So a few months ago I finally found a therapist for Genea. She is about 25 miles away, and takes our insurance. I have been a little apprehensive about her and her lack of experience but willing to give her a shot, since it took us 3 years to find her. Genea loves to go there and do whatever she wants, make a huge mess, and have someones undivided attention for an hour.
This past week when we arrived, she wanted to speak with me privately at first. This is never a good sign. It never occurs that a person is requesting your attention privately to say "wow, you are the greatest parent ever!". Right. So she tells me that Genea see's being sent to her room as a punishment. That I am using a "fear based, punitive, punishment" with her, and that if I continue to do it, we are going to "clash".
I always thought of fear based, punitive, punishments more like if I broke Genea's arm. Or locked her in a closet for 6 hours. Not sending her to her soft cushy room with her toys and stuffed animals. But sure.
I told her that our main purpose of sending Genea to her room is so that she cannot take our entire household hostage with her screaming. The level of sound this child is capable of would shock you. It is actually physically painful to be around, and I refuse to allow her to force us all to sit and listen to it, unable to do anything else because of the volume. Think I am exaggerating? You are welcome to come over. Any time. I was unsure as to where this was coming from, and I realized that the previous week Genea came home from school having pea'd herself just prior to our appointment and I told the therapist that's what I did about it. Sent her to her room (more on that later).
Therapist launches into her favorite topic, "Conscious Discipline". Reminds me again she is certified to teach it, does home visits etc. This is the parenting class they recommended to me during the intake. I let her know I would be happy to do something different with Genea. Sending her to her room does not stop her from doing whatever it is again. She will still pea herself, throw things, hit, have raging tantrums and all of it again the next day, or hour or whatever. It helps her calm down and it makes her world smaller and more contained, but it does not prevent another occurrence. While I believe it does not hurt her, it also does not help her really. If she had any suggestions that would allow the rest of us to function and help Genea at the same time, well, bring it on and what are you waiting for! She tells me she is going to lend me the book about this Conscious Discipline and so I go into the waiting room and start to read it.
Your mileage may vary. This is my opinion. Whoa crap, the author is condescending. One of those that is like, my way is the only way and you are so dumb to be doing all that stuff like a regular inferior parent. Just do as I say and your children will glow from the halos that emerge. She proceeds to tell various stories about herself coming upon unsuspecting parents in public and sorting out their children right! then! and! there! She is a hero! Thank God for her and her fairy magic wand of words! Now the parents of the world can finish their errands with all problems solved! Okay, I am really sensitive to this kind of crap. Arrogant, child-free, and with a Messiah complex. Anyone who starts off having elevated themselves over me, without their own children, pisses me off. But I proceed, determined to give this (shit) a fair shake.
After a few chapters I pull out the Ulta flyer that came in my mail and read about pretty make up and hair stuff instead.
On our way home, I am thinking this all through and trying to figure out where it came from. I realized that when I told her that Genea was sent to her room after peaing, that was all I said. Because I did not want to stand in front of Genea and nit pick the crap out of her running down the long list of things she had done. After discovering the pea, she came in the house and started licking syrup off her breakfast plate, which was still sitting there from the morning. She was high strung, hyper and argumentative, trying her best to instigate with me. I was trying to make her lunch and realized it was a time when she needed 100% line of sight supervision and I could not give that and get us ready too. She would next start bumping into things by accident, stepping on the cat by accident, kicking her sister by accident and sneezing huge gobs of snot and forgetting to use a tissue. By accident. Trying to be proactive, I sent her to her room to keep her world small and keep her away from hurting people, things and pets. And still get her lunch done so we could go.
There are a few other things about This Therapist that have bugged me. She wants to see Genea on her own, which would be fine except how are we going to work on attachment and her history if I am not there? I have always read no matter what you are working on, the child with Reactive Attachment Disorder should never be seen alone. They lie and they manipulate. Genea has a memory like swiss cheese and thinks nothing of filling in the blanks with whatever her imagination conjures up. She lets Genea hug her over and over- again, if we are addressing her attachment to me, should she be letting Genea do that? I don't mind once, but not repeatedly.
At the end of our last session, This Therapist wanted Genea to tell me something and Genea said no, she didn't want to. Therapist said.... oh no, not that, tell her what you are worried about at school, and Genea did. But what the hell was it that she didn't want to say? Ugh, I can just see through to some massive triangulation coming up.
Then to top it all off, when I got home I read through some more of that book. Halfway through the book the author recommends sending a child to their room if they are hitting or doing whatever and will not stop, to keep everyone safe. Wtf?
I'm wondering if This Therapist is too inexperienced to help us. She has older kids of her own but they are "regular" and we all know how dramatically different things have to be with Attachment Disordered children. Genea has never successfully triangulated me against anyone. (Yes, I am on that child like corn on a cob). She keeps trying though, and I am worried with this woman she might be able to force the wedge. I could insist on being in the room I suppose. I can just ask her to quit allowing Genea to hug her more than once, and I can let her know that "telling" me to stop sending Genea to her room was overstepping, especially in light of her own book suggestion. Genea likes her, and is in fact doing well these days. Whether the positive change is due to the therapy I don't know. It might be a small part, and Lord knows, we need every part we can get! My concern is though, that with that list of errors having already occurred, maybe this is just not going to work. Genea and I need to be led through our issues by someone who knows what they are doing without me having to point out significant process errors. . Not forcing us into this boxed up theory because it's the one she knows.
Ah well, I think I am answering my own questions here, but what do you all think?