camhs

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Must it always be so hard!?

Published August 27, 2015 by thefamilyof5

I’m starting to buckle a little. You’ll have noticed that I haven’t blogged much lately and that’s partly because we’ve been having a great summer and partly because my head is so stressed out with things that are going on in the background that I struggle to focus long enough to switch my laptop on never mind actually type something.

So here goes, I’m going to off load. If you haven’t followed my blog for a while then this probably wont make much sense to you, If your one of those super bored people that has nothing better to do than read my dreary ramblings, then it will probably, perhaps, maybe, make a bit of sense. Hopefully. Or not.

At the beginning of the year our DDP therapist suggested we look in to having Big girls mental health assessed, her constant high anxiety levels are a huge worry and she may need medical support with this. So I made some calls. 46,799 calls and several letters later, having been passed back and forth between CAMHS and our local ASD service provider for over 6 months, CAMHS finally called today and agreed to see her, the ‘nurse’ is adamant she MUST attend the 1st appointment and is unwilling to see myself and our therapist in the first instance. So not only will this be even more anxiety for Big girl, and quite possibly unnecessarily as there isn’t anything she can tell them that I cant (in fact she wont tell them anything ‘real’ anyway), but the appointment will mean missing time off school after only having being there for a few weeks

The school we chose for Big Girl last year is not a local catchment school. Adopted children are given priority admissions to make it easier for parents to choose the RIGHT school to meet their child’s needs. So we did just that. However, what I didn’t know is that this did not come with provision to support a child getting to the school they need to attend. So I applied to our local authority for help with transport as the school run for all 3 girls is a logistical impossibility. I was told I had to wait until the school place was made official, so around March/April time. They turned down my application. The 5th of August I was advised to appeal. So I have. I’m still awaiting the results of that hearing. There is 2 weeks left until the start of school and I still have no idea how I’m going to get them all where they need to be for the right times. When I applied for an EHC plan for Big girl last year I mentioned to the worker that was completing the assessment that I’d applied for transport to get Big girl to the high school we’d chosen. I wasn’t informed that it could be part of the EHC plan. Instead I was left to fight another battle. Its now too late to get transport incorporated in to her EHC plan apparently.

The placing authority provide us with an adoption allowance, its a sum of money that ensure’s I’m available for the girls appointments and therapy. Its not a lot but given that the girls high level of needs have meant that I’ve been unable to return to work as originally planned, its been a huge help. Over the last 2 years the placing authority have reduced this dramatically, even though our household income has not changed and the girls needs have increased. I received a letter 2 weeks ago, they’re reducing it again, massively. Another appeal.

I saw our GP in July. I requested some urgent help for Big girl for ‘girl stuff’. She received an urgent Pediatric gynecology referral. The referral was ignored. I chased it up. It was ignored some more. Finally we got an appointment for next week (late, but kinda perfect because it was before she goes back to school). I had a letter today. Its been cancelled and re-scheduled for the middle of October. Apparently 4 months is urgent!?

I discovered the other day that the Key worker, at the new High School, that’s been assigned to Big girl as part of her EHC plan has also been assigned to another child who also has a high level of need. So each morning this ‘key worker’ is supposed to be greeting my super stressed compliant daughter and another child who’s needs are displayed far more outwardly (I know this because I’ve met the other child). So my super compliant Big girl who should be starting her day calm and making a connection with a trusted adult, will instead no doubt end up soothing the worries of another stressed out child alongside ‘her’ key worker, whilst her own fears go un-soothed and her day begins with anxiety. No one at High school is currently available to clarify things or reassure me that this isn’t the case and that the Key worker assigned to big girl will in fact be able to offer her undivided attention as I was led to believe. They probably wont be available until the day before school starts.

The day before school starts we get to meet Big girl’s new tutor for the first time. Someone in their infinite wisdom thought it was a good idea to put Big girl in a tutor group with a tutor who was going maternity leave in July. So the extensive transition plan that we worked through for months and months, couldn’t involve meeting her tutor. I honestly am not making this stuff up!

Then there’s the worry about how Middle girl and Baby girl will settle back in to school with their new teachers with the knowledge that Big girl is somewhere else.

Its also time to review both Middle and Baby girls ‘working diagnosis of Autism’, and given how much I upset the local ASD service provider trying to get Big girl some help, I suspect they’ll be wanting get me off their books and out of their hair. It certainly felt that way when I called them today to make the appointments.

Then there’s the possibility that I’ll be applying for an EHC plan for Middle girl soon, really not wanting to leave it till year 6 like I did for Big girl, year 6 is stressful enough I think.

