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Just Plain Not Good

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mark has been going to a new therapist for a few months now. When he first started with her, she said it sometimes takes people months to feel comfortable enough to really talk to a therapist, so don't worry about taking this slow.


So after work yesterday, I walk through the snow storm to get to his therapist's office (it's close by and no sense moving the car closer to the office from where I park near my office) to meet with her and Mark after his session. She lets me in the room and immediately starts in:

"Well, if Mark won't talk about his problems he'll never be able to deal with them. So I guess I agree, he shouldn't be in school (note- this has been a sticking point with her, that he's being tutored through his senior year). In fact, he shouldn't go to college and should never even think about getting a job. After all, if he can't learn to deal with the downs of life, then he'll never be able to do anything." She looks at Mark. "Is that what you want?"

Mark says, "I told you I plan to go to college."

She looks back at me. "You'll have both of your boys living with you forever. Or is that okay with you? I guess that'd be fine, they can be there to take care of you when you're old."

I was pretty much speechless, but I did say, "My older son works full time. It's not like he doesn't do anything. And Mark knows it's either go to college or get a job." (Note: Older son just moved back in with us to get back on his feet after wife dumped him and left him with maxed out credit cards)

She goes on, "I told Mark that these days people can live completely in their houses, especially if they're in a city and can order food in. Work from home over the internet. You could do that, right, Mark? Record your music and then send it out there."

Mark, through gritted teeth, "I told you that wouldn't work. Music fans wouldn't accept that."

"WEll, that's all you'll ever be able to do because you're not willing to work through your problems. Just stay inside and don't deal with people. That's the only way to keep from having problems you can't handle."

At that point, we decided to end the therapy sessions with her. I really and truly felt judged, degraded and bullied.

When we left, Mark said he had already answered all her questions (I guess she'd been going on like that with him for some time before I came), but then posed them to me again 'like she was trying to get you on her side.'


Listen, I know it's not the best situation with Mark having such anxiety about going back to his high school that we've made the decision (and by we, I mean my husband and I, Mark's school, and his doctor) that he'll not go back. Ever. He won't even participate in the graduation ceremony. He is a clinically depressed teen with anxiety issues. We know this. We also know that he needs to at least try for a fresh start, and that means college in the fall. He'll still live with us for the first two years and commute.

But, damn it, he didn't need to be bullied by someone who's supposed to be helping him.

I don't know if that was her 'strategy' to try to get a reaction out of him, but the reaction was anger and mistrust. Even if he went back to her, he'd never open up to her after that.

So now he's had two therapists, one who was too passive for him (who he did open up to, but felt that the therapist wasn't helping him find coping strategies) and one who was too aggressive.

There has to be a middle ground, right?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    She sounds awful! I know that there are many many different kinds of therapists out there, some are more helpful for certain kinds of problems/people than others. But I really feel that there is no excuse for that kind of behavior. I hope that you and your son find someone who everyone feels comfortable with.
    1898 days ago
    Oh Amy, I can hear the anger and pain in your voice now. Well, in you writing that is. I am so sorry you both had to go through that episode. I'm sure that must have been her strategy but it obviously backfired on her. Maybe she had a bad meeting with her therapist herself?!
    Hang in there Amy....... I'm thinking of you!
    1904 days ago
    Wow , what a jerk ! Who is she to judge anyone! That really makes me angry ! I am sorry Amy that you and Mark had to deal with such an idiot. Many families have children living at home , especially now a days. my son and his first wife lived up stairs for many months before they moved out on their own , then when they were divorced , my son moved back in, to get on his feet. I see nothing wrong with the situation you have with your family - You need to find a gentler therapist - not one just to send you a bill ! Hugs Karen emoticon
    1905 days ago
    You need a new therapist. I have PM'ed you because it sounds just like a therapist I had in Northern NY once...
    1906 days ago
    Keep looking until you find the right fit for your son. Going back to school is probably not the right decision for him, especially the way kids in school can be now a days. Home schooling will get him through.

    You know him best and are doing the best you know how to with the tools you've been given.

    Try this link for more help for his depression and anxiety:
    You may be able to be more informed about the people you are trying to get help from. It also has links to support groups.
    1906 days ago
    I definitely think a change in therapist would be appropriate. Mark doesn't need the put downs, something a therapist should be teaching. Mark is a smart kid who knows what he wants. Sometimes, it take some of us longer to find our niche. Mark will find his and he will be happy. Just remember, you are a wonderful Mom to both your boys. You have been a very supportive, encouraging Mom who finds ways to encourage her children.
    1906 days ago
  • LGAR519
    After graduating from Nurses Training a million years ago, I got a job in a Private Mental Institution. I very much liked the work when I was a student. I have never, never, ever heard any therapist talk to a Patient or their family in such a manner. You are better off without her. And I am sure you will find a therapist who will know how to approach Mark the right way.
    1907 days ago
  • DEDE824
    I can identify with your situation. My granddaughter has had problems since 3rd grade and has searched for a school she can be successful in at the college level. She is now doing a nail tech program, starting last week. Discarded are her hopes to be an elementary teacher and then a dental assistant, after the other didn't work. She's not dumb, but is easily distracted. She has a very intense personality and finds it difficult to have close friends without smothering them. Boy friends never meet her standard. When she's with all the family, she's a lovely person. Hope you find a place that he is comfortable in his college career.
    1907 days ago
    I agree! Trust Yourself and Him! I do not like the in Your face approach for anything!! I hope You Guys can soon find a therapist that works!!! ((HUGS))
    1907 days ago
    I'd say yes - listen to him and ask his opinion. You know him well enough to tell what may be moaning/whining from what is a real concern. Trust him and trust your gut too.
    1907 days ago
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