Family Therapy

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    We are, once again, about to start Family Therapy with a new therapist. Now, family therapy has helped me bring out some of Kanga's issues for the therapist to see (i.e. put cracks in her honeymoon shell). FT has shown Kanga that society expects her to speak to me respectfully, without threats or swearing - she doesn't always do it but she now understands that it isn't just crazy me.

    If we go into FT without a 'goal' for the session, it can rapidly deteriorate into a poor Kanga session (all I want is for you to love me enough to bring me home and let me see my siblings...blah..blah..blah).

    So, given that we are not going to be bringing her home here, not even for a day pass and that we anticipate continuing the sibling blockade - at least as far as Piglet and Tigger are concerned. Goals for reunification are not there.

    I need to talk to the therapist and establish a goal or goals for the upcoming FT. Any suggestions?????
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    To clarify, Family Therapy -- at this time only involves Kanga and I -- husband will attend 3-4 throughout the year, but the other 8-9 will just be the two of us.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Does this mean ever, or could establish feasible milestones she would need to accomplish in order to work toward this as a final goal?

    If it does mean forever, then it would depend on the goals you'd like to see her meet.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I guess that would depend on your definition of forever.

    1. She will never be allowed to live here again.
    2. She will not be allowed to see the younger children until we feel they are capable of protecting themselves, not only physically but mentally from her as well. Difficult for adults, near impossible for children.

    To be honest, we will never feel safe around her again. We do not anticipate a close relationship once she reaches adulthood. We do plan on maintaining a way for her to contact us but still protect us from her showing up unexpectedly.

    The sad thing is that she can maintain in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and on short visits with us so we do sometimes get lulled into a sense of 'maybe we can make this work' but then she does something that shocks and horrifies and reminds us why 'never' has to be.

    I am still amazed that you allowed your difficult child to return home after he pulled a knife on you. I know you did it to protect him from your brother but to be honest, I don't think I could have done it. Maybe it is because the bond between us wasn't firmly established before she started attacking us. She lived here 6-7 years and only about 3-4 of them without significant violence. Eeyore was also violent for a brief time but his was rooted in desperate panic and he was truly remorseful after his episodes. She never was. That is the key difference in why she is gone and Eeyore is still here and no longer dangerous.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    JJJ - even though it's "family" therapy, I would see if therapist would start focusing on life after Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I would guess Kanga's got some pretty delusional plans, and I know you're probably sick of hearing me say this, LOL, but these next couple of years are going to simply fly by. I think every effort should be made to try to reach her in terms of safe behaviors, safe living environments, job readiness, and what services are available to her. That last is really important because unless she seeks those services out, is compliant and not a total pain in the neck to the service providers, she will be out there with nada. She probably doesn't think she needs services, but the reality of adult life after Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is pretty darn grim. Whatever could be done to try to instill in her the need to take advantage of everything she can... it's important. I could always send thank you up to give her a glimpse of what life without is like... or maybe not, LOL. Who knows what schemes those 2 could some up with- together.

    Edited to add: Basic math skills and a reality check would help too. SSI is what, 680/month now? Rent 500. That leaves 180. thank you opted for a cell phone and ended up getting about $7 a week for food. He ate a lot at youth shelters in the city. His current SSI payee actually takes a percentage of his check for their "administration". Too bad he totally burned bridges with- the free MH agency in the city. I'd really just try to get her to focus on the *reality* of her situation, rather than her happy little delusional plans of apartment, job, etc. It just doesn't seem to work out that way.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Correct- whether due to PO interference or not, this was the only option available. If difficult child had gotten to go to a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or found some other avenue for him and us to get intensive therapy before returning home, I think he would have had a real chance that is probably hopeless at this point. He is my bio child- I still remember him as a non-difficult child baby and young boy. Even though I clearly see that he did become (and still is) a difficult child, I feel a sense of responsibility that might not be as strong in adoptive families- I'm just not sure because I have never walked in those shoes. I'm not saying adoptive parents aren't responsible, but that they know they aren't responsible for the child becoming a difficult child in most cases and many bio parents can't feel that. We tend to feel we must have messed our kid up somehow or at least should have done things differently and feel a guilt that we might not feel as strongly if we were an adoptive parent. Again, I don't know.

    And with my son, profs have said in the past that part of his problem is feeling abandoned by his father. The last thing I wanted to do was add to that by abandoning him, too.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree with slsh. And I think FT might also focus on her acceptance of not ever coming back home to live, based on your last post, so forming a healthy arm's length relationship becomes a goal. too.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    For a long while I wondered if I just stunk at being an adoptive parent, until a therapist pointed out that my other three were actually pretty extreme difficult children in their own right and I was successfully parenting them. They were all adopted from foster care. And Eeyore (Conduct Disorder) and Piglet (MR and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)) came to us with much worse diagnosis. Kanga merely had "Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety". HA! Never believe an adoptive caseworker. The fact that we have successfully parented the younger three even though they are high needs adopted children makes me think this is a Kanga-issue and not an adoption-issue but clearly the events that led to her coming into care and being adopted do impact her significantly.

    therapist won't work on the acceptance of never returning home until next fall due to her age and the way our funding works.