And my cat is poorly. Again. She’s a sickly thing but I do love her so.

This is just the stuff in my head.

Then there is ‘life’ with 3 traumatised children to manage.

Why does everything have to be so hard. I just want to be a mom.

Summer Update

Published July 17, 2015 by thefamilyof5

It’s been a while since I blogged, sorry, in fact the last time was the middle of May half term and things were going well.

You’ve probably guessed that the rest of May half term didn’t go as well. In fact, things went very downhill very quickly after that.

Big girl has been super stressed for a while now about her move to high school, I suspect it started way back in October when the whole class went and visited a local high school for the morning. Recently things have just became too much for her. The return to school after May half term bought SAT’s, there was talk from peers about ‘leaving’, there was talk and practice for leavers assembly’s, sports day practice, sex ed talks, treat days, non uniform days, more high school transition work and lots of general off time table winding down.

She became more volatile than ever, raged with anger and aggression like we’d never seen before. Of course in school, she mostly presented as she always does, smiley and compliant, but her anxiety was noticed and the rage in her eyes seen. Fortunately the relationship that I’d been able to build up with school meant that they were really understanding and supportive of the situation. Big girls teacher (our key worker) did her best to support us all,  and even took away all ‘expectations’ of big girl to actually do any work hoping it would reduce her anxiety. Sadly it wasn’t enough. Big girl was raging on an almost daily basis, baby girl and middle girl were terrified and MrFO5 and I were covered in bruises.  Middle girl and Baby girl were showing signs of anxiety in school, both developed some OCD type behaviors and neither were sleeping. They were constantly on high alert waiting for big girls next ‘blow out’ and so was I.

Something had to give. We pulled out of school early for the summer, almost 3 weeks early. It was a big step, I didn’t know if it was the right one and I was super worried about getting in trouble with the LEA. But in light of the fact that CAMHS, whom we’d contacted earlier in the year regarding big girls mental health, were failing to provide any help for big girl (we’re still fighting to be seen even now), we were left with limited options.

We sat big girl down, we told her we knew she was struggling, the idea of leaving school, the transition to high school and school its self had all become unmanageable for her. We told her we’d be finishing school for the summer soon. We set her up an email address and encouraged her to swap details with people from her class. We physically saw a weight lift from her during that conversation.

Just under a week later she went to school for her last day. We told her it was her last day, we suggested she give her friend a discreet hug etc She wasn’t supposed to tell anyone it was her last day, but she did. Baby girl and Middle girl also finished a few days later (I needed them to be in school for their class transition days). School have been very understanding and supportive of this decision which has made things easier and less stressful. Nothing worse than worrying about being in trouble with the LEA for ‘wagging’.

So that’s us. Things have been much calmer. The calendars have all been put away so they have no idea of the day never mind the date, Big girl has carried on with her visits to high school and her transition preparation is now complete. They’re all sleeping much better. The bickering has stopped. Big girl hasn’t had a blow out for 3 weeks (except one, which I’ll write about separately). We’ve stopped treading on egg shells!

I’m physically exhausted, the house is a tip,  but I know now that we made the right decision.

 

Back to school

Published September 18, 2014 by thefamilyof5

Well we’ve been back at school for a couple of weeks now, We’ve had quite a few wobbles, Middle girls anger has returned, Baby girls worries have returned and Big girls anxiety is in over drive.

Middle girl is angry most days when she gets home from school, she was hot, it was noisy, she was thirsty, her friend had to move seats, it didn’t rain like the weather man said it would, the lunchtime toy hire shop closed, dinner time has changed etc etc she’s grumpy, everything is annoying her and her unreasonable expectations for the entire world to accommodate her every need have returned, quite simply, she’s stressed out.

Baby girl is worried, worried she cant speak french, worried the children might not like her, worried she’ll forget something, worried her teacher will shout, worried about everything. Remember the transition object I gave her a year ago when they started at this new school, well its been in her hand/pocket every day so far this new term, so she still isn’t feeling safe in school yet. Baby girl doesn’t like school, she’s always said she’d much rather stay home with me but being the compliant little girl that she is, she’s always worn her smile and walked in to school anyway. I’ve noticed over the last year that baby girls reluctance to go in to school is increasing, don’t get me wrong, she still walks in with a smile but the lingering hugs and the asking me to walk her right to the door and even the ‘I don’t wanna go’, has started. I’m concerned this is going to get worse, if it continues progressing at the rate it has been, I’m sure we’ll be having full on school refusal in no time.

