This is a long article on our website. Scroll down to "How to Find Help for Social Anxiety Disorder".
Now, after you read this part, and I think it's also good if you read the full page, you may be saying, "It seems very hard to find a good therapist who understands social anxiety disorder." And if you said that, I would agree with you. Or you may find a sympathetic counselor who doesn't really have a structured plan for you. Perhaps others could speak up here and say if they have found a good therapist in their area. Adrianr, if you'd like to say, where are you located?
You've also stated that your parents would perhaps not be supportive in getting you to a therapist. Would you be able to talk to a school counselor? Could that school counselor help you with information, with a recommendation for a therapist or with information to show your parents that social anxiety disorder is real? Would your parents look at the website to read that link? Mine wouldn't, but perhaps yours would. Despite parents not understanding the problem, we do have parents calling here to ask questions before getting the online therapy for their children.
I cannot advise you on your situation. As always, I must say I'm not a licensed therapist. I do not know your parents. I also know it's difficult for people with social anxiety to admit any of this to anyone else - family or friends or anyone. So, you do a brave thing here to introduce yourself.
In most cases, I would hope parents want the best for their children. That is not always true, unfortunately, or rather maybe they don't make the best decision at that moment. Let's assume your parents do want the best for you, perhaps you might consider breaking this down into smaller steps. Slowly talking to your parents, telling them, as much as you can, how this is affecting and has affected your life. Tell them your hopes to get better, and ask them to hear you, to perhaps read something that is important to you - it could be printed out from our website.
This is a very sensitive area. You are 16. I wish I would have found and started therapy at your age. But also, I cannot advise you as a professional, which I am not. And you must determine if through the info on these forums and on our website, www.socialanxietyinstitute.org, if you feel this is the right course for you. And in a perfect world, you would have access to a therapist who would understand this and could help you professionally. Going into this, I want you to at least understand that most of us have had the experience of trying to get help from therapists who didn't understand. If your parents also are warned of this, perhaps this can avoid some frustration.
Are there any other members on this forum who might be around the same age? Please add your voice to this thread. How did you go about getting help and talking to your parents?