Question about kids in therapy

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Whiteheron

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Question about kids in therapy
« on: October 08, 2017, 12:10:49 PM »
So I've been tryng to find a therapist for my youngest (11), the therapist who is available and willing to step into this mess (I filed in Feb, still living under the same roof, massive hoovering, FOTY and manipulation of both kids going on, repeated motions filed with the court painting me as crazy and unstable) insists on involving stbx in the child's therapy. Not for every session, but occasionally if this therapist feels there is something the two of them should work on to improve their relationship.

So I want to know if this is common in therapy for this age group? My oldest (teen) is in therapy with a different therapist and there has been zero mention of involving stbx or myself in this therapy.

This isn't sitting right with me, but I've fought for months for youngest to be able to see this therapist (needed stbx's permission). This therapist is keen on involving the "whole family" in therapy so that youngest can improve relationships with both parents. I have already spoken to the therapist and told her I would attend with stbx if she required me to, but that it would not be a safe place for me to open up and be honest with her, so she has agreed to see me separately for the initial consult.

stbx is already demanding session summaries, attempting to dictate how and when youngest can attend therapy and how long this therapy will last (only a few months). He wants regular updates and to be "fully involved" in any therapy. He also has stated repeatedly that he doesn't believe youngest needs therapy since he's befriended her and manipulated her into opening up to him. He also treats youngest like they're best friends (sickening). I have let this T know all of this. She is offended stbx has delayed therapy for this long and is trying to control the sessions (her words).

stbx is also suddenly he!! bent on inserting himself into teen's therapy, this therapist is of the strong opinion that information of teen's sessions will only be divulged if there's a court order.

Does anyone out there have experience with their PD involved in therapy with a preteen child? With a PD attempting to control therapy?  Were there any benefits, did it cause additional problems? As an aside, stbx has already stated in a motion to the court that I'm a bad parent because I believe both kids should have private, confidential therapy, and he strongly stated his need to be involved. (which is complete bs, I know)

Thanks in advance. wh

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kazzak

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 02:11:23 PM »
My son isn't a preteen, but I have experiences.

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if this therapist feels there is something the two of them should work on to improve their relationship

Therapists tried to repeatedly improve my son's relationship with exNPD/HPD. The problem was that they ignored the personality disorder and ex's inability to care for the child and put his needs first. It was counterproductive, further and farther rupturing the relationship vs actually helping my son. each and every time they tried, many times, it got worse and the separation and rupture got deeper.

It's kind of like going to couple counseling with a PD, while their own individual issues are not addressed first. ime. bad.

Is the personality disorder being treated first before involving the child? That's always my question, and puts the child's needs first? Anything else sucks for you and the child, imo.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 01:17:13 AM »
that's what I'm afraid of.

stbx is in therapy, but lies to his T. So I would say, no, his issues have not been adequately addressed.

I will go speak with this T soon and ask how frequently she would expect this kind of involvement from stbx. I have a feeling once my youngest finds out dad might be involved, she will not want to participate.
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Kit99

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 11:52:05 AM »
I completely agree with this statement! "It's kind of like going to couple counseling with a PD, while their own individual issues are not addressed first."

The therapy is for your child and helping my him/her cope with the added stress and confusyion that having a PD parent places on them. Your stbx will likely use any involvement in his part as another manipulation tactic.

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 12:36:09 PM »
Hi- we've had a LOT of drama surrounding Therapy with my step kids.  They were not preteen- but I think the circumstances carry over- it has been a NIGHTMARE.

BM has historically been totally against the kids being in therapy.  Really didn't make a lot of sense that she would resist the idea since she was making false claims of abuse.  Always seemed to me that if I thought my children were being abused by their other parent, I would want a professional involved.  DH was given decision making over therapy because she refused to even consider it after a very concerning situation with DSS.  However, she railroaded the process, and ended up being in the position to chose the therapist.  So she chose what I would more accurately term a "life coach" that she could manipulate. 