Big girl, ahh where do I start. She’s really not managing things at school at the moment, we’re having regular melt downs at home, what was every month or so,is now several times a week, lots of self harming, shouting, feeling rubbish about herself  and generally being unhappy. I’ve had lots of talks with Big girl, some she’s listened to and shared with me he worries and some she’s shouted at me and been unreachable. Everything seems to be a major issue for her at the moment, the slightest thing is unmanageable and every bit of change pushes her closer to the edge, she seems to be on a downward spiral. Her out bursts are even effecting her sisters, only last week baby girl told our therapist how she wished she had a magic wand to make everything ok so that big girl would stop shouting, my heart broke. I’m worried about her level of anxiety, I’m worried she’s going to make herself ill either mentally or physically and I’m worried that she’s re-traumatising her sisters by creating so much volatile chaos.

But fear not, I’m on it, we have a new head teacher at school and he fills me with much hope, we’ve been talking on a regular basis and he’s already put in place some things to support her, I have a meeting planned with him and our Post Adoption Social Worker who has also talked to me about looking in to ways that they may be able to help us. Big girls teacher is really on board and doing her best to support big girl and last week we also started therapy, so hopefully this will eventually give Big girl a safe place to talk. I’m signed up to a ‘self harming’ work shop at the local CAMHS, I’ve enrolled on a seminar about the new SEN reforms so I can learn more about the governments new EHC plans and hopefully begin the application to source one for her, so I’m really am doing my best to support big girl through her tears and simultaneously protect her sisters from her trauma.

Please send us lots of positive vibes!

Hello? Is there anybody there?

Published October 8, 2013 by thefamilyof5

So do you remember in August I shared with you some news, the placing authority had offered to fund some specialist therapeutic support for the girls because we really felt we were not getting anywhere with CAMHS. Well that was August.

Shortly after offering this amazing life line to us, our contact at the placing authority left and handed us over to her colleague. Well I say handed us over, it was more of a shove, a late night email the day she left informing us of the name of the person we were to now contact.

So I left it a week or so and as I’d heard nothing from this new person regarding the new therapy they were sourcing for us I thought I’d give her a call. She was out and would ring me back. She never did. So I emailed. She didnt reply to that either. Over the last month or so I’ve actually lost count of how many times I’ve called her and emailed her. I’ve had one email from her informing me she didnt know much about the offer of support that had been made and that she’ll contact me when she has more information, well at least I know she’s a real person now because quite honestly, I was beginning to doubt it!

So I rang her again today, she doesn’t work Tuesdays apparently, I wonder what days she DOES work!?

The local authority have made it clear they don’t want to help us, but just for fun I called them too this morning. The lady I need to speak to is in a meeting apparently.

I can’t ring the voluntary agency that we used because when we were trying to get some support for middle girl and her sleep issues last year the placing authority rang them over and over to tell them that they were too far away to help us so they either needed support us or they wanted money back from them, and then our local authority rang them over and over to tell them that it wasn’t their job to support the girls as they’d not lived in the county long enough to be responsible for them and that they needed to help us. So honestly, I’m too embarrassed to ring them, and they’re no doubt too pissed off to want to talk to me.

So back to the placing authority, the ones who have promised to fund for us this fabulous support service. I appreciate she has other ‘stuff’ to do, and I understand that I must not be the only person that’s calling and emailing her but really, what do we have to do to get her attention! After all we’re just an adoptive family that has so many difficulties that they’re financially helping us to build an extension right now, albeit under the pressure of Sir Martin Narey. We’re just an adoptive family with a need for specialist support services, so much so that even CAMHS have been unable to provide what was needed. We’re just an adoptive family with an autistic 9year old that pinches, scratches and hits herself out of frustration, a troubled 8 year old that punches herself in the head in anger and an anxious 6 year old that bites herself. Yes, I have 3 children that self harm, and I have no idea what to do about it because no one will help me, no one will call me back, no one will return my calls. No one will give me any advice as to what I should do when my 9yr old decides to hit herself in the head with her hairbrush first thing in the morning in temper, or my 8yr old lies in bed at night screaming and punching herself in the head or when my 6yr old wakes up with bite marks on her arms, apparently everyone’s too busy.

I can only hope that the reason for her lack of response, is that she is SO busy sorting out the fabulous post adoption support services that us adopters have been promised by the government.

CAMHS, Your fired!

