therapist appointment.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, May 27, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Normally when difficult child goes to therapist, he goes in alone. I assumed they were talking and addressing the anger issues and social skill issues that were big concerns. This past week they called and requested that husband and I also come with difficult child. So, we all went in to his office. difficult child just kept telling therapist, he's not going to say anything because "I guarantee there will be a fight when we leave here". Kept repeating that over and over. therapist asked what we fight about. difficult child just looked at me. So, I said, "you". We fight about difficult child and his behavior, mostly with school. difficult child then said "it may start with me, but it ends up over anything even a peice of grass". I started laughing, then husband let out a little laugh. (difficult child was right though) We start off on one subject and pretty soon we are all arguing about things that have nothing to do with what we started with. therapist was talking and difficult child got up, went and got a tissue, started blowing his nose..over, and over, and over. Walked to the garbage can, started looking at things in tdocs office. I asked him to please sit down. Then pointed out to therapist that this is what he does in class. Teacher can be teaching and he just gets up and wanders around. difficult child laughed and said, "I am bored". He doesn't get it!!! You just can't start walking around in the middle of class!!! Had him evaluated for ADHD and was told no. therapist made a comment that really hurt me. He said, "Alex, this is the most you have ever talked. Most of the time all you tell me is how much you hate school and hate your mom". I was ready to cry.
    husband was there, and just made me feel bad. difficult child and I get into it a lot. difficult child does not talk to husband the way he talks to me. Wouldn't think of it. difficult child tells husband what happended at school, but seems to leave out the little details such as calling teacher names. husband doesn't believe me when I tell him what the school says when they call. So, I stopped taking calls. Let the teacher leave the message on the answering machine. husband wouldn't play it because difficult child "already told him". After about 3 or 4 hours I insisted he play it. husband was mad and mumbling things under his breath on how I'll make him listen to it. After he heard what kind of names difficult child called teacher and the whole situation he got angry and yelled at difficult child. Not that I am happy he got yelled at, I just want husband to hear what I hear every day!!! And then feel worse because husband doesn't believe me. So, difficult child hates me. Because I talk to the school? Because I try to give him consequences? Because I don't believe him? don't know, just know how depressed and sad I am feeling. Nobody believes what I say, other issues going on. Don't even want to walk the dogs anymore, and That was alwasy my outlet. Everyday, sometimes several times a day. Now I would rather just stay in bed and sleep.
    so, do you think difficult child tells everyone he hates me?
     
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    husband refuses to listen to the school's message "because he already heard it from difficult child"?

    Flaming idiot. And very much in denial.

    I would stay calm with him - you seem to be a bundle of emotion, which isn't helping (I suspect husband is the type of bloke who considers a woman's tears to be manipulative).
    But say to husband, next time he believes difficult child and won't hear anything against him, "Do not DARE to disbelieve me when I tell you what the school told me. I am not claiming that difficult child was difficult at school today; all I am doing is passing on what the school said. I am not making up what the school said. The message is there - listen to it, or believe me. I have not got onto the answering machine and mimicked the teacher in an effort to make difficult child look bad - why would I do that? Please be aware - while you continue to only listen to one side of the story, the underlying problems of difficult child's behaviour never get addressed and all the while, he's getting older. We are supposed to be a team. We are supposed to support each other. We must be a united front. But for now, listen to the message before you argue with me about it. Do not just take difficult child's word for it - it's only half the picture."

    difficult child may be truthful and t he school lying. Who knows? But you and husband both need to hear the school's claims, as well as difficult child's. Somewhere in between lies the truth. Frankly, from what you've told me about the school they seem to be piling it on higher and deeper, always too eager to be ringing you with the latest horror story. difficult child getting up and wandering round the room in class because he's bored - OK, it's not good, but it's not a Federal case, either. It should be in his IEP that he needs to be handled gently over this, and that it needs to be recognised as a sign of his boredom, so teachers, FIND SOMETHING FOR HIM TO DO when he wanders around. The trouble is, too many teachers handle this in a way which sets of difficult children, instead of dealing with productively it in a way to get him back to his seat and working. A teacher ordering, shouting, getting 'heavy' will get a backlash reaction which will escalate the issue. The end result is that nothing is achieved, therefore such a reaction is wrong. There are much more productive ways of getting a student back into his seat. To choose a method which they KNOW (from past experience) will escalate him, and then to send him to the principal's office (again) for a call to you (and by this time, he will be swearing at people) is unproductive.

