Talk with- therapist today

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The therapist who's doing difficult child's individual therapy and our family therapy called today and we talked a very long time. It went better than I expected but not as good as I had hoped. Clearly, she is just another one who thinks difficult children' issues are the parents fault. I tried to stress that parents cannot teach kids to be responsible for their behavior when they see so many others blaming the parent. You know, I'm so tired of one saying I didn't spank him enough as a young child, another saying I spanked him too much, another person saying I need to keep a closer eye on him, then another saying I should let him do more at home, then answering to why "I'm letting him look at porn on the computer" (are they kidding?), and now "I drove him to it". Do these people really think a parent can be effective when the kid hears all this?

    Nevertheless, she recommended the book "Positive Discipline". Is anyone here familiar with this book and if so, what did you think of it? I have never heard of it.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I found a website and looked thru it. It looks like simplistic stuff for typical kids- mostly younger children- to me. I swear I don't think this therapist gets it. But as usual, she's so convinved that I don't get it that she can't consider anything else.

    For instance: "Set firm boundaries regarding tv and computer time". Yes, well....this is the kid who over-rode computer passwrods so after I had to call the company and have them lead me thru changing a chip on the motherboard, then putting an exterior type key-lock on the door, the child takes the door off the hinges to get to the computer. That was 3 years ago- do you have any idea how much things have progressed since then? Do they really think that blaming the parent in front of the child is the best answer??

    therapist says "well, you can tell them that you just can't control him so they have to do something". Well, HELLOOOOOO, LADY, do you see where he is? Are you aware that the only other option is DSS which means he gets sent to my bro where he most likely will be molested? Never mind all that- if we know all these issues are here, why are we spending time reinforcing the confusion in the difficult child that this could just all be his mother's fault?? Why is it so hard to get all on the same page?
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I like the Positive Discipline books very much and have used the techniques on my kids for years. There is one written for teens.

    I'm not going to say it works all the time or that it's a cure-all. But I like the author's philospophy of "firm and friendly" limits and natural consequences or related logical consequences. Her philosophy has always made a lot of sense to me.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not syaing that the techniques are wrong- just that most from what I'm reading, these were things I was already doing and still my son had explosive times. I think therapist doesn't get that this is not a kid who had issues all his life and they were due to someone who didn't get how to be a good parent. First, he didn't have issues all his life. Still, I can tell by her questions that this is what she thinks. I've been going thru this stuff for four years now- I'm just tired of dealing with these people and going over the hhistory a million times with them - while she is another who tries to fill in the blanks to fit what she already thinks.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I don't mean this to sound harsh, though it probably will since I stink at sugar-coating things.

    One ongoing thing I'venoticed through out this saga is that you seem to have an adversarial attitude towards difficult children wardens.

    I wonder if that attitude isn't creating moer problems then it is solving.

    I am not sure why you are so sure your brother will molest your son, but you are at some point going to have to detach to some degree and let the pros come up with a treatment plan.

    ALL children with behavior issues have parenting issues. Not because the parents are bad parents, but because these children need to be parented differently. The usual ways just don't work for them.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is his therapist- I'm ok with his counselors there (2 different things when in Department of Juvenile Justice)- although I do get frustrated when they won't return a call or something. I know I AM real picky about tdocs. I've been thru my share and felt like too many were a waste of time but a good one can change a life. I just think this one seems very green with difficult child's but I know he's behaved well there so now she thinks he's a typical teen- at least that is the way it comes across to me. And since my son pulled the "they will blame you so if you don't do what I want, I'll just refuse to do XXX, then what will you do", I am less than patient with anyone who tries to act like he was justified in breaking the law, musch less pulling a knife on me. I don't think he learns to take responsibility for his actions that way. That doesn't m,ean that I think I'm perfect or won't try to find advice for handling situations a better way- just that I know he doesn't need to be sent any messages that "if your mom was a better parent you wouldn't have done this" because he turns that into "if mom doesn't do ABC, I'll just do XYZ and that will show her".

    I have reason for my concerns regarding my bro but I won't go into them again. It;s a whole chapter in itself. LOL!

    She (therapist) knows that I've researched and looked into things that work or don't work with gffg. She knows I am an advocate of The Explosive Child and that the concept of problem solving rather than dictating works well with difficult child- I told her I tried it and found it very effective. Also, that behavior contracts can be thrown out the window where he is concerned but that a rewards chart with a plan for consequences kept separate works well. It's not that I don't have room for improvement or advice- it's the sending difficult child the message that his mom drove him to it (which has been said in front of him) that throws me thru the roof!!
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    K, I've heard this so many times before we found the tdocs we are using that actually understand the tweedles issues.

    Saying that, I never ever allowed that kind of talk. AND I walked out of the office with-o returning if a therapist blamed me for my tweedles many issues.

    Never tolerated it, never will. However, I was very diplomatic with therapist, SW, etc who tried to blame husband or myself. I let them know that I didn't accept that statement - they either backed the parent or didn't understand or want to take on the more serious issues that we saw in kt & wm.

