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  1. #11
    petesgirl is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogmom View Post
    Remember, kids come to therapists for all kinds of reasons and there are all kinds of parents out there. There are many reasons, big and small, that children may need to keep things confidential. The idea is the confidentiality allows people to disclose without fear. We forget how important it was when we were young to please our parents and how scary and unfathomable adults are.

    As far as sexual predators go, yes, that’s a risk. Which is why it’s important to discuss that with your child. But can you also understand how that confidentiality might allow a child to disclose to a therapist because an abuser threatened the family?
    I totally understand why it may be necessary in some circumstances. But, we have a family member who is a child sexual predator and some members of the family refuse to acknowledge that and still think it's ok for him to be around kids. We have worked very hard to teach DS that if adult ever tells them something/does something and asks them to keep it a secret, that's a res flag. Even our pediatrician has discussed this with DS. Yet, here is another adult who repeatedly told DS that he doesn't have to tell his parents anything that happens in their meeting if he doesn't want to? I'm just a little surprised at that.
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  2. #12
    Gracemom is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    My son is in therapy for anxiety, and his therapist had a whole session just for me. She does not tell me what they talked about (and I don't ask), but she helps me learn how I can help guide him when he has anxious episodes. I trust her and so does my son. I think that trust is very important for therapy to be helpful. If you don't trust her you might want to find someone you do trust. Ask her if you can have time with her to discuss your questions and concerns. I have found that kids with anxiety often have parents with anxiety. My DH and I both have had bouts of it. My son's therapy has been helpful for me too.

  3. #13
    petesgirl is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogmom View Post
    .

    I agree that was not a good therapist for your child, and may not have been a good therapist for any child. However, the OP is questioning whether the confidentiality concept is normal at the beginning before even starting therapy (if I understand correctly).

    To the OP: Look there are parents who don’t believe their child should keep anything from them. That’s not how I’m raising my kids, but that’s your decision and I won’t debate the pros and cons here. If you honestly just taken aback by it and didn’t realize that’s how it works usually, the answer is it is. I might be reading into it, but you also seem to be on the fence about this whole therapy thing by how you describe the severity of your child's anxiety. I would encourage you to go to one meeting, see how your child likes the therapist, but try not to transmit your unease. (Kids are so good at picking up that, especially anxious ones.) Afterwards use the 10 minutes with your son to talk about your concerns about you know some things are private, but you want to understand how you can help if you don’t know the strategies. I’m sure the therapist will help you. If not, then the fits not good. I would say to discuss it with your child present so they understand the ground rules.

    As someone with an anxious kid I know it seems like you need to know WHAT is making them anxious, but that matters much less than what to do about it. You can address the situations that trigger anxiety, but it is wack-a-mole, something else will replace it. I have found when it’s important for me to know a therapist tells me. My issue with therapist tend to be they either aren’t clicking with my kid or the ones that pushed a narrative that didn’t feel right to me. But I never felt like anyone would tell not me what I needed to know.
    Well, the reason I may seem on the fence about anxiety is that we have seen two child psychologists, one diagnosed him with generalized anxiety disorder and the other did not reach that conclusion but said if I wanted to do therapy she would order it. I feel like therapy could be beneficial but I'm not really sure how if DS goes once a week alone and I never get any feedback from the therapy. She made it pretty clear that she would not be divulging anything from their meetings together.
    DS spent 30 minutes alone with her after she talked to both of us together and he enjoyed it.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by petesgirl View Post
    Well, the reason I may seem on the fence about anxiety is that we have seen two child psychologists, one diagnosed him with generalized anxiety disorder and the other did not reach that conclusion but said if I wanted to do therapy she would order it. I feel like therapy could be beneficial but I'm not really sure how if DS goes once a week alone and I never get any feedback from the therapy. She made it pretty clear that she would not be divulging anything from their meetings together.
    DS spent 30 minutes alone with her after she talked to both of us together and he enjoyed it.
    Once a week is pretty standard, the only time I see therapist meet more often, adults or children, is a full blown crisis or a day residency program. I guess I donít quite understand divulge. Do you mean she will never give homework that she will clue you in on, or she wonít tell you want the specifics or what her talked about? Iím used to the second. Like I said, if you really arenít comfortable at all donít continue to see her, but be aware that this is a common approach.

