy session. Remember that therapy is supposed to make you feel better and teach you how to better care for yourself. It should not cause you to feel angry at your own mother.
If, after considering all of these factors, your therapist does tell your parents that they think that they made mistakes, what do they do? They need to ask for clarification on this point. It is okay to ask questions about how they came to that conclusion. If your therapist is vague, this could mean that he/she didn’t explain things clearly enough. If they refuse to answer your questions, it is time to find someone else to work with.