    Crikey, a starting point for the teacher could be, "You're bored? You've finished that last worksheet already? Then bring it here for me to mark, and we can talk about it so you can show me you've understood the material. Then I will find something more interesting for you to do." The teacher needs to have something different ready (interesting but moderately challenging) to follow through, but chances are he's not done the work and is more anxious than bored - displacement activity. And from my experience, the best way to deal with this sort of 'boredom' is to challenge it positively by supporting the student in getting started. Some kids take more to get started and need some initial 'egging on'. But kids like difficult child do not take kindly to being treated with sarcasm, with belittling and what from an adult to an adult would constitute verbal abuse.

    But if husband wants to take sides, he has to be acquainted with everybody's side so HE can make an informed decision.

    Marg
     
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    When my son was diagnosis'd with depression, he told me all the time how much he hated me. He was very cold about it, too. He would leave notes on my door, my bed, my bathroom sink - everywhere. He would say to me, "You know much how you say you love me? Well, that's how much I hate you." Within the last couple weeks I learned from a friend of his that he had a journal during that time filled with page after page of how much he hated me. Did he really? No. He had a lot of anger and he was very, very ill. I was the safe one he could direct his anger to because he knew I wouldn't abandon him. Did he tell everyone he hated me? I'm pretty sure of it.

    My point is this: this was a reflection of his illness not of his true feelings. Yes, it hurt when he said those things, but I learned to detach the words from the kid and assign them to the illness. I could see how miserable he was.

    You take everything from husband and difficult child as a personal attack. I think it would greatly benefit you to read up on detachment. You need to have a meeting with therapist to discuss what treatment methods are being used. Find out how therapist perceives these things your son says/things/feels. For example, does he think it's a manifestation of his illness and how is it being addressed in therapy.

    The school is required to provide an education to your son. Calling you to pick him up after he's been to school for 10 minutes is not providing your son with an education.
     
  4. ROE

    ROE New Member

    KJS,

    I believe in another post you stated that t.doctor called you and told you that difficult child said he hated you (correct me if I am wrong). T.doctor's remarks strike me as a very inappropriate way to handle the situation.

    My difficult child was in therapy from ages 9-11.5. His therapy sessions were set up so that he met with t.doctor first, and then me and husband joined them. T.doctor never would have repeated anything that difficult child said to him in the manner that you describe.

    If there were issues, and there always was, I usually had to bring them up. In fact, difficult child often relied on me to do the talking and did very little talking himself (husband was usually mute as well). Everything was discussed openly. I think it gave t.doctor a better view of the dynamics of the situation by being able to gauge everyone's responses. T.doctor was better able to offer advice and solutions. There are downsides to having difficult child sitting there while you are talking about him (twice I did request a private consult)but the positive side is that difficult child didn't have to worry about what was being said "behind his back". It was discussed in front of him and he had the opportunity to respond. One thing I will mention about this approach is that I tried to keep things in perspective-I described the incidents that concerned me but if there were good things I shared those too. Even now, difficult child's medication checks are set up the same way-1/2 the time is with difficult child alone and the other 1/2 the time I am included.

    I don't understand how your difficult child's t.doctor comments are helping anyone. I would expect t.doctor to redirect difficult child, "can you tell us why you are angry with your mother or what is it about school that you don't like?" etc.. so that he can offer some advice. To repeat that difficult child stated that he hates his mother doesn't accomplish anything but to hurt your feelings unnecessarily. Does t.doctor offer advice or just leave it hanging there? Do you feel that this t.doctor is helping the situation at all? If not,do you have other options?

