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## Seeking Help for Attraction Towards Teenage Girls

I am a 26-year-old individual who does not regularly take medications, aside from allergy medication. I currently weigh 190 pounds and have been struggling with an inappropriate attraction towards teenage girls aged 12 to 17 for a number of years. While I have engaged in conversations with teenage girls on platforms such as Snapchat, I have never sought to meet them in person or engage in any physical activities with them. Despite this, I am aware that my feelings are not acceptable and I experience feelings of guilt and shame as a result.

I am considering disclosing this issue to my therapist, as I believe therapy may be beneficial in addressing these concerns. However, I am hesitant to do so out of fear that my therapist may be obligated to report me to the authorities, given the nature of my feelings. Despite not posing a direct threat to children, I am experiencing heightened levels of anxiety and fear surrounding the situation.

Furthermore, I confided in a friend about my struggles, and now I am concerned that they may not keep this information confidential and may share it with others. I acknowledge that this was a misstep on my part and I am keen to seek assistance in addressing my thoughts and feelings towards teenage girls.

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View Reference


  • Away-Pineapple9170

    Your therapist won’t report you unless they feel you are a risk to children. Do be aware that the average therapist has no training to help you with this particular issue. You will need to seek out specialized help if you truly want to get better.

  • Kitty10120

    I worked with people who were convicted of sex crimes, and some of them knew that they needed help prior to downloading pornography and or taking things further, but they allowed fear to stop them for asking for help and eventually they allowed their urges to win, so I definitely recommend you getting help but looking for a therapist that specializes

  • General_Situation_42

    I am a therapist (not a lawyer) but my understanding is that while confidentiality and reporting laws differ state by state, what you are describing is not reportable. It is also something you should talk to your therapist about.

    It is also my understanding that if you were to tell your therapist something along the lines of, “I’m going to do something (insert specific harmful behavior here) to my niece/nephew/any specific child tonight.” That is something that I would have to report.

  • xala123

    I’m a therapist. It’s deff smart and safe to bring it to their attention. There are specialists for it as well. Shame stops so many people from getting help for this. Don’t let it stop you.

  • Existing-Tax7068

    I did read read a case of a man who was attracted to minors who disclosed to his doctor. His doctor helped him get appropriate therapy, and as a result, he is ‘cured’. His attraction to minors has stopped and he feels appropriate attractions now. I think it’s really good you realise this is not right thinking. Therapists have a duty to report any risks, but you are not a risk, you are trying to get better.

  • GadgetQueen

    Seek out a therapist that specifically works with sex offenders. They’re specifically trained to help you and have a very specific program that they work with client that works if you are willing to do the treatment. They’re not going to report you anywhere, as long as you do not actively harm children. You aren’t going to shock a therapist that works with sex offenders specifically. They hear it all, all the time. I worked in tandem with one professionally for a while and she helped me with my own cases, had amazing insight, and was absolutely amazing.

  • Threeltlbirds

    Yes, please talk to your therapist! Being able to admit that you feel this way and want to seek help is huge. These feelings aren’t your fault but you do have a responsibility not to act on them, ever. Speaking with a professional is the best way to get support for yourself and to make sure you stay safe.

  • DiabloConQueso

    Merely being attracted to minors is not illegal.

    Actually acting on that attraction would be what’s potentially illegal.

    This is something to talk with your therapist about, which should remain confidential between you two.

    Assuming you’re in the USA. Your location is important.

  • SweetPotato781

    Tell your therapist immediately. You need treatment, if your current therapist can’t treat you then they can refer you to someone who will. Absolutely stop chatting to young teenagers online, delete Snapchat if need be.

  • IdidntJumptheborder

    Talk to your therapist about it, normal doctor cant help. It also sounds like youre about to find out just how good of a friend they are.

  • foz306

    Talk to your therapist. Also read through this site. You are not alone.

  • Wooden-Letters

    Maybe look up therapists who specialize in this sort of thing. They may be more upfront about their policies.

  • pinkradiofuzz

    Get the help you need by telling your therapist. If this goes untreated it will certainly escalate and ruin your chances at having a healthy relationship with an adult partner.