    I understand the struggle is very real between keeping kids safe and allowing them to become individuals. I get that your family history makes you more proactive than most about issues around abuse and secrecy. You could approach it as a one week at a time thing and see if itís worth it. I think an 8 yo is old enough to understand that a therapist taking in front of his parent of the concept of confidentiality is not the same as another adult telling him to keep secrets. No one is telling your child he needs to to keep a secret. It is the ADULT that needs to keep the secret. He can always wave his right to confidentiality, it is HIS power to have, KWIM? I think thatís what makes the difference from abuse or grooming. He really does have the power here, not the adult. Iím sure if he walked out one day and said I donít want to go anymore you would support him. Maybe that approach would make you more comfortable, whether itís with this therapist or another some day?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by petesgirl View Post
    I totally understand why it may be necessary in some circumstances. But, we have a family member who is a child sexual predator and some members of the family refuse to acknowledge that and still think it's ok for him to be around kids. We have worked very hard to teach DS that if adult ever tells them something/does something and asks them to keep it a secret, that's a res flag. Even our pediatrician has discussed this with DS. Yet, here is another adult who repeatedly told DS that he doesn't have to tell his parents anything that happens in their meeting if he doesn't want to? I'm just a little surprised at that.
    I understand your fears! One thing to think about is the adult telling your DS he has to keep a secret is very, very different than a therapist telling DS you are the owner of this session, not mom, and you don not have to tell mom things in here if you do not want to and I won't either. Like others have said, when discussing thing with parents, the therapist will ask the child if it's OK to repeat to that. The child is in control of what is shared and not shared, not the adult. It might not be a good fit, but I think that is what the therapist was trying to convey to you.

  6. #16
    petesgirl is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogmom View Post
    Once a week is pretty standard, the only time I see therapist meet more often, adults or children, is a full blown crisis or a day residency program. I guess I don’t quite understand divulge. Do you mean she will never give homework that she will clue you in on, or she won’t tell you want the specifics or what her talked about? I’m used to the second. Like I said, if you really aren’t comfortable at all don’t continue to see her, but be aware that this is a common approach.