    My difficult child's first t.doctor was very ineffective, it took me awhile to realize it. I was new at this game. I liked her because she seemed to genuinely care about difficult child. Her sessions were set up differenty-she met with either difficult child or me separately, sometimes in the same day (session was divided)but sometimes not (ran out of time I guess). She never talked to us together. The only advice she ever offered me was-he needs a pych. consult for depression, and keep a journal of his behaviors. It was helpful advice at the time (I had no idea what to do at the time) but it wasn't nearly enough. For all of the problems that he was having, she had no suggestions EVER. difficult child hit crisis mode and t.doctor was more clueless than me. It was time for a change...We paid out of pocket to see another t.doctor. I never regretted the decision. Sorry for rambling, I hope I made some sense.

    As far as difficult child, saying that he hates you, as hurtful as it is to hear, remember that it's not true. He's saying it out of anger, frustration, and maybe he's feeling a little hurt himself. I think that negativity, and difficult child's tend to get alot of it whether it's at home, school, or in public, chips away at their esteem; even when it's their behavior that brought it on the first place. In my difficult child's younger days, his first instinct would be to lash out, say something hurtful to me because he is feeling hurt.

    Heck, I bet there isn't one kid, difficult child or easy child that hasn't told their parents that they hate them at least once. I know its harder to deal with when you hear it on a regular basis.
     
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Roe - it is true. In an earlier post I did say how therapist called me on the phone to tell me the very same thing. I really do not see this helping. When I first met with him alone, I discussed my concerns, his need for social and anger skills/management. We discussed certain situations and what I thought he really needed help in. I assumed that is what they have been talking about. But when we were all there last week, therapist said "Alex, this is the most you have ever talked. You only ever talk about how much you hate school, and how much you hate your mom". What a blow...They are not working on HOW to handle anxiety, how to recognize the signs or How to help him through his bits of anger, or how to get a long better??? I was really lost when we left there.
    The one person, which I have probably mentioned a hundred times that can get through to him, that has told me for 6 years all these things would happen..She can get through to him. She helps him think of ways to handle situations. She has given him her home phone if he ever needs her, which he has called several times. Unfortunately she is the counselor at the elementary school. (she holds many degree's, teaches parenting classes..super person) I would pay her out of my pocket if she would just meet with him twice a month, or what ever. But she is a busy lady, new grandmother and I am afraid to ask. Would that be inappropriate to ask?
     
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    kjs

    I'm not sure at this point if this therapist is helping difficult child. You might want to consider taking him somewhere else. For one thing, if difficult child isn't talking to the therapist then it's a waste of time and money.

    As for the whole hating you thing.... I agree it's the illness talking. (and a bit of teenhood rebellion thing thrown in) N thought I was the most loathsome creature to walk the planet when I first drug her fanny to the psychiatrist and therapist. As long as they helped her I could've cared less.

    Hmmmm. I've never had either a psychiatrist or therapist just see N on her own. Oh, the therapist she had would speak to her alone, but only if I approved. Then she'd call me in to fill in the details and add what N might have left out so she could get a more accurate image of what was going on. And if I thought it necessary I'd go in first and speak with therapist. (this happened alot in the beginning)

    I'm sorry husband doesn't want to face the cold reality of gfgdom. It's hard when they're not fully supporting you.

    Hugs
     
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I just want to add that I see nothing wrong with children seeing a psychiatrist or therapist on their own. I think it's important for the therapeutic process for children to feel they have a safe place to talk about their feelings. My three children each see a psychiatrist weekly for medication management and psychotherapy (we don't use separate tdocs). We as their parents also meet less frequently with their psychiatrists mostly to share our observations about how it's going at home and to go over medication changes. The psychiatrists are careful not to divulge specifics about therapy sessions so as not to jeopardize the confidentiality of their patients. I am completely comfortable with this arrangement as long as the kids continue to make progress.

