Family Sessions

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JKF, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    So I just got an email from the CMO about starting family sessions with difficult child at the PCR. They want me to go once a week in the evenings. Otherwise they said they can not keep difficult child in this program due to the fact that family sessions are required. I am willing to go (even though family sessions have had NO results in the past) however I refuse to go at night. The PCR is approximately an hour away in an urban area and I am not driving there and back in the dark. I can hardly drive around here at night and there's much less traffic, etc. around here. I emailed the CMO back and said I'm willing to attend but it must be mid day. If it's that important then they can make arrangements for that to happen.

    The CMO also said I'm required to attend these meetings "regardless of difficult child's permanency plan after the PCR". I told him that I am willing to attend but that we are still set on our decision to not allow difficult child home after this program ends. They need to find him an independent living program as was suggested by THIER Dr. at his last psychiatric evaluation in October.

    difficult child will be 18 in 7 months. I'm counting the days. I know it sounds so mean and so horrible but I've had enough of this! I know that him turning 18 won't make these problems magically disappear but I will have a much lesser role in all of this and maybe just maybe my life will start to return to "normal".

    Sorry for my rambling but I'm just so stressed! Like I don't have enough to do already! Let's add some more to my schedule!!! UGGGGGGHHHH!
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Stand firm. Offer them specific times that you are available for family sessions (ie. Tues at 11am) so that they can't say that you are not willing. Or if they insist that it has to be in the evenings, that you would be willing to participate via phone.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    What is PCR? I might be in a similar situation soon and I don't get it either. If the plan is for the difficult child to go out on their own, WTH am I required to go thru 'treatment' with him? And no, I can't revolve my schedule around them either. In my case, it comes down to which they want more- child support paid or me being at their beckon call to do whatever they want, when they want it.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We start our family sessions tomorrow. Fortunately for us, evenings are better; but then, we don't have the same situation.

    I agree - do NOT back down. Yes, you're willing, at X, Y or Z time - but NOT after, say, 6 PM, they must be OVER before then.
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I am definitely standing firm! These people put me through hell and back over the summer. They didn't want to place difficult child, they made me drive home from vacation and back (7 hours round trip) to sign him into the shelter, etc. Like I said, I'm willing to attend but it has to be during the day and also for now every other week in person and if they want the other weeks I can do phone. I can't drive down there twice a week for family sessions and visits. Just can't do it. So I will alternate. Session one week, visit the next and so on.
  6. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    PCR is Psychiatric Community Residential. It's like an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but more intense (so they say) in a shorter period of time. He's currently in a 6 month program but after that he will need to go to an independent living or transitional program.
  7. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Good luck tomorrow Step. In my experience family sessions are a huge waste of time but I guess that depends on each individual family. In my case, difficult child doesn't like to talk about feelings, says everything is fine, yet continues to harbor a deep resentment against me, his bio dad, younger brother, etc. That's one part of the problem. He refuses to acknowledge his anger until he gets angry and then all bets are off.

    Like I said to JJJ, I'm definitely not backing down! I will be available but at times that are appropriate for me . I work but am willing to take time off every other week to go to sessions. During the DAY! However, at night I have my younger son to deal with and I refuse to interrupt his schedule/routine and drag him out for an evening family session which would take an hour PLUS the two hour round trip travel time! My husband works non stop, gets up at 4 am, works until 9 pm most nights and is not available to watch 10 y/o while I go to a family session that's convenient for everyone but me. NOT HAPPENING!!!
  8. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    JJJ, I'm counting the days until my difficult children turn eighteen. I have an app on my phone keep it for me. Most people don't understand why I do it. They don't understand that their 18th birthday is the first day of choice. On that day, our family has the choice of whether to put up with the abuse or not. Right now, we are trapped. I go back and forth on feeling guilty, but no one, even a mom, should be subjected to what our family has, so the guilt doesn't last long.

    Stick to your guns. I think family sessions are a waste of time, too. The difficult child is the one with the problem, but everyone else in the family expected to bend to accommodate their thought process. I told one therapist unless you are going tattoo handling instructions on her forehead, wouldn't it be better to teach HER how to deal life and its annoyances? :-/
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    WEEKLY???? I didn't catch that in the first post. Ugh, you'll go mad. Monthly is all we have ever been required to do.

    FT is a waste of time for kids like yours and my Kanga. FT can be beneficial for kids like Eeyore who just need a structured support.
  10. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I agree 100% that the FT is a total waste of time! In difficult child's old Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I went to weekly family therapy sessions. What a joke these sessions were. We would rarely ever talk about any family issues due to the fact that difficult child was constantly changing the subject to things HE wanted to talk about. Like video games and computers! It was such a waste of time and money and I'm not looking forward to doing it again. I will see how the first couple of sessions go and if I feel like they are a waste of time I will let them know that I can do it via phone instead of taking time off of work and spending money on gas to travel there for nothing.