Published September 4, 2013 by thefamilyof5

Well as some of you will know we’ve been having some a lot of issues with CAMHS, more so recently. So after many long discussions with my husband and talking things through with my mom, the placing authority and of course my wonderful network of adopters, we decided it was time to call it a day. We’ve attended around 30 appointment over the last 18 months and we’ve never received any kind of therapy or advice, well not that I’m aware of anyway. From what I can tell, we’ve just been observed, a lot.

So a few weeks ago we had a meeting with CAMHS, it was a very difficult meeting, you can read about it here if you missed it. Over the school holidays we received the letter they had promised and as I expected it infuriated me with comments such as:

‘It has consistently been difficult for Mr & Mrs Familyof5 to understand their own emotional responses to the roles of ‘mummy and daddy’ and to differentiate these responses from those that belong to the girls.’

and

‘It was a concern to us that the children did not appear to be fully aware of this planned move to a new school.

So yesterday I had a meeting arranged to discuss the contents of their 5 page letter. I wont deny being slightly very happy when I learnt that the psychotherapist, you know the one that left me feeling useless and intimidated, was off sick. So my meeting was just with the family therapist, whom actually I quite like. Luckily it was also the girls 1st day of school and my husband had booked the day off so he was able to take them to school with me, so he was able to come along to the meeting.

Now I’m not going to attempt to justify myself to you, my faithful understanding readers, but I wont deny that I did feel the need to consistently point out aspects of the psychotherapists letter that upset me and explain and justify my actions/intentions to the family therapist. I guess I must still be quite insecure in my parenting. I also pointed out on many occasions that I felt that if the psychotherapist had not joined us alongside her earlier in the year, then it was unlikely we would have been having that conversation. We pretty much discussed the contents of the letter start to finish and some in between.

We talked about how we felt we were no further along as a family today than we were 18 months ago when we asked to joined their service. We explained that there was nothing in the letter that we didn’t know 18 months ago. I explained that what we’d really expected and needed from their service was for the girls to be more settled, less compliant and feel safe to discuss aspects of their past with us. I also explained that I felt that Life Story work would have really benefited the girls and helped them to make sense of their feelings surrounding their past experiences. I explained that I felt the girls past was becoming a ‘taboo subject’ in our family, I really feel like the girls want to talk about things, but don’t know how, and we really don’t know how to help them with that. I explained that in over 30 sessions I haven’t once felt that the girls have shown them selves to the therapists, they find the whole experience very stressful and I don’t feel the benefits out weighed that, in fact I couldn’t see ANY benefits at all. I also said that I didn’t want the girls memories of our early years to be all about CAMHS, especially as they hated it so much. I’d really hoped that by now, 3 years later, we’d be getting ready to leave a therapy service with the girls feeling more safe secure and just able to enjoy being a family, well at least for a few years anyway as I anticipate they’ll need more therapy when they become teens.

The family therapist advised that Life Story work wasn’t something that CAMHS generally provided and that usually that would be undertaken by a post adoption service. She said she felt quite sad to hear that we felt the last 18 months had been a waste of our time and hoped that I’d at least benefited from our one to one sessions, which I wont deny I have. The one to one sessions I had with the family therapist gave me a great opportunity to off load, but as I haven’t had one of those since late 2012, I’m sure I’ll cope without them.

fired-to-hired-pic

I informed her that the placing authority had offered to fund a commissioned therapy service for us. They will be appointing a therapist to delve back in to the girls files and read their full Life Story history and then help the girls, and us, to make sense of their past so they can start to heal and we can move forward. She took note of everything that we’d said and said the letter would be revised and sent back out to us, the placing authority and our GP. She planned to call the placing authority to discuss the commissioned service they’re preparing for us and I guess also to pass on her findings and thoughts from the last 18 months. She also said she would be speaking to her manager about the things we’d said about our experiences of the psychotherapist. She wished us well, and we left.

There’s more, the best bit was that we were there for 1hour………………….. and 20 minutes! those of you that read regular will know why I’ve put this! 🙂

So whilst it wasn’t quite as dramatic as my title may have led you to believe, in fact it wasn’t dramatic at all really was it, but our service with CAMHS has come to an end, for now at least.

Phew!

I Doubted Myself

Published August 25, 2013 by thefamilyof5

You know those moments when you doubt yourself, you wonder if actually it’s all just in your head. Are the issues the girls have just a figment of my imagination, a product of my overprotectiveness?? (yes, I made that word up).
Well today I had one of those moments. The weather had forced us to change our plans so we decided a trip to the cinema and lunch would be a better idea. Smurfs 2 was on, I remembered an adopter friend warning me about the storyline and how it may trigger some fears in ‘adopted children’ with a history of loss , but I also recalled another adopter telling me they’d been to see it and their child had loved it. ‘maybe it’s me just being over protective’ I thought, ‘it’ll promote resilliance, they’ll be fine, I can’t keep protecting them’ I told myself.

