Will a Therapist Tell You Your Diagnosis? Role of Diagnosis in Therapy

will a therapist tell you your diagnosis

Will Your Diagnosis be Revealed by a Therapist? This article seeks to draw the reader’s attention to certain aspects of the subject under consideration, such as the role of the diagnosis in therapy, the reasons for sharing or not sharing diagnostic information, and the potential advantages/disadvantages of diagnostic insight.

Diagnosis and Therapy

The Diagnostic Process

Therapy is a journey which your therapist embarks on when you seek therapy. Such a process involves a thorough assessment of your mental health. You are asked to complete interviews, questionnaires, and/or be observed in different therapies to gather information about your symptoms, emotions and behaviors. Such a comprehensive approach helps to create an understanding of your overall mental state.

Understanding Diagnosis

In treatment, a diagnosis is really a label that condenses your mental health condition. It is the culmination of the diagnostic process, and it involves the categorization of your symptoms and experiences. One should recognize that diagnosis is not a judgment or a definition of yourself, it is a tool which psychologists use to guide treatment.

Will They Tell Anyone Your Diagnosis?

Legal and Ethical Considerations

A common fear that people have about their diagnosis is whether their therapist will tell it or keep it confidential. Law and ethics require therapists to keep client information a secret. On the other hand, the exposure of your diagnosis may differ due to different factors such as the laws and regulations governing your jurisdiction.

The Importance of Informed Consent

The issue of diagnosis disclosure is typically discussed at the beginning of therapy during the informed consent process. This process is very important whereby you and your therapist talk about the terms and boundaries of your therapeutic relationship. At this point, you can state whether or not you want to be informed about the diagnosis.

Reasons for Sharing a Diagnosis

Collaborative Decision-Making

A diagnosis can be shared for that purpose. Being able to know your diagnosis puts you in a position to participate actively in determining your treatment plan. Having a good understanding of what you’re dealing with and how you and your therapist can work together to tackle it can be empowering.

Reducing Stigma and Self-Stigma

Knowing your diagnosis also helps demystify mental health problems. Knowing about the medical and psychological elements of your condition can ease stigma. It can help in developing self-acceptance and help you to seek the support and resources you need.

Why Don’t They Tell?

Protecting Privacy

However, some of the clients prefer not to know their diagnosis. In addition to the fear of being rejected, they might fear of others finding out about their mental health condition. For example, a diagnosis may affect career opportunities or personal relationships in some instances, thereby making the client prioritize privacy.

Avoiding Labeling

Also, diagnosis may have certain undesired implications, for example, to force people to over-identify with their illness. Consequently, it may make individuals feel to be diagnosed to a particular diagnosis that could be uncomfortable for their mental health.

Benefits of Knowing Your Diagnosis

Targeted Treatment

One of the most important benefits of knowing your diagnosis is more accurate and effective treatment. Interventions can therefore be designed for addressing specific challenges associated with your condition. This can hasten your progress in therapy.


You will be able to advocate for yourself by understanding your diagnosis as it will make you active at your mental health journey. It may give you an understanding of your condition, and enable you to choose the correct treatment for yourself.

Drawbacks of Knowing Your Diagnosis

Anxiety and Self-Stigma

Recognition that learning your diagnosis can sometimes cause anxiety, or reinforce negative self-perceptions, is important. However, some individuals may feel elevated stress or heightened self-stigma after the diagnosis; thereby worsening their mental condition.


In some instances, clients could over-identify their diagnosis. This may lead them to view themselves entirely in terms of their illness, and this can inhibit their self-esteem and self-worth.


Therefore, the question of whether a therapist will reveal your diagnosis is not straightforward. It is dependent on individual preferences and legal and ethical considerations in your region, as well as the approach of your therapist. The pros and cons of knowing your diagnosis. Thus, it is based on your good and active involvement in your mental health.


Q1. Can I ask not to be informed of my diagnosis?

Ans: Sure, you can request that your therapist does not disclose your disorder to you.

Q2. Does the awareness of my diagnosis affect my treatment?

Ans: It can result to more specific treatment, however, the effectiveness differs from person to person.

Q3. Can I get a second opinion on my diagnosis?

Ans: Yes, seeking a second opinion is a common practice in mental health care.

Q4. What if I disagree with my therapist’s diagnosis?

Ans: Openly discuss your concerns with your therapist; they should be willing to address them.

Q5. Are therapists required to keep my diagnosis confidential?

Ans: Yes, therapists are legally bound to maintain confidentiality.

Q6. How does a diagnosis affect insurance coverage?

Ans: Some insurance companies require a diagnosis for coverage, but this varies.

Q7. Can I change therapists if I don’t like how my diagnosis is handled?

Ans: Of course, you are entitled to another therapist if you’re unhappy with your current one.

Q8. Are diagnoses permanent?

Ans: Your diagnosis may also change or evolve as your mental health improves or new information emerges.

Q9. If I would like to disclose my diagnosis to others.

Ans: You can decide to inform others or keep it secret about your diagnosis.

Q10. How do I find a therapist who is in favor my disclosing my diagnosis?

Ans: It is advisable when looking for therapy to talk about diagnosis preferences with potential therapists before making a decision.