  • PretendLingonberry35

    As a therapist, the only situations in which I can break your confidentiality are
    1. You are an immediate danger to yourself or others.
    2. You are at imminent risk of ending your life, intent with means and plan.
    3. You have committed a crime.
    4. You are engaging in abuse of a child or vulnerable adult.
    5. A judge subpoenas your records.

    Having thoughts is not a crime. I have talked to my clients about a variety of things like this and never had to involve law enforcement. I do have a duty to warn, but this is for situations in which you have plans, access, and intent to do harm to someone else. I am also a mandated reporter, so if you disclose child abuse or, in my judgment, a child is in danger, I have to report it, my license requires it. Your post does not indicate anything that meets that criteria. I hope most therapists would have the conversation about confidentiality and disclosure at the very beginning of treatment and help you feel comfortable sharing. Good luck to you.

  • mmmsoap

    You can go to a therapist and ask a lot of questions about where the lines are for reporting before you admit to anything. Also, you’re going to want to look for a therapist that specifically works with compulsive sexual behaviors or other “sexual deviancy” rather than your run of the mill therapist that helps people with adjustment disorders.

  • Connect_Manner_5121

    NAL but talk to your therapist about it. They won’t report unless you already have acted on it or have a plan to.

  • Alt11elf

    That’s actually relatively common. Talk to your therapist to work out coping mechanisms.

    Make sure to NEVER EVER look up that kind of porn. I’m a probation officer and I work with several people who threw their lives away by getting convicted on CP charges.

  • Affectionate-Lime-54

    i’m not 100% sure, but i think in most cases therapists are only allowed to break confidentiality if they believe you pose an imminent threat to yourself or others, so you should be able to talk openly with them.

    however, as someone who was SA’d as a child by an adult family member, even if there might be consequences, please get help anyway. you’re a danger to children. it’s clear that you don’t want to be, and that’s good, but you need to be willing to get treatment, even if that includes in-patient treatment or restrictions being around kids. it’s your responsibility to manage this in a way that doesn’t cause harm to anyone else.

  • sweetpotato_latte

    I don’t have answers to you question, luckily it looks like you’ve gotten some. Just know that I’m really sorry for the shit hand you’ve been dealt in life. It truly cannot be easy and I hope you are able to find a way to live a fulfilling life without acting on what you know is wrong. Hugs from an internet stranger.

  • IAmHerdingCatz

    I am NAL, but i am a mental health professional.

    Therapists are legally required to make a police report of the believe a crime has been committed, or if the patient discloses that they plan to commit a crime. (You can research Tarasoff Laws for the specifics in your area, as these laws do vary from state to state.)

    Just having this attraction is not illegal, and I think speaking to a therapist about it is a wise decision. Do research your potential therapist though–in many states, anyone can hang out their shingle as a counselor without any real credentials.

    I hope youbare able to find the help you are seeking.

  • Similar_Ad3271

    This is definitely something you should talk to your therapist about. What’s potential illegal is the contact with one, not the communication or the attraction to them itself. You haven’t done anything legally wrong to get reported, and your therapist HAS to keep it all confidential or they could get in huge trouble with the law, or with whom they’re working with. It’s good that you understand that it is wrong, and that you’re willing to do something about it to figure it out.

  • emz272

    Like others here, I wanted to say how great it is you want to talk about this with someone who can help you navigate your attractions and hopefully reshape your desires so that you can live a more fulfilling life. You are a good person.

    Obviously this is a topic people have strong feelings about personally. Hopefully your therapist they will be adept at helping you navigate this. If they feel out of their depths (and hopefully they won’t, but even if they do), they could likely refer you to someone with a focus and approach that would be especially helpful here.

    If you are going to have trouble being totally open given your fears around what they would or would not need to report, you could ask them to talk to you about their understanding of and approach to their reporting obligations. Therapists have done this for me at the beginning of our relationship (as part of their standard practice). My sense is therapists do not want to ever involve outside authorities and only need to (and are only allowed to) in situations where inaction would allow serious and predictable harm. I also believe therapists will often tell their clients when something is at a point where they need to disclose.

    Like others have said, your feelings themselves are not criminal, and you want help so you can free yourself from them and avoid the urge to act on them. That’s laudable, and it would be counterproductive, unnecessary, and likely a violation of confidentiality (and your trust) for them to disclose that to anyone.