a resource for parents
Just had a particularly grueling session at Family Therapy today. Feel even lower and more responsible for my daughters school refusal than I did before. Anyone else have any experience of family therapy? I thought my husband and I had a loving and happy relationship before going and now feel like we're almost digging around to find problems. I can't see how causing conflict between my husband and I is going to really help my daughter. Anyone else had a positive outcome from it?
Sorry I only just found this post as it wasn't on the main list and I don't always check the others. Who is running the family therapy?
It sounds like there is a bit of a 'blame' session going on which is really not on. My ex husband, myself and my son had sessions together and separate with the psychiatrist (we were referred to her as the psychologist could no prescribe medication). No medication was prescribed but instead we had these sessions and for us they were really positive. She drew us together rather than made us feel bad. Somehow she turned my ex round to seeing exactly how the SR was and what our son was going through and not to blame me (probaby the session she had on her own with him first would have worked on this). So when we were all three together - we talked about strategies to work together as a team. There was no talk about blaming me for being too soft or blaming my ex for not understanding. She had done all that delicately and positively in the individual sessions. Our son was also obviously very pleased to see us working together in unity as he joined in with us in a way I did not expect. You really need a session like that. I wouldn't keep up any counselling/sessions family or otherwise if they make you feel worse after you leave! Perhaps you and your husband can sit down together and work out a common ground and then work with your daughter but it really does help to have that outside person as they can spot a problem before or as it arises. Cognitive behaviour for the whole family can help too.
Hope this helps in some way.
PS When I say' blaming above - it was the ex blaming me not the psychiatrist. She was totally understanding of what it feels like to be a parent of a child with anxiety and gave us both lots of sympathy but also firm directions of things not to do if possible or things to keep doing or new things to work on.
Thanks Linda. The therapy was arranged by CAMHs. The therapist refused to even discuss my daughter or her issues and would only discuss the relationship between my husband I, which I thought was stable, loving and happy. This has given me the confidence to ask to see another therapist as this experience was just not positive or helpful in any way. Thank you.
Just wondering if there has been any progress? I have been taking a low profile recently, and am only just catching up.
I hope that you can find someone that you feel comfortable with - you first session sounds horrible.
Hi Simon. I managed to last out 3 sessions but they definitely weren't doing me any good. The counsellor seemed quite hostile and I used to feel more bedraggled and depressed coming out than when I went in My friends and family were quite horrified that my husband and I were having such a negative experience which gave me the confidence to ring up and request a new counsellor as we'd got no rapport with the last one. Needless to say not heard anything back from CAMHs since.
I have had a similar experience with the Child and Adolecent Mental Health in Australia. My daughter and myself felt worse after speaking with the training psychiatrist they put us with. I never felt comfortable with him from the start and on the last session he started using blaming tactics and my daughter doesn't want to see him anymore. I cancelled all future appointments with him but them felt bad after a few weeks and rang his supervisor to let him know why and he said he would get back to us but hasn't. We are going back to the GP today to see if anything else can be arranged. My daughter has gone from really bad to going to one lesson a week for a couple of weeks to not wanting to go to any lessons or try with any school work she is doing at home. I am almost at my wits end, and feel like crap!
Just found your post on here! Another Australian....wow....that makes just two of us! Where abouts in Australia are you? I am in Melbourne.
My son is in Year 7 and managing most days at the moment but we have been through years of hell and back!
I have refused to be referred to CAMHS here as I had a bad experience with a school psychologist when my son first had the school refusal back in Primary school. She blamed me and my relationship with my father when I was growing up. I almost asked ' which page of the textbook did that come from'!? She said I had no discipline with my son and if he misbehaved (which he didn't outside of SR) then I was to shut him in the bathroom!! So I am very wary of anyone the school refers me to. I went private and have been through a few - not all are the right ones but met a great psychiatrist along the way and now have a lovely psychologist who my son is happy to work with. All costs money - but in Australia you can get the mental health care plan for psychologists for several sessions that really helps.
Sorry you feel so bad. We can all relate to that on here. Have you got other help for your daughter? Have you tried cognitive behaviour therapy? It does work - it just takes some time for our kids to take it on board. Has your daughter accepted she has anxiety? That is another step forward. How is the school supporting you? Hoping I can help in any way - but you will find lots of support on here.
I still have not heard back from the Child and Youth Mental Health, I went back to see the GP last week and she has referred me to a Psychotherapist within their practice. I had to wait for her to ring me which she actually did today to make an appointment. It is in 3 weeks time unfortunately. Seems to be the standard waiting time for a first appointment around here.
When I spoke to the supervisor of the training psychiatrist I asked about Cognitive Behaviour therapy and he says that his trainee was in the process of using that on my daughter!!!! I don't see how having a judgemental attitude and blaming is CBT but anyway...!
I have a friend who works as a Mental Health nurse for QLD health in another city and she suggested I ring again and even write the CYMH an email so I can get an answer from them. After speaking with my husband on the phone today I've decided to wait until I see how this other therapist turns out and also allow her access to my daughter's case file with the CYMH. As usual I can only pray I am making the right decision for her. If I had of know what this was all about in the first few months of us having trouble I would have taken her to see someone earlier. I am actually really kicking myself for not facing the problem sooner.
Thanks for replying to my post personally also At least I know I'm not the only one in Australia with this happening to them I now feel more confident to share my story and soon I will write about it all on here.
We went for Family Therapy when my eldest son was an inpatient at the CAMHS unit (prior to my youngest son's school refusal). I found it humiliating and I became very angry when I was accused of not supporting my son's recovery when I stopped attending. I know FT can be, on the other hand, a great help. It is just that the few sessions that I attended left me feeling miserable and drained.