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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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THerapist at school - October 8th 2009, 06:06 AM

My therapist has a confidentiality agreement stating that she can't tell your parents about anything unless it will harm you or someone else, would mild self harm be in this category? I need help but I don't want my parents to know.
   
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Re: THerapist at school - October 8th 2009, 05:48 PM

Hey Clara,

It depends on your age. I think if you are over 16 they don't have to inform your parents but if you are under 16 they do. I am not definitely sure about this but my psychologist never told my dad about my self harm or wanting to overdose when I felt like it when I was over 16. I think though either way you should talk to the therapist about your self harm so you can look at other ways you can cope. Even if your parents do find out what is the worst thing that could happen? They could even be supportive so it might not be as bad as you think if they knew.

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Re: THerapist at school - October 8th 2009, 05:55 PM

i thought it was if you're under 18, not 16? but i could be wrong.

but yeah, it's difficult to say whether it falls into this category. but usually, yes it does. if you tell the school therapist that you SH then there is definitely a chance that your parents will find out. it varies from school to school, also. and how old you are will be a deciding factor. i'd say the younger you are the more likely they are to inform your parents.


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Re: THerapist at school - October 8th 2009, 06:01 PM

I think they only have to tell your parents if you're under 18, so she probably can't tell them anyway.
   
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Re: THerapist at school - October 8th 2009, 06:18 PM

It is dependent on your therapist and her/the school's policy whether they will have to inform your parents or not about your self harm, it is also dependent on your age too, which has already been mentioned. I live in England and I'm 17 and neither my school counsellor or my psychiatric nurse have had to tell my parents about my self harm. If you are worried about telling your therapist due to this issue then you could simply ask your therapist about their confidentiality policy - if they say that your parents would need to be informed then I do think that you should still consider talking about self harm to your therapist as it could be beneficial for you to be open about the subject and to talk about it to someone.

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Re: THerapist at school - October 8th 2009, 06:27 PM

It is 18 but it does depend on the person, I only told mine that I was having thoughts and she told mine without even talking to me about me first so you might have to watch yourself. Your therapist might not worry that much if she trusts you but if you are harming yourself, she might do. The good thing is that you're crawling out your shell and getting help right? So maybe if your parents knew they might be able to support you and school could help them understand SH if you think they might blow their top over it.


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Re: THerapist at school - October 9th 2009, 03:07 AM

I am not sure but I really think it depends on the therapist, their policy, the severity of the self harm/harmful thoughts. You know, you could always broach the subject with your therapist. Say something like "What if one of your patients was self harming?" That way you are not telling your therapist but you are going to get a truthful answer. I did that a number of times with my therapist and it helped ease things.


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Re: THerapist at school - October 9th 2009, 04:02 AM

Like most people are saying, it depends on the therapist. Even if the confidentiality policy is "only in emergencies", the degree of understanding of self-harm varies from therapist to therapist (though if they're working with teenagers but don't know much about it, they're in for a helluva ride).

Another way to bring it up might be to ask your therapist what the policy means specifically by "harm". If that doesn't get you the answer you want, a direct question like "are we talking about only emergency situations where someone will die if you don't say something, or would you tell my parents if I was cutting or smoking pot?" would probably do it.

Once you're 18 (19 in some places), then your parents shouldn't be hearing anything. Shouldn't, anyhow.
   
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Re: THerapist at school - October 11th 2009, 11:11 PM

That's how school counseling is here in the US. Regardless of age, if you are harming yourself or others your parents will be contacted. It is really worth it though. My guidance counselor had to call my mom like three times, and it's not as bad as you think. You can get the help you need and deserve!


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Re: THerapist at school - October 11th 2009, 11:14 PM

Yeah, the only way to know for sure is to ask. You can always do that without giving yourself away by just asking some general questions about her policy.
But even if she does tell your parents something, it's not the end of the world. It's so awesome that you're thinking about talking to her about it. You can get the help you deserve.


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Re: THerapist at school - October 11th 2009, 11:31 PM

They wont tell your parents if your over 16 and they can only tell your parents about your self harm. if its getting worse or if you have said it's ok for them to talk to your parents about it. At least when I was at school that's what i was told by my therapist.
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