    I also need to continue to make it clear to the CMO that he is not returning home after this PCR program. They need to find him a transitional program and then when he's ready independent living. The CMO is so focused on "reunification" that they are missing the big picture which is that difficult child needs to learn life skills and he needs professionals to teach him those skills. We have tried but it just doesn't work with him. He also needs constant supervision that we can't provide for him here. The fact that he tried to steal his brother's video game on Thanksgiving proves to me that we still can't and never will be able to trust him. So frustrating and sad but I need to think about his future and stop letting the CMO try to guilt me into bringing him home which will be a disaster for ALL of us, including difficult child!
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Good for you for drawing the line. In just the few family sessions that we had in psychiatric hospital, even those were a waste. If you have a kid who wont or can't communicate with you, then it is silly. I didn't mind meeting with them to problem solve and discuss about him, but to expect him to come in and "discuss" isssues was just silly.

    I can't even imagine doing that weekly, being ordered to--or else... so out of control dumb. Well, I think (Not that it matters, lol) that you are offering a more than fair compromise. Hope they agree with me.
  12. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    My difficult child is not in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or anything like that, but I do go to his therapist with him and I tend to agree with you about family therapy being a waste of time. difficult child is the one who has to learn how to behave properly, yet I am the one who seems to have done most of the changing. difficult child expects everyone else to change to suit his needs. It drives me crazy.

    As the others have said, stick to your guns about the times of the family sessions. If the evening does not work for you for any reason, tell them that is must be during the day. Mine is only 12 and I am counting the days until he turns 18 and goes off the culinary school. I have already told husband that after he finishes school he can not come back here to live. I have done my time in purgatory and the rest of this family have earned some time without all of the difficult child drama that seems to encapsulate our lives.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    What can they do about it if you just don't participate in this at all?
  14. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure. All that CMO said was that it's required and that if I don't participate they can't keep him there. I am willing to participate but I will not allow it to rule my life!! Those days are over!
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My son is in a different situation so my goal isn't exactly the same as yours. He's coming out of Department of Juvenile Justice (incarceration) in a couple of months and since his committing offense was against me and we tried this once before but it didn't work, I had asked for him to go to a short term group home or foster care temporarily, to slow the transition back into the home and make sure he was actually going to try this time. The parole officer leaped to planning for a long term group home, that would cause my son to age out of the system. It has similar rrequirements as what you are describing. I couldn't figure out why I would need to meet with them or do their 'treaatment' (no licensed prof involved) if they are ordering this and it forces my son to stay in it until after he's 18,. just because he'll be over 17 when he gets there. So, I feel for your sittuation and completely understand why you are ttaking the position that you are with the group home AND your difficult child. However, I'm going to see if I can use this info (not against you) but it might help me argue against this long term ggroup home for my son. If they are requiring my participation or they won't keep him, then maybe they'll be forced to come up with another plan.

    My honest opinion- it's not their 'treatment' that works- it's the dangling the carrot of being reunited with the parent that motivates the kid. Once the kid is back in the home, the family doesn't have a big carrot like that to dangle and things fall apart.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    why is it that therapy is ordered on all these kids who cant use it, wont use it and us parents dont want to even go to it but when there are people who actually want to have therapy, you cant get any for love nor money!
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Only speaking for our case- and not wanting to hi jack the thread- the group home propsed for difficult child has NO MH prof and no licensed counselor of any sort. They have some sort of anger management 'treatment' or course that would be required of difficult child and I would be required to participate. The course requires difficult child to work thru phases. So I'm thinking, he had one anger management course while on probation, then 2 stints in Department of Juvenile Justice where he was required to do anger management 'treatment' and required to work his way thru phases, but this lady thinks she has the magic answer.

    No, we cannot get a therapist or psychiatric or traditional family therapy by a licensed therapist unless they do me the favor of allowing me the privilege of picking difficult child and transporting him to a therapist that I pay for. This is just our case, DJ, because it's funded by Department of Juvenile Justice funding and that doesn't cover 'real' MH treatment, only behavior mod.

    JFK will have to respond reagrading her son's situation.

    DJ- did you get my PM?

    Any way, My perosnal opinion regarding your question- because when they get more funding approved, they spend it doing the same things they've always done, that have already proven not to work. More kids are getting committed to Department of Juvenile Justice and more are recommitted once in. So states and local jurisdictions say they need more money to deal with it. They get more money...they try the same tactics. OK, if your difficult child didn't spend his money effectively and had failing results and planned on using any furutre money doing the same thing, would you hand him more money? At some point wouldn't you say 'if you want more money, you're going to have to come up with a different plan that has more potential for reaping some benefit'? You have to try something different if you want a different result and I think that applies to the juvie system as much as the family members. Just my 2 cents....

    handing thread back over now.....
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had my therapist yanked out from under me because my insurance doesnt cover her precise letters behind her name.