Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mental Health Intake Appointment Woes

    Monday found Joseph and I at a local Mental Health office for an intake appointment. I am struggling to come to grips with the fact that we are going down this road with another child. B and I attended multiple such appointments while seeking the care he needed, and all those memories came rushing back with a vengeance as Joseph and I sat in the familiar 6x6 foot room discussing his history. 

Image result for mental health  photos    The poor therapist likely had no idea how closely he was being scrutinized while he conducted the evaluation. I analyzed everything he said and gave him a mental thumbs up when he listened to my views on Joseph's previous diagnosis of ODD and ADHD.  Most professionals give me the, "You are just the mom, what can you know," look when I disagree with them.

   The intake worker asked if I preferred a male or female therapist for Joseph, which earned him another thumbs up.

   He talked respectfully to Joseph, but didn't go on about how cute he was, another thumbs up. Joseph has the ability to hold his head just so, flash a shy grin and wrap people around his finger. That isn't always such a bad thing, but we can usually tell who understands attachment problems by how quickly and thoroughly they begin playing his game. The therapist rated high in this regard although I forgot to ask him if I will be allowed in the room during Joseph's therapy sessions. I can't believe I forgot one of the most important rules!

   As we were leaving Joseph wondered if he will be coming back to this place. When I said he would, Joseph said, "I like this therapist, cause you do all the talking and I can just listen." Sorry buddy, next time you will have to participate!

   I packed a book for Joseph to read during the appointment because I knew we would be discussing traumatic things. I hoped he wouldn't be able to read his book and listen at the same time. It obviously helped because he laid his book aside when we began going over a particular part of Joseph's history. I asked him if he was finished reading and he replied, "No, I want to hear what you say." 

  I don't like these intake appointments. Giving your child's history while they listen in, isn't conducive to their healing. I feel like I can't give all the details of certain situations because it feels so demeaning to be talking about my child's behavior problems while he is listening in.

Image result for mental health  photos

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