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  #1  
June 27th, 2007, 03:46 PM
Ms.Michelle
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I was just watching a Dr. Phil where the parents were in complete denial of their actions and how it was hurting the child. I've seen it in my own family and listened to it at the Distress Centre as a volunteer. You could see it in Dr. Phil's stance.. he was so sad at the reality of the situation. I know your hands are tied to call in the authorities if kids of these parents aren't being hit, sexually abused, etc.. Some parents just don't get it. When it's that bad at an emotional or verbal level, how do you do your job? It rips my heart out to see how parents are so destructive yet just don't see it. These kids have major issues from them.
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  #2  
June 28th, 2007, 08:13 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 4,213
I don't know how it is in other people's counties, but in our county, CPS will investigate (not necessarily pull kids) for verbal abuse and make them take parenting classes and such. Once you are in the CPS system here, it is VERY difficult to get out without having to go through counseling, rehab, parenting classes, etc…. I've called reported verbal and psychological abuse before and I didn't see the kid after that because I'm sure the parent figured out who called. I know for certain they were investigating it because they called me several times after that for statements. It's especially difficult to treat because all you get are "stories" from the kids about verbal abuse and then the parents either deny it or don't take responsibility for it. Most parents, well at least mine, will NEVER say what they say to their kid at home in the therapy suite.

But, I try to educate the parent about the negative effects on the self-esteem of their child. I've also told one parent that I wouldn't support their parenting decisions that they were asking for my support on (which were questionable to begin with) if they didn’t start respecting their child as a human being. However any parent behaving in such a way to their children obviously has issues that they haven’t dealt with (probably from their family of origin) and I always encourage parents in similar circumstances to seek their own therapy. I do some education on systems and how behaviors are transmitted from generation to generation and try to set them up with another therapist in our practice for individual psychotherapy. Some actually go but unfortunately, they always think of an excuse to stop their own therapy after a few sessions.
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  #3  
June 28th, 2007, 02:18 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 17,679
I've had to learn, emotionally speaking, that I cannot "save" people. as much as I want to, as much as I"d love to fix every marriage and "solve" all family problems that I can clearly see are going to damage children, I cant. like my blinkie says, I"m not a magician
When parents however will not stop verbally attacking kids in session, and we've talked about it to my wits end, i've asked parents to leave sessions, or had to refer them to other people... this is after months and months of parents refusing to see their influence in the problems aka "If SHE would only stop doing such and such, our family would be better", or "our family is fine except for her, she's the problem in this family"
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  #4  
June 29th, 2007, 08:02 PM
*kyle*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 5,117
ITA with the other girls.

What I do in those situations is to be as blunt as possible. I will say, for example, "You are harming your child. I know you didn't have a child in order to hurt him/her. But that is what you are doing. You came to me for help, and for an objective viewpoint. I am telling you right now, if you don't change this behavior, you risk damaging your child for the rest of his/her life. Are you comfortable with that thought?" Or as I told a parent a few weeks ago, "If you don't stop putting your daughter between yourself and your ex, she will grow up with no idea about a healthy relationship. She will not know boundaries. She will not know how to tell if someone is hurting her. This puts her at risk for things like rape and abuse. Are you comfortable contributing to that?" Of course I get a "No, of course not." Me: "Then quit the BS and take the advice you're paying for." I have literally said, "I'm not messing around, and I won't put up with you messing around either." Then I will go on and lay out a very concrete behavioral action plan, explaining the reasons behind each step.

If they fail to follow my instructions/suggestions yet again, then it's a referral to another therapist. I've had this conversation as well: "Since you don't appear to be taking our sessions to heart, I feel perhaps another therapist might be of more help." Usually they figure out you're dumping them, and will say "No, really, I'll try." It's 50/50 after that. Half of them will be snapped to reality by the fact that their therapist wants to fire THEM, and the other half still won't get it.

But yeah, I don't play around when it comes to emotional abuse. If it is direct name-calling over-the-line kind of stuff, I'll call DCFS as well. Even if the agency never investigates, it will still be on file in case the situation ever escalates into the physical realm.
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  #5  
June 30th, 2007, 03:09 PM
Ms.Michelle
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Quote:
If they fail to follow my instructions/suggestions yet again, then it's a referral to another therapist. I've had this conversation as well: "Since you don't appear to be taking our sessions to heart, I feel perhaps another therapist might be of more help." Usually they figure out you're dumping them, and will say "No, really, I'll try." It's 50/50 after that. Half of them will be snapped to reality by the fact that their therapist wants to fire THEM, and the other half still won't get it.[/b]
Many of the callers at the Distress Centre call on those days!

