General Question

bitter_sweet_rose's avatar

Can I tell a school counselor my problems WITHOUT telling them my family had anything to do with it?

Asked by bitter_sweet_rose (115points) April 6th, 2010

Ok so when I was little my family would verbally abuse me,or yell at me for no reason. To the point I would start crying. Now i’m 14 and it’s like I pushed my emotions down so much nothing effects me anymore. I think it’s ruining my life to be honest. My boyfriend always gets frustrated with me because he doesn’t understand. When I try to explain he doesn’t listen. I want help, but I don’t want the counselor to know this about my past. So my question is can I tell my school counselor and not have to mention my childhood? And can I trust them not to tell my parents? The reason I say this is because I would hate to see what my parents would do if they found out. Thanks.

edit:my dads side hates me they always yell at me,cuss me out, and blame me for everything. But no one believes me so I always end up yelling at them because they teat my like shit. Then I get yelled at for talking back to an adult. My grandma and uncle hits me and my little brother also

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23 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

er, be careful. was it really just yelling and screaming? because you are only 14 and still at home, you should get it rectified now, and be honest with whomever you tell. My children are 14 and I would absolutely want to know.

dpworkin's avatar

I’m not sure how protected you are as to confidentiality in your state and city. Frankly, if I were you I would ask to read the policy first. If the policy protects you, by all means tell your counselor everything; that’s the best way to get the most help. If not, try to see a private counselor. They really aren’t allowed to tell anyone anything – they could lose their job if they do.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I read your edit. hitting is never ok. tell somebody- neither is the being sworn at all the time

Seek's avatar

You don’t have to tell anyone anything you are not comfortable talking about. That includes school counselors and anyone else.

To be honest, I always found school counselors to be more effective student-student or student-teacher relationship mediators than actual therapists.

I do believe they are required to disclose anything they feel could be harmful to you. If you mention parental abuse, it will be their job to report it to the appropriate authorities. Having been in this exact position when I was 13 (reported parental emotional abuse and neglect to school authorities) I can tell you that CPS doesn’t give a flying fuck about psychological and emotional abuse, as they’re too busy dealing with people pouring battery acid down their kid’s throats. So, you’ll end up with parents that know you think they’re horrible parents, and a school full of adults that will give you ~that look~. It’s not pretty.

Likeradar's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr You’re right. School staff are mandatory reporters. If they suspect abuse, they have to report it to the authorities.
@bitter_sweet_rose I’m not sure if the school therapist will tell your parents, or if they report their suspicions to authorities and the source remains anonymous during the investigations. @dpworkin Had a good idea about asking to see school policies on this matter first.
I’m sorry you’re going through this. A good place to start might be calling an abuse hotline and talking to them about what’s going on and your concerns. I’m not saying you’re definitley being abused, but a hotline could be an excellent resource for you to find out your options and rights.
If you chose to talk to a school therapist, know that there likely will be some sort of consequence- but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a negative consequence. It’s possible it will be the best thing you ever did for yourself, and maybe the best thing you ever did for your family. And if you develop a relationship with your school counselor, you likely will be talking about your childhood. Our pasts have an incredible influence on our present and future, and a therapist worth their salt knows that.

dpworkin's avatar

Hotlines are also mandatory reporters.

Likeradar's avatar

@dpworkin Are you positive? You don’t even have to give your real name…

I believe but I’m not positive that although RAINN deals mainly with sexual abuse, they also work to end physical and emotional abuse. Again, I’m not positive about that. I need to start on schoolwork so I don’t have time to dig too deep right now, but this might be a good place for the OP to start.

dpworkin's avatar

I worked for one for the last three years, and I was a mandatory reporter when I worked there.

Likeradar's avatar

@dpworkin Sounds like you’re positive :). How is it handled when someone doesn’t give any factual information about themselves? Also, how is anonymity handled? Does the abuser or other adult get told “so-and-so called X hotline…” or does CPS or other organization keep that info to themselves during the investigation?

WestRiverrat's avatar

1–800-448–3000 – is the Boys Town hotline. Call them they can help. If you don’t tell them who you are, and use a public phone, they cannot report you.

I encourage you to give them your name, but I know it is not always realistic to expect it.

dpworkin's avatar

I’m sacred of CPS. There is anonymity on the phone, but once you agree to see a counselor there is an intake procedure.

Tink's avatar

School counselors are supposed to keep everything you talk about with them confidential. Meaning they aren’t allowed to tell any other school staff person about anything. If you can trust yours and tell him those things, if not then I suggest not doing it. Mostly because they have the right to call social service and they will likely take you to a foster home. Unless you want that.

Seek's avatar


There is nothing accurate about your answer. In fact, saying they keep confidentiality and then saying they can call social services doesn’t make any sense at all.

School counselors are not bound to confidentiality. At all. In fact they have to report abuse to authorities. That is their job.
And CPS will not remove a child from the house for emotional abuse. They’re much more concerned with physical abuse, as it’s easier to prove and they’re understaffed and overworked as it is.

Likeradar's avatar

@dpworkin But what if someone just uses the hotline and chooses not to see someone face to face?

dpworkin's avatar

That’s not counseling, but it is safe.

Tink's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That’s what mine told me, they can report it to the authorities but they cannot blabble about it to other random people just because.

I never said they would take you away specifically for emotional abuse. I was talking about physical abuse if it happened to her. But you’re right, they won’t remove you for emotional abuse. Or I would’ve been gone a long time ago.

bea2345's avatar

You need to confide in somebody, why not a counselor? And yes, you have to tell him/her everything, otherwise he cannot help you. And no, while I do not know the laws in your state, surely counselors are bound not to disclose unless to report abuse. Check it out.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Ask a counselor this question before confiding anything.

phillis's avatar

Boy, I really wish I could lie to you right about now. Yes, they are required by law to relate anything to authorities that even hints at abuse. Be sure not to leave out any details when speaking to your counselor. I want to make sure everybody is properly rewarded for their actions.

evandad's avatar

I think you need to get out of the situation. If a little shit flies your way because of it, so what. You’re already dealing with that anyway. You need to stop the bleeding. There are resources for you. Don’t be afraid. Do it.

HEYYYYYYYY2323's avatar

most likly not they will talk you into telling them

Response moderated (Personal Attack)

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