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Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

Have you seen this work?

Posted by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 8:19 AM
  • 14 Replies

My dd has been going to a counselor & has refused to open up.  She sits there & plays the blame game (blaming us, her parents and/or others) & says mainly everything is fine.  She has friends in school, but non out of school (meaning not invited to sleepovers, or just over to their house) & rarely to our house anymore. This has been her own undoing because of past issues of bad behaviour on her part & the parents of these girls at school know what she has done so I feel they don't want their girls around our dd. In counseling the counselor said just let her go with that & don't try to get her to engage with friends outside of school since she says she is ok with her life this way.  It's very hard to do. I have found it esp hard around the holidays with her being an only child, esp. She has had bbal practice as the only way of seeing friends.   Has anyone seen this kind of way of dealing with this situation working out? 

by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 8:19 AM
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mumsy2three
by Shauna on Dec. 30, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Is she doing individual counselling, family counselling or both. I only ask since you seem to know what is being said during the sessions and it sounds like your dd doesn't trust the counsellor and isn't going to open up if she thinks everything she says is then going to be shared with you.

If you are doing family counselling I would continue to do that but also get your dd individual counselling as well where she can open up to a counsellor in confidence. Don't pry about individual sessions, let the counsellor do their job.  Good luck.

annie2244
by Silver Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 9:16 AM
1 mom liked this

I agree with the advice to not pry about individual sessions. It will backfire and then she REALLY won't open up to her counselor. In fact, perhaps the reason she is not opening up to her counselor is b/c she doesn't trust that the info will be kept completely confidential.

You want to increase the chances that she'll open up to her counselor and thus really be able to start working on her issues with her counselor? Ask to go in to the first 2 minutes of the next session with your daughter and counselor and tell them you absolutely will never ask the counselor or the daughter for what went on in their counseling session, ask the counselor to tell your daughter that she will never divulge info to anyone about what is discussed, except as required by law (and have her explain that so it's not some mystery). That you would love to be part of any session that your DD invites you in to, to discuss any issue that your DD wishes to work out with you with her counselor helping the conversation, but that this is entirely under the control of your DD.

She also may not be opening up b/c she doesn't click with this counselor. I'd periodically, perhaps a couple times a yr, check on that if it isn't obviously a good fit. Tell her finding the right counselor is like dating, you aren't expected to necessarily click with the first person you try out. Therapy is not optional, but who she sees is. Show her the website that describes the therapists and gives their pictures, of the therapists in your health plan. Let her know a switch if not necessary, but an option to her anytime she'd like, and that therapists are completely ok with being switched out for someone else, b/c they understand that the fit between therapist and client is a) uber important and b) trial and error, with swapping till you find your match.

I also agree with your counselor to not say or do anything that makes it sound like you think your DD is not ok the way she is, in terms of socializing. If she feels insecure or bad about herself in anyway, thinking your mom thinks that you are inadequate will exacerbate her feelings of insecurity.

cat4458
by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM

No, there have been 4 sessions as a group & 2 sessions individually just with her.  I have no clue what the 2 individual sessions were like (I am assuming she didn't open up, but I don't know and didn't ask the counselor & the counselor didn't tell me).  The 4 sessions that we have had in a group she didn't open up and just said everything is fine, her life is fine & her friends just in school and doesn't want friends outside of school.  Everything is fine she says.

sabrtooth1
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 11:22 AM

I'd like to know exactly what kind of "counselor" this is.  From personal experience, social workers, clergy, and even psychologists are not as effective as a good psychiatrist.  Family counseling is just as important as individual counseling, ESPECIALLY with children, because their problems are caused as much by their parenting as by their innate disorder.  Parents need to learn how to effectively parent these types of kids, see how their own actions or INactions are contributing to the problem, and clean up their OWN issues, before healing the child will truly occur.  Also, 6 sessions is not a lot of time to see if a counselor or technique will work, BUT it often takes seeing several different Pdoc till you find one who clicks with everyone in the family.

lnrmom
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM
My girls don't always engage with their friends outside out school.
mumsy2three
by Shauna on Dec. 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Are the sessions with the same counsellor? If so I would find a different counsellor for her to see individually or for you to see as a family. It really sounds like your dd doesn't trust that what is said independently isn't going to come up in the family session.