This "therapist" met with the kids and with both parents (separately).  The problem was BM manipulated the T to a severe extent, so the T really couldn't figure out which was up.   The T told both BM and DH everything the kids told her, so the therapy was actually very harmful in my opinion.   It took her 2 years, and she told DH over the phone (so no documentation), "I think BM has a PD"- HA...no kidding?!  The T approached BM about her concerns- BM shut down therapy on her time and refused to allow the kids to see her. 

The kids then started seeing a very capable T against BM's wishes.  This T kept the kids conversations confidential- which was fantastic.  She did speak to both parents, but she was very careful not to violate the children's privacy.  The kids were doing great- so BM had to shut that down.  She had no decision making over therapy....so she did the only thing she could.  She filed for malpractice.  So, now the T couldn't testify and DH couldn't find another therapist that would touch our case.

BM ended up getting custody- parental alienation won out in a landslide.  After the custody change, BM had the kids start seeing the ORIGINAL T- the horrible one that called her a PD?!  I think it's because she can manipulate the heck out of her and use her as a tool in her PA campaign.  The kids know that the T tells BM everything, and it really sucks for them.  DSS is devastated over the custody change, and he said he can't even tell the T because she'll just tell BM and he'll get in trouble. 

Anyway- my opinion- I think the MOST important thing is that the kids feel safe with the T and can talk about things without fear of repercussion.  I think it can be helpful for the T to talk to the parents individually at times, away from the child, to get a sense of what is going on in the family dynamic.  Even the process of scheduling an appt. with a PD can be very telling to an even mediocre T. 

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Whiteheron

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 10:27:45 PM »
Well, he actually put it in writing that he doesn't believe youngest should be in therapy...and has also accused me of colluding with the therapist, who I haven't even met.

Meanwhile, youngest is eager to speak to a therapist and can't wait...I can only see disaster ahead.

stepping lightly - how on earth did BM get full custody by claiming alienation? I ask because that's what stbx is trying to do with me...those poor kids. This potential T said she would keep everything from the sessions confidential despite stbx's attempts to dictate otherwise.

kit - yes, I can see him using it as another form of manipulation of the kids...shameless. I want the kids to be emotionally healthy and have the tools they need to be healthy, happy adults. He is too worried about how he can manipulate this potential T so that he can cast himself in the best light possible. Funny how the child's therapy isn't about him...yet that's all he can focus on. That I found this T just compounds everything.
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kazzak

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 10:33:07 PM »
Whiteheron, I had to just let things play out. My exNPD/HPD ended up coaching my DS on what to tell the therapist. All of a sudden, when that happened, the sessions with my son weren't confidential as I had a right to know about the shenanigans.

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sonto92

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 12:02:24 AM »
To everyone on this thread - I feel your pain.  clearly therapy or someone hanging around and asking tough questions is a serious threat to a PD.  The irony is not lost - my BPDx has claimed abuse and I am a horrible person, etc, etc,.  With all of this information that she is willing to share with anyone who will listen, the logical conclusion would be that it would be to my BPDx's benefit to have someone shine a light on all of my "bad" behavior and terrible "fathering".  So why then am I having to take her to court to get our children into therapy?
We had a family therapist appointed and she is a good one.  On an earlier thread, someone had mentioned something about it "taking forever" to get something put into place.  This has, without fail, happened every time over the last eight years thatI have made an effort to get the kids in to see a therapist - months and thousands of dollars in legal fees.  This last family therapist that was appointed by a parenting consultant waited 4 months for my BPDx to come in for the initial consult.  When she arrived with her current husband, she kicked off the session with wanting to talk about how horrible I was.  The therapist redirected her focus to the kids.  She started screaming at the therapist, referred to the PC using the f-bomb and the other word that you should never refer to a woman as and then proceeded to walk out and leave her husband there.   
Persistance pays off.  My son has been making some strides and seeing this behavior from his BM as it is - which is very disordered.  Backed into a corner, my oldest son put up an ultimatum to his BM- you participate in the sessions with me or I am leaving to my Dad's house.  It will be interesting to see if this happens.
Anyway - big hugs to everyone on this thread.  the difficult thing is this - when you know that this is something that your kids need, you can't not act on it.  But to do so means nothing but trouble.  Continue to fight for your kids - they will thank you for it

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kazzak

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 12:32:13 AM »
Thanks for sharing sonto, stay strong! You can get through the false accusations. Its no fun, but I did and reality can win!!

