This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kitty Therapy

The original plan for Kitty's therapy was for her to go to EMDR therapy for the Summer and then go back to attachment therapy. She was having a lot of issues with her PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) and dissociating and meltdowns. We watched a video of how EMDR works and it basically said 2-3 session and the person was able to process the event(s) without the emotional turmoil. So I have been pushing the sessions to get Kitty to address her biggest triggers/ issues.

I talked to Kitty's attachment therapist about setting up appointments again, and she asked if I had talked to the EMDR therapist about it. Well, no, I'm a big e-mail communicator and the EMDR therapist is not, plus she's a super busy person. She reads this blog sometimes though! So tonight, I/we pushed Kitty through another session (we've been alternating difficult with easier sessions and tonight was scheduled to be a tough one), and then sent Kitty out of the room for a talk.

Oops! Basically the EMDR for a single event (like a rape or car accident) is 2-3 sessions. For long-term trauma and abuse it could take more like 2 years. Guess which the therapist was predicting for Kitty?!

Kitty is much better. She no longer obviously dissociates when we talk about birth mom or her abusive men -before, she wouldn't answer and would focus on anything else in the room, would change the subject, would walk/run away, and even got violent. Now she stays put, and only sometimes says, "I don't remember."

I was very interested in working on Kitty's somatic issues with the attachment therapist (something we were just starting when Kitty switched to EMDR therapy), but according to the EMDR therapist Kitty is not ready yet. That basically her lack of awareness about her body (not sensing hunger, food on her face, not caring about body odor, not being ticklish, actually inviting others to hurt her by pinching or hitting her to prove that it doesn't hurt her...) is part of her dissociating behavior, and that when she is (much) further along we'll see a dramatic improvement in her awareness of her body.

So now I'm thinking it would be great if I could see Kitty's attachment therapist to help and support me in continuing to provide the therapeutic parenting and deal with attachment issues, while Kitty and I continue with her EMDR therapy. The only problem is that the attachment therapist is not on our health insurance. She would be paid through TX Medicaid which of course I don't have. I'll call her today and see if we have any alternatives.



Alyssa's Mom said...

Just curious:

Why doesn't the attachment therapist want to have sessions while Kitty is doing EMDR?

Our AT uses EMDR in some of our sessions.

marythemom said...

Kitty's attachment therapist cannot do EMDR, but Kitty's EMDR therapist can do trauma work. I think it would be too much for Kitty to address similar issues (mostly regarding biomom) with both therapists. Plus, if we stick with the once a week thing with both then that adds another therapy session to our already hectic schedules. With 4 kids, 2 of whom see therapists weekly and a psychiatrist monthly, and both parents working full time - that's not a lot of family time. We aren't even able to think about any of the kids getting into sports or other activities because the logistics would be crazy (plus the expense).

Brenda said...

We did attachment therapy and EMDR therapy both. Somtimes on different days of the week and sometimes one following the other. I think they work well together. For one child it only took about 6 months though. They worked together on similar issues. I would tell the EMDR therapist what we had worked on in attachment therapy and then she would follow up on the same topic.