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!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Too picky? Too late anyway?

We talked to the therapist yesterday (Saturday) about taking the Summer as a time to increase therapy. Therapist said it would be OK, but he only wants to see Bear weekly. I'm OK with that because I need someone with whom I can communicate, and maybe a different therapist would be able to do this. This therapist has offered no outside support at all. Am I expecting too much? Kitty's therapists have always been supportive of me and offered suggestions when we're trying to make a decisions regarding the kids.

FYI, I complained about the lack of response when we were in crisis last week. I'd left a message and sent an e-mail the day that Bear cussed and yelled at me because he found out he was going to be escorted and supervised at all times for the last week of school. The therapist's response was, "but I did answer your last e-mail." Not true! This was sent in response to an e-mail sent the week before that crisis:

Hi Mary.

All I can comment on is what is presented in session.

As far as his progress.... He is talking. He is engaged in the conversations and demonstrates the ability to deconstruct thoughts, feelings, concepts and behavior. At this point I feel like that's were the work is. He still has a lot to work through and get past. I think its realistic to expect that he has more poor choices to make based on the belief system he holds (Self / world / others).

My understanding of the email tells me your conflicted as to your next move is with him. My clinical opinion is that he needs a "Secure Base" (you and your family) to fall back on and trust. I feel his behavior is testing your resolve as it is meant to. He's going to push because he doesn't believe you're real or that he doesn't deserve it.... So he may be acting in conscious and unconscious ways to destroy rather than be abandoned or disappointed.

All in all. I think his issues are more about attachment rather than psychopthology.

I look forward to seeing ya-all on Sat. Sounds like we have a lot to talk about.

Thank you for your e-mail

[Bear's therapist]

Bear has been with us 4 years. I don't know that we can give him more of a "secure base" than we have been. Anyway, here was the e-mail he was responding to:

Hi [Bear's therapist],

I wanted to check in with you and see how you feel things are going. Does it seem like this is beneficial to Bear? I realize in a lot of ways this is early days, but at the same time we are pretty short on time because he’ll be 17 in just 2 months, and he’s
convinced he’ll be an adult then.

Some things under discussion.
· He’s still failing math and ROTC, and although they’ve made it ridiculously easy for him to pass everything else if he just turns something in… someday… he doesn’t even have to have done the work himself… he’s still been failing.
· He’s tardy or skipping class entirely 3-4 days a week. No explanations or excuses as to where he’s been.
· He’s sleeping through the first 2 periods each day. (We’re trying for a sleep
study, but finding one that takes Medicaid and will call us back…). He wants to go to football camp so he’s trying to improve, but this is apparently the best he can do?
· He’s not going to qualify for Summer school because they don’t offer what he
· He’s still totally untrustworthy so a Summer job is just asking for trouble.
· Ditto with a driver’s license.
· We’re looking at whether or not we should continue with legal guardianship after he turns 18, but are not sure what the qualifications are or whether or not this
would be right for him.
· He’s getting even more distant (if that’s possible) with the family.

I have no idea what we’re going to do with him this Summer.



GB's Mom said...

You're entering the Twilight Zone of adoption- the years when they still need an external brain, but legally you have no right to be one. They still mature with the right supports, but it is a very different world.


Radical Melody said...

I would be upset with the therapist. We have an attachment therapist and she is available to me as much as possible (while still having her own life). There are times when she can't/doesn't get back to me, but that is rare. Her policy is that it is important and beneficial to everyone that she be available during crisis, because, as she put it, "these kids are masters and sensing weakness and seizing upon it." Our therapist comments regularly on what does not go on in session -- that's MOST of what she comments on. I would think an attachment therapist would realize there can be a vast chasm between the kid in session and the kid at home. Unbelievable.

marythemom said...

Thanks GB's Mom!

Radical Melody, Bear does not have an attachment therapist. He is "too old." He has a regular therapist that we just started working with a few months ago after I fired the last one for not being supportive and for not working with Bear on his level - using big words that Bear didn't understand, doing cognitive behavioral therapy with Bear when the therapist wasn't trained in it...

The new therapist is working on Bear's level, and we (parents) are always in the sessions (no individual), but he is not supportive of us outside of therapy - this is the only e-mail I've ever received from him.