So we went.

I cried at several points in the film, well I fought back tears and lump in my throat I should say. It was a film with a strong storyline line about ‘loss’ ‘identity’ ‘belonging’ ‘being part of a family’.
It was also very funny, and we all laughed, a lot.

We left the cinema and seated ourselves in the neighbouring Mexican restaurant. I busied myself with menu’s and finding out what everyone was going to eat and drink and ordering our food. Whilst I was sorting out the food order I became aware that baby girl, who was sat beside me, was becoming increasingly hyper. Once I ordered the food I turned to baby girl and suggested she calmed down.
She wasn’t able to look at me, her muscles tense, her body flinching, she wasn’t really there.
I held her hand and asked her to look at me, I softly stroked her hand and asked her what was the matter, she was wriggly and fidgety and was still unable to look at me. I lifted her chin and looked in to her eyes, she looked sad and scared. I asked her again what was the matter. She cried. She cried a lot, she cuddled me and clung to me and cried some more.
Eventually I asked her again ‘what’s the matter?’
‘I don’t know’ she sobbed.
And she probably didnt.

I really could kick myself, I should have known better, I should have trusted my instincts. It was only a few weeks ago that I linked a downturn in the girls behaviour with a different TV channel. We’d change the channel on the TV in the playroom from Cbeebies, which is aimed at toddlers and pre school children, to the channel aimed at children a little older, Cbbc which amongst other things, does have its own ‘news’ feature, which is real life news presented in a easy to understand child friendly manor, but it’s still REAL news with war, death, accidents, fires etc. Their behaviour became increasingly worse, they were constantly bickering, impatient and irritated with each other. We reverted back to Cbeebies after a couple of weeks and the calm descended upon the playroom once more.

They don’t need to be reminded that the world around them is scary. For now they just need to feel safe.

I may sometimes protect my girls from the world around them, and I may sometimes make choices that seem odd, maybe even controlling, to others, but never again will I doubt myself.

My girls are not emotionally strong enough to cope with the real world and all its diversity. They don’t yet feel safe and secure, they’re not sure who they really are and where they came from, they don’t know why bad things happened to them in the past and I don’t think they always feel like they ‘belong’ anywhere.

They smile, they hide, they comply.
They rarely show their emotions because it’s just too much, they feel too vulnerable.
They still need me to protect them, to wrap them in cotton wool and tell them stories of fairies and princesses and happy ever afters. They don’t need to hear about death, destruction and loss. They’ve felt the real world before, and it was scary. They’ve felt emotions before, they were scary too.

When they feel safe and secure they’ll be ready to deal with their complex emotions, they’ll be ready face the world and all its diversitys, and I’ll be ready and waiting to help them.

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This feels like a good time to tell you about some decisions we’re currently making/considering.
We received a letter from camhs, it was kind of a reveiw about their veiws on the last few meetings we’ve had with them. It became clear in this letter that they don’t really understand the girls and they don’t really understand us as a family and our needs. So we’ve had some discussions with the placing authority and have expressed our concerns about CAMHS and how we don’t really feel like the girls are benefitting from seeing them and how we feel that we’re no further along as a family than we were 18 months ago when we first started with CAMHS. So they’ve offered to fund some commissioned therapy and life story work for the girls with an alternative service/therapist. This is great news, this will be someone that will look deep in to the girls past and help them and us, make sense of it and help us to move forward as a family.

Perhaps then, they’ll be ready to watch Annie 🙂 or maybe I’m just being optimistic!

Watch this space………….

CAMHS – Is this the end?

Published June 28, 2013 by thefamilyof5

Today was session 8 of the 3rd phase of our CAMHS appointments. In total I’ve blogged about 26 sessions.  A few more took place before I started blogging so I’d say we’ve attended around 30 in total.

Phase 1 began February 2012 and we had 10 sessions with a family therapist, then he left.

Phase 2 began August 2012 and we had 8 sessions with a replacement family therapist.

Phase 3 began January 2013 and today was our 8th session with the replacement family therapist and also a psychotherapist.

Those of you that follow my blog will know that since the psychotherapist joined our sessions I’ve been feeling more and more unsure about the direction we’ve been moving in, quite often leaving sessions feeling confused and upset.

