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Teen psychologist experience

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Teen psychologist experience

Does anybody have this experience

You take your child to a psychologist via GP referral for all the typical 14-16 meltdown bad behavior related issues

Then psychologist says he can't talk to you about your child condition unless the child agrees?

What you do when the child in anger does not agree

Worst the child uses the psychologist comments like " oh you are 15 now and will have opinions... and tells you off!

The GP is supportive

So my question is what can we do as  parents




Re: Teen psychologist experience

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Hi @mmjmmj 


Welcome to the ReachOut Parents forum.


We can hear from your posts you are coping with a lot right now and are feeling stuck about what you can do to help your teen. Your confusion is understandable as it sounds like you have tried many avenues for support and you are not seeing the outcomes you have hoped for. That would be so frustrating for any parent and it is clear how much you love and want what is best for your child. Do you have any supportive people in your life you are able to talk to about what is going on?


It sounds like you have tried a lot already but if you are interested we have some great resources for parents on our website such as supporting and communicating with teenagers you may like to read over. Additionally, if you are interested we have a free coaching service for parents of teenagers who are 12-18 years old. This service helps you find and put into practice solutions relevant to your individual situation. You can find more information here and here.


Here is an article about teenage rights and responsibilities in regard to accessing healthcare, including confidentiality. From the age of 14 teenagers, do have the rights to make certain decisions regarding their health care, including mental health however there are limitations until the age of 16. If you would like further information specific to mental health care you could contact the Australian Psychological Society, who is the regulatory body for psychologists in Australia they should be able to explain your rights in detail or put you in touch with someone who can.


We would also like to remind you to take some time to care for yourself. It sounds like you are putting so much energy into your teenagers wellbeing, it is important to look after yourself as well. What kinds of things do you do to fill up your cup when you are going through stress?

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Re: Teen psychologist experience

I know this was posted a few months ago, but just thought I might reply anyway as I definitely have had this experience.

I work in the mental health field so it was not a surprise to me as I was aware of their rights around confidentiality, including the limits to that (the practitioner is obligated to break the young person’s confidentiality if they have disclosed anything that suggests any threat to their safety or anyone else’s). So from that perspective I was entirely aware that my son’s case manager couldn’t tell me anything he said without his permission; that didn’t make it easier though, as a parent, when he didn’t want me to be involved.

From the outset, when my son asked to seek help for his mental health, I told him that was his safe and confidential space and I would never invade it by asking what he said in his sessions. What I did ask of him, however, was to answer me honestly when I asked if he’s ok. Because ultimately that was really all that mattered- I wanted him to be able to talk things through with someone and get the help he needed, but I remember being a teenager and let’s be honest, they don’t want to tell their parents certain things. Maybe that’s for the best; some things I probably don’t even want to know!

I felt rejected in some ways when he wanted to leave me out of things, but I never expressed that to him because I recognised that it wasn’t really his intent; he just wanted to work through things on his own, and some of those things were hard for him to talk about with me, simply because I’m his mum. The best way I could support him was to give him the space he needed, to get the support he wanted and work through it in his own time. The psychologist is obligated to tell you if there are any concerns for your child’s safety, so at least you know that if they’re not telling you anything, then there’s probably nothing that bad to tell.

I did get brought into my son’s treatment in the end, because there were some concerns and it needed a bigger response. Even after that though, he would often ask me to wait outside while he spoke to his practitioners, and I would join him when it was ok with him. I had to put my feelings aside and respect his privacy; it was about him, not me, and that was so important for him. I have found that having given him that space, and reassuring him that it’s 100% ok for him to ask for it, he actually opens up to me more and is respectful when I explain to him why it is important for me to know what’s going on with him.

One thing I’m finding now is that self care can be quite difficult when you’re supporting a teen with mental health issues. You worry about them 24/7 and it’s absolutely exhausting. I feel sad often, angry sometimes, and honestly just so tired. It can be super frustrating, especially when they don’t communicate that well and you feel like you’re butting heads a lot. I’m looking at getting some support myself so I don’t burn out.

I hope things are better with your child now. It is so hard to watch them struggle