therapist concern...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, May 1, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I went to difficult child's appointment with his individual therapist this evening because difficult child is in psychiatric hospital and I wanted to bring him up to date. To refresh memories, difficult child turned in two boys at school last Friday for selling drugs and alcohol, so I mentioned this to therapist. therapist looked shocked and said "you mean he turned them in- he told me he didn't want anyone to know about it".

    Would that concern you- I mean that this therapist did not mention this to anyone or encourage difficult child to turn them in or even tell me? difficult child has told me that therapist brings in games to play sometimes that difficult child can play there but that he knows he isn't allowed to play at home. That raised my eyebrows- and I was none too happy with therapist personally for a couple of other "signs" that made me think he wasn't really qualified or capable to work with the bigger problems here. But, I have still encouraged difficult child seeing him because difficult child has never had a male role model active in his life and seemed to eat this opportunity up and I thought the guy was helping difficult child deal with coping with daily, middle school age boy stuff.

    Anyway, I asked him if he would tell me if difficult child had ever or ever did use drugs. He said yes, but I'm not so sure I would believe him. Should I expect that from him for a kid this age? I'm wondering more now if the therapist is doing more enabling than helping.
  2. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Sorry, can you clarify what you mean about the games? Are they video games? And does therapist know that these are forbidden at home?

    I don't know the law around this, but I think there is a fine line between dr/patient confidentiality and keeping a patient's trust. For me personally, I don't think I would mind terribly if therapist kept information about the other kids' drug use. But I would expect him to tell me if my kid were using drugs.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    therapist might be working with difficult child to tell you about the drugs and alcohol.

    When you started these services, did you get a long list of what they will and will not do? I remember another post that a difficult child was hurt by therapist telling parents a secret, however, if that therapist would have spoken to the parents in private and told them he was working on this issue, then parents would know and difficult child wouldn't have suffered the betrayal. The list of dos and don'Tourette's Syndrome usually include mandatory reporter of abuse and may include report of crime? It should list what will and will not be shared with parents. I don't know, I don't remember what was on our list - at that time I was willing to agree to anything to get help.

    You can either ask therapist for a copy of what you were told about this (you probably signed it) or maybe the front desk people can help with it.

    Did you ask therapist about the games? I would also be concerned with how difficult child explained the games. Then again, we tend to jump to the worse case scenerio so asking difficult child for more information and than taking that info to the therapist for verification.

    If you are starting to feel uncomfortable, follow those feelings. You may find those concerns were unwarranted, but if they are flagging something going on that shouldn't, you need to know. I would start by asking what their policy is about including parents in drug, alcohol, violence, ect. issues that are being worked on. I would think they can give parents enough info without giving away all the 'secrets'. A simple, "difficult child has been involved in some friends who drink, take drugs, etc., I would hope that some day he will be able to give you all the details but for now, I will keep working with this. He states he has not taken a drink or drugs."
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The games were video games- I let my difficult child have some T rated but not a lot because many are so violent and he can't- let's just say a lot of violence doesn't so well with him. The therapist brought in one that was either a violent T rated or M rated game that difficult child knew he wasn't allowed to have at home. I didn't think to bring this up today because we were talking about the psychiatric hospital stay mostly. But, therapist did say many times difficult child comes in saying he wants to talk about things that he doesn't want his mom to know about. Of course, this is fine with me for difficult child to have an acceptable person to talk to as an alternative to me. My concern is the question in my mind- is this therapist acceptable as a role model. The other things he did that concerned me just made him look like a quack to me and I'm a little paranoid (aka over protective) about some men playing on difficult child's vulnerabilities and whether or not they have ulterior motives, so I can't always be sure if I'm over reacting and having reasonable expectations.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Want to add one more thing - this is difficult child's safe place. He needs to be able to "confess" anything without getting into trouble or upsetting people. therapist can help him process the situation without getting emotionally involved. That is often why parents are not given information on individual sessions.

