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This is a normal and appropriate question from parents.  As parents, it is important to reiterate that attending therapy does not mean that there is something intrinsically wrong with your child. Parents may find the process of seeking therapy for their children more anxiety-provoking than the child does.
Adolescents generally settle into the process quickly and develop an understanding of my role in helping them or their family. At times, however, they do resist, so here are some tips to help you:
  • Talk to them about attending therapy in a calm moment - it should not be announced during an argument or in anger, or else it may be seen as punishment or a threat.
  • Identify the issue - in a compassionate way, parents can tell their child that they notice they have been struggling, and then empathize with how hard it must be for them. Highlight that seeking guidance is a sign of strength to grow and develop.
  • Explain psychotherapy - how it works and what they can expect, so as to ease anxiety of the unknown.
  • Normalise therapy - explain that it is a safe, confidential place, and that many people attend therapy.
  • CONFIDENTIALITY - ensure that you respect their privacy, so don't discuss the process or their concerns in front of anyone else without their consent. 
If you are struggling to explain the importance of therapy to your child, it is a process which I, as the therapist, can facilitate and guide during the sessions.