TikTok-famous therapist answers the questions you’re too afraid to ask

Members of Gen Z have taken to TikTok to express themselves, whether that’s through dancing or singing or art or memes. They’re also using it to have tough conversations about mental health.

Time and time again, experts have said that TikTok is not the answer to those struggles. You have to seek professional help — but as you prepare to do so, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to your community.

One member of TikTok’s mental health community is Lindsay Fleming, a licensed professional counselor who works predominately with children and adolescents.

She, like many of you, downloaded TikTok in quarantine and dove right in. One of the first people she saw on the platform was Dr. Julie Smith, a psychologist who inspired her to make her own posts.

Fleming told In The Know that once she starting sharing videos on the platform, people started asking her a ton of questions about therapy that they might have been too afraid to ask their parents or friends. Let’s unpack her answers.

Is my therapist telling my parents everything I say?

If you’re over the age of 14, your therapist cannot tell your parents your personal information without your consent, according to Fleming. Your agitations and complaints are safe with them.

Is there anything my therapist has to tell my parents?

Fleming tells her patients from the start that the confidentiality doesn’t apply to everything.

“If you are self-harming, if you are having suicidal thoughts or if you are having homicidal thoughts, then I need to let your parents know these things,” she told In The Know.

She recommended asking your therapist what the rules are before getting started. Also, there’s nothing wrong with asking your therapist to inform you before telling your parents anything.

Is it safe to discuss my sexuality in therapy?

Fleming said kids are often “really scared” to open up about this to her, but assured In The Know that no therapist she has ever worked with would “out” their client.

What if I’m interested in therapy, but don’t think I have it bad enough?

Don’t wait until your anxiety or depression is so debilitating that you can’t get out of bed to ask for help, Fleming said. Catching mental health struggles early can help you manage it and need less support in the future.

“A big thing I hear, too, is that they don’t feel like they deserve the help, like other people have it worse,” she told In The Know. “Everybody deserves help and everybody deserves support.”

She also shared a helpful video about how to tell your parents you need therapy, if that’s something you’re worried about. You can check out more of Fleming’s helpful advice on TikTok.

If you enjoyed this story, read more about how TikTokers have turned mental health into a trend.

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