    However, you still have to feel that this is a safe place and you need to trust the therapist staff. If you start doubting anything, you have the right and responsibility to check things out.

    If you still feel something is not right, continue to look into it to see what really is happening and what policy is as to when to bring parents into an issue.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's pretty much my issue with it, Adrianne- is this therapist really leading difficult child to cope better and make wise decisions or is he enabling or just not doing much more than "being a buddy" without being responsible about what messages he's sending difficult child?

    I do want him to be the "safe place" and the "man's input", if he is appropriate - this is one of the reasons why we'll look for therapy for the bigger issues some place else- I will need to be more involved, and as I told therapist, I don't want to interfere with difficult child's level of comfort with "his safe place". Sooooo- how do I get a little reassurance that this is "safe and appropriate"?
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I would be concerned that therapist gave those videos which are above his age limit. You need to discuss this with therapist. therapist needs to respect your family rules - how else will difficult child learn to respect authority if someone is telling him to disregard family rules?

    Do you meet with the therapist and difficult child at the end of each session? Our meetings are set up that way, difficult child first and then I come in toward the end to discuss anything difficult child wants to cover or that I want to bring up. That gives me a chance to get to know how therapist handles situations. We go over some of the daily coping skills that difficult child and therapist discussed for certain situations.

    It is important that parents know what these skills are - what is difficult child to do? Parents need to be able to help implement these skills - how can they do so if they are not told what they are? We are working on ignoring teasings or situations that will bring up anger, ect. difficult child is to walk away. Teachers will need to know that also so they better understand what difficult child is trying to do.

    Maybe ask for a monthly or quarterly family session to recap what difficult child is learning from therapist sessions?

    I would still follow your instincts. Our instincts sometimes indicates something is not right and some times we just can't put it in words.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don;'t get any of that feedback- that's one thing that raises my eyebrows- along with lieing in a letter I could have taken to difficult child's court (there was no reason to lie- I was afraid to take it in for support for difficult child because it contained untruths in it)- and the biggy for me- I asked this guy for a recommendation for an advocate for iep; after convincing me he had experience in this and I paid him he showed up and had nothing to contibute other than handing out business cards- oh, then, last month he said to me "OH, you think difficult child really does have mood cycles".....difficult child has been seeing this guy since last June, therapist has copies of two psychiatrist reports and knows of medications (mood stabilizers)- GEEZ- does he think all that is for show and that I would allow my kid to be on these medications if I didn't think he really has mood cycles?
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Is your therapist tied into your psychiatrist? (ours is -psychiatrist can read tdocs reports via computer network. He uses this to help with medication changes)

    Call your psychiatrist and ask for his opinion. Very carefully ask - you don't know the connection. "psychiatrist, difficult child has been seeing therapist for almost a year now. I am not sure that he is still a good match for difficult child - I haven't seen any improvements in daily coping skills. We believe that difficult child would benefit by changing tdocs to better suit difficult child's needs? Do you know of a therapist that has more experience or specializes in difficult child's diagnosis?"

    I would ask current therapist for a family meeting to review progress of this last year. Ask what coping skills he has been working on. Ask what their treatement plan (goal) is for your son in the upcoming appointments. This will either make you feel better about what is going on or give you evidence that a change is needed.
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Just wanted to send you hugs. So sorry that you are going through all of this right now. I am glad, however, difficult child was able to finally get into a phosph. I am sending positive vibes your way, that something clicks for him in this stay. medications, therapy, life, whatever it may be.

    As far as therapist - all I know is that every therapist has their own methodology. If it feels uncomfortable to you, and they are unwilling to change, then it is not the right fit. There are very strict laws on patient/counselor confidentiality, and telling the parent about anything except thoughts to harm themselves or another, is only done if the parent/child agree that this is to be communicated. It sounds like therapist is trying to gain difficult children trust, and the only way to do that is by letting the child know they will not "tattle" if told important information. If this is not the way you want it set up, then let therapist and difficult child know that, and then agree on a different plan.