As you've found, as a light is shined on reality the natural response from a pd is avoidance. The stories just don't match up and my ex would maintain her perception no matter what, and clearly to her detriment. It's like watching a train wreck. no fun.

you can't not act on it.

True. I found there are many ways to resource outside of traditional counseling including occupational therapists, school counselors and when all else fails I turn to the pediatrician. I'm thankful that my son had enough therapy early on and I've learned the tools I need to manage things without counseling. Simply, I've found that no therapy is better than the wrong therapy.

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 12:33:40 PM »
Hi Whiteheron, BM didn't accuse DH of PA, it was documented court fact that she was using PA.  Professionals excused the PA because she considers herself a "protective mother" and therefore her horrific behavior has no consequences apparently.  She got custody because the brilliant judge, knowing intense PA was happening, forced the kids at a very young age to "choose" a parent.  When DH found out they were considering putting a 9 and 11 year old on the stand, he settled.  It made me sick to think they would actually do that to the kids.  We already knew the kids were too scared not to choose BM, and the pro bono advocate attorney she got them bought her lies hook line and sinker- so she was going to advocate in court for BM.  The kids told the attorney what they were told to tell her by BM.  Afterwards, once the kids realized what they had done, they were both traumatized and told us they regretted what it.  DSD said, "the more I lied and said bad things about you to please mom, the easier it got, but now I wish I had never done it".  DSS is especially distraught over the new schedule and has said to DH, "tell me what I need to do to go back to the old schedule and I'll do it".  Poor kid, what's done is done.

It's crazy- the kids didn't tell us anything while this was all happening.  We assumed a LOT of what they were going through based on the information we were privy to.  It was interesting that after the dust settled....the kids opened up a lot....and the horrible things we had assumed....had in fact been really happening. 

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newday

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 06:50:02 PM »
After months of opposing therapy, mine decided that he would only agree if we (me, our kids, npdxH and his mistress/our mail lady/neighbor) went to therapy all together.  Umm nope.  The GAL shot that down and our parenting coordinator had to tell him to stop grilling the therapist on what the kids say to her.  They use therapy as a sanctioned environment to abuse.  Mine spent 6 months of marriage counseling raging at me in front of our therapist - who finally told him he was very abusive so he stopped coming. 

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Whiteheron

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 05:42:09 PM »
Doesn't matter anymore, he threatened to take me to court if I took this child to therapy. Waiting to hear back on what my options are. Once the child found out stbx would also meet the therapist, the child flipped out on me and now refuses to go. I am angry and heartbroken.

I am telling myself this isn't personal. It's not about me, it's not about the child - it's all about stbx and him feeling threatened by having our kids in therapy. Makes me wonder...what's he trying to hide? Once again, he gets his way seemingly without consequence. >:( >:( :'( :'(
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Stepping lightly

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Re: Question about kids in therapy
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2017, 07:01:02 PM »
Whiteheron- not sure if this helps....but BM said absolutely not to therapy.  She had filed for custody and told the kids she would win, this caused a lot of anxiety in the kids pushing 5 yo DSS to a pretty scary point.  In court, DH asked for the kids to be in therapy, and in light of the things BM said to the kids (and admitted in court) the judge gave DH mental health decision making.  The judge looked at DH and said "I will never fault a parent for getting help for their kids".  Not sure every judge would feel this way...but at least if you land in court...you are trying to do something right.