    Which brings me to my second point: If you do not feel your difficult child is making progress with this therapist, it's time to consider a change. We had to make changes along the way because our kids were getting worse instead of better. At one point, easy child/difficult child 2 was seeing a therapist who would not communicate with the psychiatrist. It was dysfunctional because the medications the psychiatrist was prescribing were making her worse, and the therapist was discounting my opinion because she thought I was an overprotective mother. We left both psychiatrist and therapist and went to easy child/difficult child 2's new psychiatrist, who immediately saw the problems with the medications and made changes that helped easy child/difficult child 2. I have never regretted moving on when things began to spin out of control.

    I also want to agree with the other posters that it is very common for kids, especially as they enter adolescence, to say they hate their mom or dad or both. I would also agree that it is an expression of your difficult child's illness rather than a true expression of his feelings toward you. Easier said than done, but I think you need to grow some rhino skin when it comes to your difficult child. And some family counseling with husband so you are both on the same page would be very helpful at this point.

    In terms of your difficult child saying he's bored, that is frequently a symptom of depression rather than true ADHD. My difficult child 1 says it all the time, and we know it emanates more from his depression than his mild challenges with ADHD.

    Sorry you continue to struggle.
     
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Kjs,

    This seems to have become a family issue (mental illness frequently engulfs an entire family). Seems to me, it would be beneficial to all to have the entire family in therapy - not just difficult child.

    For very different reasons (attachment issues), neither of the tweedles attend therapist appointment with-o either husband, myself or both of us in the office. Yet, we clear the air almost every time we walk in therapist's office. therapist has backed us up as parents; however he has worked with husband, myself & one tweedle or another to learn to work out different concerns, behaviors & reactions to said behaviors.

    We've worked on the tweedles perception of what is going on versus school reports, in home therapist reports & parents reports. The tweedles always get to share their "side" of the story.

    It's never allowed to be accusatory; anger is addressed appropriately.

    Having said all that, would therapist agree to guidelines? Blurting out hurtful statements will not help the situation. difficult child needs to learn that words can be hurtful & once out of his mouth cannot be taken back. They may be forgiven, but are seldom forgotten. A mom/wife starts to protect her heart from verbal, hateful attacks.

    Something to consider.
     
  9. ROE

    ROE New Member

    I don't think there is anything wrong with kids seeing a p.doctor or a t.doctor on their own either as long as progress is being made. My easy child requested counseling a couple of times. The first t.doctor he saw, I was included in the first session. All of the other times, easy child spoke to t.docs alone. easy child was older and he was a willing participant.

    difficult child was another story, we forced him into counseling. difficult child was/is a "tough nut to crack". He was not a willing participant and usually offered little at best. It was important for us to be included or t.doctor never would've known what was really going on. I like the idea of a joint session because difficult child did have private time with t.doctor and then we had the opportunity to add our concerns. Because difficult child was there he knew that t.doctor was not betraying his confidence-not that difficult child ever told him anything anyway. It may sound like therapy did not really help difficult child because he never opened up much (to anybody)but it did in the sense that difficult child "heard" everything that was being said even though he may have seemed unresponsive at the time. He was listening. His sessions sure helped me, I got a lot of helpful suggestions on how to help difficult child to help himself.

    I agree with Linda, family counseling would be a good idea for you. Your husband needs to keep his head out of the sand and face reality. difficult child is manipulating him, ignoring the situation is not going to make it go away.


    It's awesome that the elemenary counselor gave difficult child her home phone number. That certainly goes above and beyond. in my opinion, if you want difficult child to continue in therapy on a regular basis; I would go elsewhere. Is this a guidance counselor or the school pysch? Regardless, I would think that there may be a conflict of interest particularly if issues in school continue. T.doctor's document sessions, I think that this important particulary when medication. management is involved. Maybe she can recommend someone else?

    Good Luck
     
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