She may truly be fine with not having much of a social life outside of school. My boys, though not teens yet don't do too much in the way of sleep overs and things like that yet. My dd is now 19 and has friends but she is very much a homebody. She hangs out with her friends some evenings and goes out with her boyfriend but she isn't out every weekend or running around all the time.

Quoting cat4458:

No, there have been 4 sessions as a group & 2 sessions individually just with her.  I have no clue what the 2 individual sessions were like (I am assuming she didn't open up, but I don't know and didn't ask the counselor & the counselor didn't tell me).  The 4 sessions that we have had in a group she didn't open up and just said everything is fine, her life is fine & her friends just in school and doesn't want friends outside of school.  Everything is fine she says.


bizzeemom2717
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM
She may be opening up at the individual and just not telling you? What is the counselor's feedback after the group/family sessions? I work for a wonderful Marriage and Family Therapist, your counselor should have a good read after about 4 visits if they are a good fit for your family. You should also be getting some constructive (positive) feedback on how to help improve your relationship with your dd at this point? Some specifics?

Quoting cat4458:

No, there have been 4 sessions as a group & 2 sessions individually just with her.  I have no clue what the 2 individual sessions were like (I am assuming she didn't open up, but I don't know and didn't ask the counselor & the counselor didn't tell me).  The 4 sessions that we have had in a group she didn't open up and just said everything is fine, her life is fine & her friends just in school and doesn't want friends outside of school.  Everything is fine she says.

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Jessiejack
by Silver Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 8:02 PM

I had this whole thing typed out then went back and to read your post. When she was having bad behavior do you think it could be because of those other girls? Peer pressure is the worst. Maybe she doesn't want to go out because she doesn't want to be talked into bad behavior. Just an idea. 

I think if she is happy just hanging out at home on the holidays and weekends I would just let it go. I think it pretty normal. If there is a lot of drama with those other girls at school she might just need to get away from it all.

cat4458
by Bronze Member on Dec. 31, 2012 at 9:25 AM


Quoting Jessiejack:

I had this whole thing typed out then went back and to read your post. When she was having bad behavior do you think it could be because of those other girls? Peer pressure is the worst. Maybe she doesn't want to go out because she doesn't want to be talked into bad behavior. Just an idea. 

I think if she is happy just hanging out at home on the holidays and weekends I would just let it go. I think it pretty normal. If there is a lot of drama with those other girls at school she might just need to get away from it all.

Oh, yes good point abt the friends.  No, it was 3 other girls (a bad group) & it gave her a bad reputation hanging around with these bad behaviour girls, but she had her part in it too. She is with nice girls now but it's only been since school started (4 months) so she doesn't have a good reputation in place (it takes time) with the parents, esp. We were trying to get her to not hang with them because of things we knew about their parents/family & what the girls were doing.  She made some bad choices of running away because we were trying to steer her away from this group & things I had said may come true did.  One had to have a pg test, there were some domestic abuse charges.  We had to call the sheriff to get her to come home & people in the small town found out. This was a yr ago.

cat4458
by Bronze Member on Dec. 31, 2012 at 9:28 AM


Quoting bizzeemom2717:

She may be opening up at the individual and just not telling you? What is the counselor's feedback after the group/family sessions? I work for a wonderful Marriage and Family Therapist, your counselor should have a good read after about 4 visits if they are a good fit for your family. You should also be getting some constructive (positive) feedback on how to help improve your relationship with your dd at this point? Some specifics?

Quoting cat4458:

No, there have been 4 sessions as a group & 2 sessions individually just with her.  I have no clue what the 2 individual sessions were like (I am assuming she didn't open up, but I don't know and didn't ask the counselor & the counselor didn't tell me).  The 4 sessions that we have had in a group she didn't open up and just said everything is fine, her life is fine & her friends just in school and doesn't want friends outside of school.  Everything is fine she says.

yes, maybe she has opened up with the counselor.  Good point, I haven't asked my dd OR the counselor. Should I ask the counselor if she has opened up? I guess I don't know what the counselor expects from us as parents & thought she would tell us.

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