    I understand the struggle is very real between keeping kids safe and allowing them to become individuals. I get that your family history makes you more proactive than most about issues around abuse and secrecy. You could approach it as a one week at a time thing and see if it’s worth it. I think an 8 yo is old enough to understand that a therapist taking in front of his parent of the concept of confidentiality is not the same as another adult telling him to keep secrets. No one is telling your child he needs to to keep a secret. It is the ADULT that needs to keep the secret. He can always wave his right to confidentiality, it is HIS power to have, KWIM? I think that’s what makes the difference from abuse or grooming. He really does have the power here, not the adult. I’m sure if he walked out one day and said I don’t want to go anymore you would support him. Maybe that approach would make you more comfortable, whether it’s with this therapist or another some day?
    I understand that she may not tell me what they talked about, and I get that. But she won't be talking to me AT ALL unless I request it specifically and then she said she can listen to my concerns but she won't be telling me anything. I was hoping she would be teaching DS some techniques/giving him tools to help him deal with situations he may feel anxious in, but I am the one who will be with him in those situations, not the therapist, so I feel like I also need to know what she is teaching him to do. I'm not sure he would remember what to do/how to do it all on his own.
    It alos left me feeling like I shouldn't be asking him what they talked about/did. I feel all conflicted about that now. But I was hoping that a therapist could help me understand my son better so that I can parent more to his needs. I don't see that happening with this model. She will never share with me any insights she gets.
    It sounds like this is pretty normal though, so we will give it a try for a few weeks.
    Last edited by petesgirl; 08-23-2019 at 12:27 PM.
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  7. #17
    petesgirl is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by specialp View Post
    I understand your fears! One thing to think about is the adult telling your DS he has to keep a secret is very, very different than a therapist telling DS you are the owner of this session, not mom, and you don not have to tell mom things in here if you do not want to and I won't either. Like others have said, when discussing thing with parents, the therapist will ask the child if it's OK to repeat to that. The child is in control of what is shared and not shared, not the adult. It might not be a good fit, but I think that is what the therapist was trying to convey to you.
    The thing that made me most uncomfortable though, was that she reminded him a few times that he didn't ever have to tell me what they talked about. That could so easily put him in a position of feeling like he wants to tell me something but he won't because it will betray her. Wouldn't it be more helpful for her to be encouraging open communication between us?
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  8. #18
    twowhat? is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by petesgirl View Post
    The thing that made me most uncomfortable though, was that she reminded him a few times that he didn't ever have to tell me what they talked about. That could so easily put him in a position of feeling like he wants to tell me something but he won't because it will betray her. Wouldn't it be more helpful for her to be encouraging open communication between us?
    I really think your gut is telling you this person isn't a good fit. Even though the approach is "typical", it sounds like the way she is explaining the approach with you and handling you as the parent isn't the best for you - I believe that part of the therapist's job is being able to make sure the parent is comfortable too. Our therapist explained the importance of her being able to build trust with DD2 on our first meeting, but she didn't constantly bring it up (at least not in front of me) or make me feel like I was shut out. I also think it's important for the therapist to be open to letting you know how you can help your DS with the strategies that he learns during his sessions. Our therapist definitely loops us in on that, even if it's as simple as "your mom can help you remember to take deep breaths" or "I want you to come up with a code word with your mom, something you can say when you feel overwhelmed and can't remember anything you learned, and you can say that word and mom will know to walk you to a quiet corner and give you a hug." during our 10 minute download after each session. She also had us help do a couple of things at home and gave us a couple of homework assignments at the beginning - one was to take DD2 shopping and let her pick out a journal of her own choosing and the second was to set up a place at home to be designated a "safe spot" for tantrums and DD2 got to pick how she wanted to decorate the space (within reason - we let her choose 1 lamp and 1 big pillow and a poster at IKEA). She also recommended an app for me to download to help with the deep breathing. Because in the end an 8yo cannot be expected to self-manage anxiety 100% of the time and is going to need a little help in between sessions, and I think that the therapist should be able to share with you, the parent and primary supporter of your chid, the ways you can help in order for him to progress without violating confidentiality. The way our therapist does that is by using a hypothetical situation. She'll say something like "let's pretend that DD2 is at an ice cream store and there are so many flavors and there's a long line and she can't decide and is starting to get frustrated..." This way she doesn't have to let us know anything specific that DD2 might have told her.
    Last edited by twowhat?; 08-23-2019 at 12:40 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by petesgirl View Post
    The thing that made me most uncomfortable though, was that she reminded him a few times that he didn't ever have to tell me what they talked about. That could so easily put him in a position of feeling like he wants to tell me something but he won't because it will betray her. Wouldn't it be more helpful for her to be encouraging open communication between us?
    I honestly do not know the answer, but I assume at this early of the process, the first important to establish this confidentiality is the "real deal" for the child who at age 8, has probably never experienced that. I can also imagine a lot of scenarios where it wouldn't be best to encourage open communication with the parents and a therapist needing to feel that out first before encouraging it. But I agree with others that this does not sound like a good fit you and DS will feel that from you so I would find someone else with whom you feel more comfortable.

  10. #20
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    I'm seeing some words in your posts that make me question if this therapist is the right one for your DS such as "uncomfortable", "conflicted", and bringing up "child "predator". It seems as if your gut is telling you that something is off. A therapist can be fantastic for many but not for everyone. It is okay to give it a try and change your mind later. Therapy needs comfort and buy in to be most effective.

    DS1 has seen a therapist to manage anxiety and does biyearly check ins now. It started with an intake session attended by DH and me only discussing our concerns and goals for the process. I felt heard and understood. It was comfortable from the start. After that, I was invited into the room for a few minutes at the beginning to mention any concerns (DS was present and heard everything) and at the end to discuss what tools they learned and how I may be able to help (again, DS was always there). It felt implied that what they discussed was confidential but maybe it was in the paperwork or stated. But my big takeaway for you is that both DS and I felt very comfortable with his therapist and it's okay for you to have that expectation.
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

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