Today was no exception, in fact Im really not sure what happened today or where it came from. The psychotherapist appeared to have an agenda  for the session that I wasn’t privy to. The session started with them remarking how they felt I’d reached breaking point with the sleep issues we’re having with middle girl. I explained that it had been a bad day when they saw me last but that things had gotten slightly better. Early on in the session he said ‘I think we have some difficult things that need to be said’ and then he waffled on some more, all the time I was still waiting to hear these difficult things. Then he talked about middle girl and her sleeping arrangement’s. He clearly wasn’t happy with the arrangements, but neither am I. He said middle girl seemed to be lost and not knowing where her place within the family was and he knew I’d disagree. He was right, I disagreed and said that the only one of our daughters that may feel that way was baby girl.

He then became very confrontational, he said middle girl was clearly terrified to be sleeping in the same room as these two adults that she had no relationship with. Yes, those two adults he was referring to, are me and my husband! So now she has no relationship with us and is scared of us for some reason. I pointed out that whilst I agree’d it wasn’t an ideal situation, when we’d taken the very difficult decision to move middle girl to our room we had never envisaged it being for more than a few weeks, however 8 months later she’s still there. And there she will remain until our extension is built. I was then grilled, and yes I really felt like I was being grilled, about why the extension was taking so long. I explained that I wasn’t in the driving seat and that legal agreements were being drawn up and understandably legal clauses were being put in place by the Placing authority to protect their finances in the event of various circumstances such a marriage breakdown, house sale etc, all of which was taking time. I was further grilled about my feelings about the clauses.

He suggested we’re finding it hard to love middle girl. He said he felt I really didn’t understand middle girls struggles and he felt she was very switched on and understood everything. He’s met her 5 times perhaps, and he knows her better than me apparently. I explained that I understood she was struggling and how right from the beginning when we first asked for help from CAMHS I’d expressed my concern over her compliance. I explained that loving her wasn’t an issue, but perhaps ‘understanding’ her was because she is a very closed book. I also explained that I understood that middle having her own bedroom wasn’t going to fix things but it would get us in to a situation where we would be better able to support her. I also pointed out that I felt school played a part in middle girls anxiety’s and that her compliance in school, whilst a convenience for her teachers, wasn’t being seen for what it really was, fear. I then went on to explain how we’d taken the decision to move the girls to a different school. I didn’t get a chance to explain anything else before he abruptly interrupted me. ‘I’m not happy with how quickly you make these big decisions’ he said and followed up with a barrage of abruptly put questions ‘How have you prepared the girls, do they know, when will you tell them, where is the school, there is only 2 weeks left of term when exactly do you plan on telling them, why haven’t you mentioned this before.’ Feeling attacked I defended myself by informing him firstly that I don’t tell him everything, and in fact wasn’t sure when he’d have liked me to have told him given that the girls are usually present. ‘You could ring’ he said. Still unsure why he even felt I should be running my decisions past him, I told him that this wasn’t a decision we’d taken lightly, it had been on the cards for some time, over a year in fact, there were many factors involved (which I explained to him) but the biggest being that we didn’t feel the girls felt safe in such a big and busy school and more recently over the last month or so we’d decided that if we were to move them, now was the right time and we’d actually chosen a school today, that was a third of the size and offered a very nurturing environment.

He didn’t like my response. There was an awkward silence.

We’d been talking for only 45 minutes but he said time was up. The family therapist suggested a new appointment date and he objected stating he’d like to put things on hold for now and instead would be writing to the placing authority and us with a summary of his findings!?

I left.

I was furious, what had just happened. I felt like I was being accused of something but I really wasn’t sure what. I felt like I’d been attacked. I don’t like confrontation, its scary. And what on earth did he need to write to us about, never mind the placing authority?

I fought back my tears and not knowing where else to turn for advice on what I should do, I rang the placing authority. The social worker listened as I rambled on and empathised about how difficult it all sounded. I told her I wanted to withdraw from the service and she rightly suggested it was better to make such big decisions when I was feeling less angry and upset. We chatted for some time, well I chatted/ranted she listened. I told her about his plans to write to her, she was equally as perplexed about what. She gave me some advice on what my options were and what to do next and assured me she was always happy to help where she could.

My anger subsided and the tears flowed.

What sort of therapy, requires therapy afterwards!? I’m not sure if we’ll continue with this service the way things are or if we’ll ask for a change of therapist or even withdraw from the service altogether, but what I do know is, its not supposed to feel like this, is it?!

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