People can get protective about their therapy. Some people feel ashamed, and others see it as a safe place.
This could be why Redditor al343806 doesn’t want to share his therapist’s information with someone he knows. The original poster (OP) has been asked for this by his mother.
OP doesn’t want to give out his therapists name to his mom to share with someone else, and tried to decline. However, she got upset, and OP is feeling like he was maybe wrong.
He decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit if he should have shared this.
But OP made it clear he’s really uncomfortable about this.
“AITA for refusing to give my therapist’s name and number?
Why did his mom want this information anyway?
“So I’ve (34 M[ale]) been going to this therapist for two years now and I’m very happy with her. Over the weekend, my mother texted me asking for the therapist’s number for her friend.”
“I told her I would give her the number for the company that my therapist works for but that I didn’t feel comfortable handing over my therapist’s information because it’s private.”
“My mother responded with a sad story about her friend and how she wants to recommend my therapist for her because my mother’s therapist is retired.”
“I told her I didn’t feel comfortable giving that out and that even if I did, my therapist would most likely refer her friend to go through the company’s intake program. I also told my mother that this made me uncomfortable and that I didn’t appreciate her trying to guilt me into providing this information.”
“She responded by guilting me even further and saying how she assumed I’d want to help her friend when I heard her story.”
“It’s my birthday today and my mother has not even wished me a happy birthday but continues to make this an issue by texting me at work.”
“I don’t feel like the a**hole, but it’s also really got me down, so am I wrong?”
OP may not have given his mother his therapist’s name, but he did giver her something she can give to her friend. However, is OP just being paranoid?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for refusing to give his mother his therapist’s information by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP has plenty of reasons to not feel comfortable giving that information out. Even if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have to give a reason to withhold his therapist’s contact info.
His mother pressuring and guilting makes some people think she has ulterior motives. But she doesn’t have to have that to still be wrong.
Reddit decided that OP was NTA.
“NTA. Your mother is being very invasive. I agree with your take that she is trying to guilt trip you into giving her information about your life.”
“The company number should’ve been enough for her.” – lasercatte
“Your mother doesn’t need the contact information of your therapist to help her friend get the mental healthcare she needs. There is nothing about your therapist that makes her any better for her friend than allllll the other therapists in the company’s network.”
“This is a manipulation tactic to try and weasel information out of your therapist (which if your therapist doesn’t want to be in breach of confidentiality they won’t do). This is a control tactic.” – Legitimate_Essay_221
“Is there an underlying concern here? Like that your mother will try to get ahold of your therapist and ask questions about your sessions or something?”
“I don’t think you are TA, but I’m not 100% sure what part of this you’re uncomfortable with. Your therapist is bound to confidentiality, but you aren’t.”
“(I do think your mom is being petty and dramatic though – it’s ultimately your choice and not something for her to be that bent out of shape over).” – JennnnnP
“I don’t know, it just makes me feel uncomfortable. This person is supposed to be my safe space.”
“My dad called me this morning while I was driving in to work and his point was that I knew my mother’s therapist but the truth is that my mother has been seeing the same therapist for two decades and it was her choice to disclose her therapist’s name.”
“I feel like I’m being pressured into doing so.” – al343806 (OP)
“NTA. Tell her to Google the Psychology Today ‘First A Therapist’ website.”
“They can input their zip code, insurance company name if they have one, and filter by a therapists specialty, or male vs female therapists if they have a preference, etc.”
“Finding the right therapist can be challenging but you shouldn’t be pressured to disclose the name of your therapist to anyone else.” – Adventurous-Good6450
OP updated with some information after his father called.
“Edit: just got into a fight with my father and have effectively told both of them to fuck off. I am seethingly angry right now and birthday is effectively ruined.”
“Going to go home tonight and order something really delicious off of Grubhub and play with my dog who loves me unconditionally.”
The way OP’s mom and eventually his father tried to pressure him just made the board sure that they were trying to guilt trip him.
And he doesn’t have to give into that.
“Don’t fall for the guilt trip. Its a deliberate ploy to try and manipulate, and the fact that your mother is hyperfocussed on this specific piece of information is a bit suspicious (to the point where she has forgotten towish you a happy Bday).”
“Its a bit of a far fetched leap but is there anything your mother might gain from contacting your therapist?
“Maybe keep that in the back of your mind, and perhaps it may be pertinent to notify your therapist/administration that your mother is inquiring about them and what you want them to do if she does ask.”
“But just keep at this strategy! Happy Birthday!” – BENDOVERSIS
“I forwarded the text conversation from yesterday to my therapist seeking some help because we aren’t scheduled to meet for another three weeks (we typically meet every two weeks, but she has to cancel next week’s appointment).”
“I haven’t forwarded today’s text messages because it’s really gotten me down to receive this kind of a message on my birthday and just the thought of reading it again (even if it’s just to take a screenshot) makes me feel very depressed.” – al343806 (OP)
“Ah, so now we know why you are in therapy. She used your birthday to ask for something unreasonable so she could either pick a fight and ruin your birthday, or get your therapists information that she might possibly try to wheedle information from her, (if you think your mom is that type) and use it against you later.”
“You are never an AH for not giving people other peoples numbers without their consent. If your mom was being reasonable you could have offered to give her friends name and number to the therapist, but never give out other peoples info if they haven’t consented.”
“NTA” – LostCraftway
“But you fell for the conversation trap. By going into detail about the reasons you didn’t want to share the therapist number directly, you gave her the ammunition to become a victim of your withholding the ‘critical and necessary’ information she needed to help a dear friend. 🙄”
“Every point you made she turned it around to make herself the victim of your ‘cruel behavior’.” – terpischore761
OP was very appreciative of everyone’s support and talked about how he moved forward.
“Edit2: wow y’all. I didn’t think I’d get any attention on this post and all day/night it’s been one notification after the other with so much support. I’m literally sitting here tearing up and so thankful to have had this much support from this community.”
“It may have been a really awful birthday, but I feel super vindicated and taken care of right now. For anyone who was concerned, I did reach out to my therapist and asked if we could talk.”
“While she couldn’t talk, she offered up a slot for tomorrow which I’m going to take.”
“Edit3: I don’t know if anyone is still checking this, but it’s cathartic for me to ‘scream into the void’ this way. I screenshotted everything and sent it to my therapist.”
“I’m going to be completely open and honest because if there’s something I did wrong, I want to be willing to open up to it.”
“Today has been hard, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to speak with my parents—at least until I have a session with my therapist. I don’t know if the relationship can be mended at this point though.”
“I’ve also been open and honest with some of my closer friends and disclosed this posting to them in the hopes that I don’t have to relive every minute detail when answering their questions”
At a certain point, there’s only so much you can do to try and get people to respect your boundaries. But if they keep being toxic, you can cut these people out, even if they’re parents.
It sounds like OP knows what they want, and is willing to go for it, with a little help from therapy.