    Just wanted to let you know that kind of talk is nonsense. After a certain point, no matter how you raised your difficult child, it's all in his hands .... Period. As with any child.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't remember what the "correct clinical" name is but sometimes people hear what they anticipate hearing and therefore are resistant to advice from a provider. Deep down in your heart you "know" that strangers can not make him into the kid you dreamed of having. He is almost grown now and his future is in his hands...with a little supplemental care from you.

    Although I am on your team I consistently "hear" you being adversarial or distanced from input. You are a highly anxious person who is unable to tolerate the medications that lower anxiety. Due to the economy you have a huge relocation challenge coming up soon. You have the sale of your house, your current financial straights, the cost/separation from the dogs that you have decided to take, government paperwork to complete and check and recheck........AND........evidently, you are hoping that one of the tdocs or counselors is going to say to you "we are wrong and you are right". It's not going to happen.

    Most of us with difficult children carry painful baggage from interactions that hurt us or hurt our children. To this day when I allow myself to picture a few people who impacted our family I get irate and can feel my blood pressure
    going up. Don't keep going over and over the PO etc. that caused you grief. Have confidence that when your son is released you all will be able to try a new lifestyle together with success. History is history. IF, and I personally doubt it, your son retrogresses or threatens violence THEN you
    can take action with the resources available at that time. What you tried before didn't work. What he chose to do was inappropriate. Nobody can relate to the past OR the future. You have got to think positively and pray for the best. DDD
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    After sleeping on it, I think I might write her a short letter. I would just call her but we spent a long time on the phone yesterday and she rarely has extra time so it's probably more convenient for her to get a letter. Plus, that will allow me to articulate my thoughts better.

    I pushed for this family therapy based on the advice from a psychiatrist at the last psychiatric hospital and the therapist I saw last winter who both were aware that difficult child becomes explosive at times and has a tendency to become aggressive with me after sessions with a therapist that start hitting too close to home for him. They both said we needed to work thru that while he was in a secure place for my own safety. I tried to get this starting in earrly summer, right after difficult child was transferred to his "final" facility but therapist wanted to get to know him first, then she kept saying she needed to put it off again and again, then she would cancel appts. Finally, it started a month or so ago and we've met all of 3 times. At this rate we might meet maybe 3 more times before I won't be able to anymore, assuming the job comes thru.

    Since she started with wanting to do the typical behavioral contract, which I guess is what their tdocs typically do to start planning for a difficult child's return home, but now she see's (apparently) why that won't work, but she sees this anger in difficult child now, she's trying to find the root of that. I have no problem with that- obviously that would be consistent with my goals for being there. But she's starting with the same typical issues they all do to make sure this wasn't caused by aggression by the parent toward the kid while he was growing up, a parent who wouldn't listen, etc. I had told her the history before but she asked it again yesterday and we had to go thru it all again.

    I don't think we will get very far before time runs out and this situation is over. I definitely don't think the objectives will be met before difficult child is released. That's not to say that a couple of good things haven't come from it, indirectly. difficult child and I seem to be getting a lot farther on our own as far as communicating privately. He told me privately one reason why he gets so angry with me in therapy- I'm not sure if that's the only reason or not but time will tell. But I might as well let go of my frustration over trying to hurry up and get past the "getting to know each other and the problems" part and accept that by the time she gets there, they will be unlocking the door and letting difficult child out. They canceled visitation this weekend due to an outbreak of the swine flu so unfortunately, difficult child and I won't have our normal weekly talk until at least next weekend.

    I do believe there is strong possiblity that difficult child will become agressive toward me again if he comes home harboring any thoughts that "I drive him to break the law". I feel 85% certain of that and that would be the advantage of him going someplace other than home upon his release. He could not blame anyone but himself for future actions and therefore, would do better and have a better chance, in my humble opinion.

    On a better note, he reached his next "level" and he had prepared me for bad grades in 3 classes. Maybe it was when grades got reported and turned in but I got them yesterday and he has 3 A's, 3B's, 1 C, and 1 F (PE). So I am very happy about them. They (sd) are trying to work with him to participate more in PE but they aren't making a big issue of it so I'm not either. He hasn't called in a few days and that usually means a charge- keeping fingers crossed it's not.

    A couple of things therapist said- she does NOT want me to tell her anything difficult child told me in confidence, about himself or otherwise; if he asks me any questions about things that transpired before, pertaining to his erratic behavior or why certain things happened, I should not answer but ask him how he feels about it instead (it always drove me nuts for a therapist to do that with me); and she stressed to me NOT to tell difficult child that she recommended that book and is loaning it to me because "it is a boundaries thing". WTH does that mean? She did acknowledge that difficult child doesn't fit the typical mold for kids in Department of Juvenile Justice and that I had done a great deal of research and had extensive knowledge about "these sorts of issues" that most parents of kids in there don't have. So, I just don't get why she's giving the typical suggestions when she's still learning the specifics.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009