I had written difficult child's therapist (who also does our family therapy- except we've only done that 3 times in two months) a letter about my concerns, which she received yesterday. So, instead of meeting with both difficult child and me this morning she only met with me. At first, I thought we were getting closer to being on the same wavelength but I still get these "signals" and vibes that she is basing a lot on preconceived ideas that are just not an accurate portrayal of difficult child's and my previous homelife. I think some of it might have come from listening to difficult child's perspective all summer, some of it is assumption (ie: most single parents are this way, etc), and some of it comes from her asking questions that can't be answered with a simple yes or no or in 10 secs but that's as far as she listens before she switches gears again. I'm trying hard to make this work so I'd like others' opinions on this: I was explaining about certain things being said to difficult child and how he can misconstrue them to justify becoming agressive with me. Yes, I understand that the tendency to try to manipulate a parent is typical teen and the things he wants are typical teen. It is not typical teen, however, to pull a knife on the parent and demand cigs. I mentioned my concern that with the way he thinks when he's mad or wanting something or has his feelings hurt and has never been told by any third party that no matter if I was strict or not, it does not justify that sort of action, and I am concerned that if this is not addressed he could end up committing domestic violence throughout his life. She askeed what we had been arguing about when he pulled the knife on me. Nothing- but what bugs me about that is that I have told her that three previous times. I was sitting in a different room- we had not argued at all that day. Any way, she says she thinks difficult child just doesn't feel empowered in our relationship. Then, we discussed how we "problem-solve" and communicate- which is based on the TEC concept. She has read the book and seemed to like that concept but she acted like she thought I just started this since difficult child has been incarcerated. I tried to clarify that. Somehow, we ended up back on the topic of whether or not he has potential for future domestic violence. Oh- because she mentioned "empowerment" again. I said I didn't get that feeling with difficult child- I don't think that's the cause of his issues or becoming violent with me. I said "what if he's dating someone someday and she doesn't want sex but he does, does that mean he might rape her because he doesn't feel empowered in that situation"? She said "actually, that is exactly why a lot of people rape and commit domestic violence- because they don't feel empowered in the relationship". I told her I still didn't get why this applied to difficult child because 1) I discuss, problem solve, and listen to his objectives and so forth but the things he has tried to bully me to get have all been inappropriate things for him to have ( M-rated games, cigarettes), and 2) there is a difference between him (or anyone) not feeling empowered because of the relationship not being good and feeling that way because of their own self-perception or pattern of thinking (like if they feel entitled when they really aren't or superior, or inferior) It sounded like she agreed that difficult child's feelings in this area were his own dysfunctional perceptions- but then she said that we could work on it by helping him feel empowered in our relationship by changing our relationship. I'm interested in hearing others' take on this- particularly those that have first-hand experience with therapy for themselves.