Note: If you are in urgent need of help, click here.

Seeking Therapy

As a mental health consumer, you have the right to services that are compassionate, ethical, and effective. Our job is to help both professionals and consumers become more knowledgeable; your job is to make an informed decision when choosing a professional. Therefore, we recommend you read our Principles and Perspectives of Practice before seeking therapy. We also recommend you download our pamphlet Psychotherapy for the Minor-Attracted Person, which provides guidelines for therapy endorsed by B4U-ACT. You may wish to ask a potential therapist for his or her reactions to these two documents.

We also maintain a list of therapists who state that they abide by the guidelines and principles in these documents; to inquire about them, email us at findtherapist@b4uact.org. Please note that B4U-ACT maintains this list as a starting point and that our assessment is limited to therapists’ own statements; you should judge for yourself whether therapist is right for your needs. We also request that clients provide us with feedback about therapists they have found using our list.

It is important for the client to ask questions and choose a therapist carefully, whether selected from our list or not. Specifically, we recommend that you ask potential therapists the questions below. We suggest that you make a written record of his or her responses to these questions.

Questions to ask a potential therapist

1. What kind of education and credentials (certifications, licenses, and degrees) do you have?

2. What kind of experience do you have working with minor-attracted people?

3. Who, if anyone, will find out about my sexual feelings (e.g., professional colleagues, administrators, clinic staff, my insurance company, my employer, your friends or spouse)? What diagnosis will be given to my insurance company?

Note: Quite often a team of professionals in which a therapist works will be aware of clients’ situations; in this case, you can expect that the team will know about your sexual feelings, but they should abide by the same principles of confidentiality as your therapist. If your insurance company will cover any part of your therapist’s fees, it will be informed of your diagnosis only. If you receive therapy through an employee assistance program, your employee should be given no information other than your record of attendance at therapy sessions.

4. What situations would you have to report to authorities under mandatory reporting laws? What would constitute sufficient suspicion of illegal sexual behavior that you would have to report?

5. Would you say that minor-attracted people have any particular needs or characteristics as a group? If so, what would you say they are?

6. Have you had experiences in your life that might affect your interest or ability to work with minor-attracted people?

7. Do you have any values or strongly held attitudes that might affect how you work with minor-attracted people?

8. What conditions, if any, would you require of me in order to receive therapy?

9. What would be your guiding assumptions, principles, or philosophy in working with me?

10. What would be the purposes of therapy? Would you try to cure me of my sexual feelings?

11. What would be your approach in therapy?

Note: A description of different approaches can be found here at the website of the American Psychological Association.

12. Would you use polygraphs, plethysmographs, or arousal reconditioning?

13. What would be the therapeutic plan? Will I participate in developing it?

14. Do you do therapy by telephone or video conferencing (teletherapy)? Is it secure? Does your license allow for this?

Note: The American Psychological Association provides this information for those who are considering teletherapy.