How do I tell my mom I need help?

I believe I could benefit from speaking to a mental health professional.

How do I bring this up with my mom?

Ben's Answer:

Everyone has a right to privacy. If you are unclear about your own feelings or problems, or if you simply don't feel comfortable talking about the specific details of your issues with your mom, then it should be enough that you simply tell her you want to talk to a therapist. I'm assuming you are in your teens.

If my teenager told me they wanted to talk to a therapist, I would be concerned about them, and I'd ask what's bothering them. If they told me they weren't comfortable talking to me about it, I'd respect that boundary and take them to a therapist, (and hope that at some point the therapist would invite me to a family session where we could start to talk about what's going on).

Every parent is different. I don't know what your mother's issues are, or if there are problems between you. But the best approach for most people is to just be direct, honest and assertive. Ask for what you want and stick to it, with no shame or guilt about it.

Any parent who refuses to get professional help for their kid when they are asking for it, is being reckless and irresponsible, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, I've seen many parents do exactly that.

Eventually your mom would have a right to know at least some of the reasons why you are asking for this kind of help, and hopefully the therapist would skillfully help you without excluding your mother completely.

Good Luck.

Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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