Back to the topic..

I guess I have to remember that many people who claim to want help, really don't seem to have tools to learn from it sometimes. That's not the fault of anyone, just is the reality. Some people you can be really blunt with and they still don't want to change..

Thanks for letting me vent. Somedays I want to get into that field, but I just don't have the patience. (That's a pun isn't it?) But really, I don't think I have the emotional boundary there.
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  #6  
July 1st, 2007, 07:15 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 4,213
It never ceases to amaze me how many people have little to no interest in what goes on in the therapy room. I will have 7 year olds come for their very first appt. with me and when I go to get them in the waiting room, the parent doesn’t stand up or introduce themselves. I have to locate them and then ASK them to come back to session. “Oh you want me too?” “Um…yea…I don’t think a 7 year old is going to tell me what is presenting issues are.” Then, God help me if I ask for continued involvement after that first session!! I get eye rolls and “Well, I had to run to Target really quick.” “I have to go pick up my paycheck, I’ll be back at 5.” So, they basically want to drop their kid off, have me magically “fix” them in 50 minutes and pick up a well-mannered and completely obedient child. Not gonna happen people!! I just can’t imagine not going in with my child as much as the therapist needed me too! I’ve looked into other school programs and have seriously considered getting another degree just because I don’t know if I made the right career decision. If I could, I would work at Barnes and Noble or Target right now! Some place quiet where I don’t have to get emotionally involved with people. But, they wouldn’t pay me as much and I’m my own boss as a therapist. You can’t beat that deal with a 6 month old.
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  #7  
July 1st, 2007, 07:25 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 4,213
Oh, for the record Michelle, you would make a great therapist! Your intelligent, empathetic and have great tenacity!!!
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  #8  
July 1st, 2007, 10:29 PM
*kyle*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 5,117
Oh yeah Ann... about those parents who just want you to fix their kid. I have a 17 year old making HUGE gains right now, the kinds of changes to his thinking patterns and decision making that a therapist can pinpoint, but that might not have made its way into their behavior quite yet. The family used to have these huge fights almost weekly that would end in windows being broken, cops called, people threatening each other's lives. All of that stopped for 3 months. The mom said nothing, I had to elicit any kind of positive statement like pulling a hen's tooth. Then, after 12 weeks with no fights, my client got frustrated about something, threw a bookbag and left the house to calm down. The mom's response? "This isn't working. I want him out of my house." WHAT???

SO that was fun.
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  #9  
July 1st, 2007, 11:15 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 17,679
wait you guys dont love the free babysitting service you get to run? I see alot of court mandated clients (well i did before we moved) and I literally had to call parents to come pick their kids up after session
they didnt get that family couseling meant the whole family. Not just me and the kids. Or when they tell me their concerns the first session (you get lucky if you get that) and asking any other family member besides mom to come into session (like oh I dont know, THEIR FATHER) is just an insane question
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  #10  
July 2nd, 2007, 06:12 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 4,213
Quote:
Oh yeah Ann... about those parents who just want you to fix their kid. I have a 17 year old making HUGE gains right now, the kinds of changes to his thinking patterns and decision making that a therapist can pinpoint, but that might not have made its way into their behavior quite yet. The family used to have these huge fights almost weekly that would end in windows being broken, cops called, people threatening each other's lives. All of that stopped for 3 months. The mom said nothing, I had to elicit any kind of positive statement like pulling a hen's tooth. Then, after 12 weeks with no fights, my client got frustrated about something, threw a bookbag and left the house to calm down. The mom's response? "This isn't working. I want him out of my house." WHAT???

