Parents are not always the best ones to turn to for help. They might be too busy, too involved in their own lives, or they may not have the mental health knowledge necessary to help you.
Therapy is a great way to deal with mental health issues. But it can be hard to get your parents to agree to the idea of therapy. So when you know for a fact that you need it, here are a few ways to convince your parents that it is necessary.
Ways to ask your parents for therapy:
1- Find a friend in one of your parents, or in both:
If your parents are not close to you or not your friends, as in you don’t share much with them nor ever talk to them about what you’re going through in life, then they may be unable to relate to your needs. This is why you have to find a friend in one of them or both, tell them what’s on your mind and what you’re going through.
You have to have good communication skills, as our parents tend to want to take action if they learn about a struggle we’re going through. So in this case, you have to clearly state that it’s not what you expect from them, and you’re only telling them to confide in them and not to ask them to intervene in any way.
Learning to communicate what you want clearly, without shouting, without getting angry, and without conflict can be a valuable life skill to develop and use not just with your parents. However, in this case, you have to focus on clearly stating that you want to be close to them and start sharing things with them, and trusting that they will only listen and not meddle in your life matters.
2- Tell them that it could help you better yourself and better your future too:
Your parents may be in denial about how important it is for you to get therapy and how badly you need it. And, that’s okay they don’t have to understand all because they’re not your therapist.
But, what you should make sure that they understand well is that the problem you’re having and need therapy for is affecting your day-to-day life, your personality, your social interaction, and even your success rate in life. Explain how much it could change you as a person for the better and affect your future too, to get therapy.
If they still refuse, then you should talk about how much this issue affects your life and how much better you would feel if you went through therapy. Showing your parents that this decision will have a big impact on your life might be enough for them to change their minds.
“To get therapy today, move on from your problems and focus on more important things means to have a chance at a better future”, try explaining this idea and concept to them. They will see that you’re mature enough to understand the importance of and to want to have a good future. So more than likely, they will only find themselves offering help.
3- Tell them that it’s a way to avoid worse outcomes:
The first step is to talk to them about what you want and why you want it. If they are not convinced, then you should try to show them that it is worth it by giving them some examples of what could happen if they don’t go through with therapy, such as low grades, social isolation, or possible worse outcomes, etc.
It’s a difficult thing for parents to accept that their child actually needs therapy and is not just going through something simple and temporary. This has a lot to do with the stigma surrounding mental health as it is unfortunately still very much alive in our society.
So in this case, what’s worse than admitting that your child has a problem that weighs heavy on their mind and getting them therapy, or paying the consequences later in the life of having ignored that issue?
4- Tell them it was hard for you to admit needing therapy, as it is:
Tell your parents and explain how much you would not have asked for it if it wasn’t necessary. Remind them that you yourself found it difficult to admit needing help and that now that you did they should not make you feel bad for it but understand and show a positive reaction.
Parents might not know how to help you, but they are still your parents and they care about you. So if you say that it took you time to ask, they will know that it is serious and that you took your time to think about it. And, that it’s not a new whim or urge you got this morning.
5- Tell them that you were hoping they react positively:
There are many reasons why people might not tell their parents about therapy: they might not want them to worry; they may be afraid of disappointing them, or they may think that their parents will react negatively. So tell them this and make them understand that you were worried about having to tell them and get their help.
When they hear that you thought about their reaction and were worried about it, but still needed to let it out so that they can help, they may be more understanding. But the most important thing is that this is about your health and well-being, so don’t let anything stand in the way.
6- Do your research beforehand:
Some people might say that therapy is not necessary and that it is a waste of money, sadly. But therapy is necessary for everyone at some point in their life. It can be hard to convince your parents to let you go to therapy and they might not even know what it is.
It’s important to know what kind of therapist you need, how much they cost, and how long the sessions are. You should also have an idea of what your parents think about the topic of therapy so you can approach them with the information they need to make a decision.
The bottom line:
Therapy can be difficult for a child to ask for from their own parents. It might be hard imagining how your parents would react if you asked them.
That’s simply because parents do what’s best for us and they may be in denial regarding whatever is going wrong with you and your mental health because they’d rather think that you’re fine, healthy, happy, and okay. But, this doesn’t help in any way so you’d have to find a middle ground with them and get them to understand that you have a genuine need for it.