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To Sam

I don't want my mum to come in with me?


I'm seeing a counsellor outside of school every few weeks because of my anxiety. The counsellor's suggested that maybe my mum comes into the session with me, but I really don't want her to. I feel like if she ever comes in I'd just freeze up and not want to say anything at all, because it would be too awkward. I get really scared of hurting other people or hurting myself, and I really don't want my mum to hear any of it. I don't feel like this is just a temporary thing, I can't really ever see myself wanting to have my mum in the counselling sessions with me.

Is this okay?

Ask Sam


Hello there,

Thank you for your letter.

Telling people how we feel can sometimes be hard for us as we don’t want to upset them. You have said that you get scared of hurting other people and perhaps you feel that if mum knew what you were thinking then she would be hurt by it. 

I think you are trying really hard to sort out your anxiety issues by seeing a counsellor but this additional worry seems to be holding you back. Your sessions are for you and they are a private space for you to be able to talk freely and honestly about the things that you find difficult. It sounds like having mum in there with you is going to stop you being honest and actually increase your anxiety. 

You have asked me if it is okay to feel the way you do and I would like to say that it is absolutely okay – these are your feelings and you have every right to feel them. I am really glad that you have told me about them. You can’t ever see yourself wanting mum in the sessions with you and that is your choice - there is nothing wrong in that.

I think it is important that your counsellor is aware of your worries about having mum in with you and I wonder if you could talk to her openly about it. Perhaps you could tell her the same things that you have told me. Together you could discuss the good and bad things of having mum there, and this would also give your counsellor the opportunity of explaining to you why she thinks it may be a good idea. 

It may be helpful to write down the things that you want to say before your next session. That way you won’t forget anything that is important to you. If you find it difficult to talk to her about it then maybe you could show her what you have written. I appreciate that you are very anxious about this and perhaps it would be a way of helping you talk.

You have told me that you are scared of hurting yourself as well as other people and maybe you could tell your counsellor this as well. Looking after yourself is very important, both physically and mentally, and talking about our problems often helps us to feel calmer. You have done the right thing by seeing a counsellor and being open with her about how you feel will help you to start to manage your feelings.  

You can talk to us too, we want to support you whenever you need us and our counsellors are available 24 hours a day. We have some information about anxiety that you may find helpful. Also, it may be an idea to have a look around the message boards as this is where messages are posted by other young people - sometimes with difficulties similar to your own.

Take care for now,

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