SO that was fun.[/b]
Oh, that sounds familiar! One little step back and all of a sudden therapy isn't working and it's my fault. I also find it amusing when a parent scheduled 10 sessions with me and shows up to 3 of them over a period of a year and has the audacity to tell me: "This isn't working" on my third session in 9 months with them. I also love it when I ask parents the first session to talk about their child's strengths. I get so much of the: "He's so bad. He's so rotten. He never listens, he never cares." crap that when I ask what their child is good at, they can't tell me a thing!!! I'm so sick of that!
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  #11  
July 2nd, 2007, 09:45 AM
Ms.Michelle
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Quote:
Oh, for the record Michelle, you would make a great therapist! Your intelligent, empathetic and have great tenacity!!![/b]
Thanks hon.. after emailing and chatting with my own family this last few days, I think I have had enough of crazy people.

Quote:
wait you guys dont love the free babysitting service you get to run?[/b]
I can totally see my family in all of these lovely examples!

Quote:
"He's so bad. He's so rotten. He never listens, he never cares." crap that when I ask what their child is good at, they can't tell me a thing!!! I'm so sick of that![/b]
No matter how many times I say it.. the apple never falls far from the tree ~ hence why *I* should never be a therapist!
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  #12  
July 2nd, 2007, 09:53 AM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 17,679
Are we all counseling the same people? Or is it just that we and the court systems attract those clients... i'm going with that one

Again, it is an extremely wierd balance between open arms, empathy and complete understanding and acceptance, and hard nosed, reality based, cut through the crap, "I can't fix you and its not my job to solve your problems for you" type of thinking
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  #13  
July 2nd, 2007, 10:37 AM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
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michelle if we had to base our futures on what our parents have said or done
A. I have no hope as a therapist. If I can't believe in change (and I do) then what is the point
B. If I am going off my family (specifically father) then i should NEVER be a therapist.. but I am. And I'm good at it. He's influenced me, but he does not control my future or my actions and I wont let him. If you wanted to do it Michelle, I have full confidence that you could
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  #14  
July 2nd, 2007, 08:24 PM
rachna's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Posts: 26,485
Wow I am loving this thread! We need a therapists forum I am agreeing with what so many of you have said, I hate when I have a parent who does not understand that they need to be INVOLVED in the therapy in order for it to work. Or just expect me to "fix" their child in a session or two.

My office is right accross from a mall and ALL THE TIME the parents leave and say they'll be back in an hour or sometimes never bother to come up at all!

I do challenge my parents, and I will confront them, in a helpful empathetic sort of way if that makes any sense at all I love being able to do family sessions where I can point out harmful things, that sometimes parents do not even realize they are doing

I am just curious what type of degree liscense does everyone have? I have my MSW and LISW. (Its called an LCSW most places but Ohio is stupid)
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  #15  
July 3rd, 2007, 10:28 AM
*kyle*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 5,117
Hey Rachna, I had no idea you were also a therapist! Cool!

AnnD, Lauren and myself all have Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy. Ann and I went to grad school together, she got preggers and found JM, convinced me to come on as a WTTC'er, and we were fortunate to meet up with Lauren here.

I'm currently studying for the LMFT exam, which should be this September if Illinois's ridiculously slow system will ever send me the confirmation.

How long have you been in the field?
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  #16  
July 3rd, 2007, 10:40 AM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 17,679
i'm readying for the test too (I have to take the NCC and the LMFT exam). In TX you take it before you can practice instead of after your intern period I will be an LPCI for 2 years (Licensed Practicing Counselor Intern) and then just an LPC after that period, and of course an LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) but no matter your speciality everyone is an LPC
I also have a BSW and a MA
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  #17  
July 3rd, 2007, 06:12 PM
rachna's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 26,485
Quote:
Hey Rachna, I had no idea you were also a therapist! Cool!

AnnD, Lauren and myself all have Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy. Ann and I went to grad school together, she got preggers and found JM, convinced me to come on as a WTTC'er, and we were fortunate to meet up with Lauren here.

I'm currently studying for the LMFT exam, which should be this September if Illinois's ridiculously slow system will ever send me the confirmation.

How long have you been in the field?[/b]

Very cool I took a few family therapy courses in grad school, havent done much couples but it definatly interests me. I know Illinois is slow, I have a social worker friend there who has been waiting forever to be able to take her exam! Its nice in Ohio you can take the test your second year of school.

I have been practicing with a liscense for 3 years now, but have been "in the field" since I was a teenager. My mom is a counselor and I was volunteering for years, especially in rape crisis. I got my first job at a domestic violence shelter/rape crisis center when I was 20.
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