A few weeks ago I told my college professor that I'm depressed. She said I can go to her at anytime if I need help.

Then my psychologist kicked me out, because I didn't want to tell her the details of sexual abuse.

Can I ask my prof to help me find a therapist? Or would it be awkward or a burden for her? I really like her, and it felt really good when she offered her help. I just don't know if she truly meant that I can ask her for help, or just said it...

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    If your professor said you can go to her for help, she probably meant it. She's not going to be in a position to act as your therapist, but I think she would be willing to help you find a new one. Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 15:09
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    I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. But one thing you should keep in mind is that conversations with a professor don't typically have the same confidentiality protections as with mental health professionals. In particular, in some places (e.g. some US universities) if you mention anything about sexual abuse, she may have an obligation to report all of it to the police or other authorities, with or without your consent. So it would be a good idea, before talking with her, to establish what she can or can't keep confidential. Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 0:04

2 Answers 2


As long as you recognize that the prof isn't a mental health professional and don't expect her to go beyond her expertise, it would be fine to ask her for help. Especially if what you want is help in finding a proper therapist.

Professors (many, at least) try to be helpful and supportive in such situations, even though solutions are beyond them.

But it is probably a mistake to overload your relationship with her with personal issues. Separating the personal from the professional is normally the right course.

However, your university may also have an office that provides personal support and might also be helpful in finding a compatible advisor.

Finally, if sexual abuse is an issue, then you should think about other avenues so that it stops. Again, the university may be able to help if it is related to actions taken there.



Many professors tell their students to go to them for help. They regard their students as their mentees. Mostly they think that they will help the students regarding their studies.

Now this is your personal problem. Politely remind her that she told you to go to her for help and then ask if she could recommend a good psychologist. What ever she answers, take it a final.

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