Friday, May 21, 2010

A peek into Attachment Therapy - Appointment 7

FIVE HOURS…….. Most of our therapy sessions last up to four hours… but today was the mother of all sessions. Double session for Bright-Eyes and Middle-One.

I am now having second thoughts about pursuing a career as a therapist.

So, again, Attachment Therapy is very different than Traditional/Talk/Cognitive therapies. It is aggressive rather than passive. It produces the issues and lays them before the client and asks “These are your problems what are you going to do about them” rather than letting the client decide what they need and will work on. And, sometimes, like today, it isn’t pretty. It’s bold and tactless and in-your-face.

Parent session

During the family/parent session we discussed the boys in this order.. Ebear…. Bright-Eyes… Middle-One.

We started with Ebear and talked about how hard it is to discern the behavior of a healing teen RAD. We always have the question “Is it teen or is it RAD” rolling through our minds. We all agreed that he has come SO far that we are going to assume it’s mostly “teen” stuff and work with him accordingly. So after regressing and losing his beloved phone, MP3 and PC, we will be laying down some firm rules and allowing him to have access again.

We also indulged in a fascinating grown-up discussion about the future technological influence on our communications… primarily; Texting.

The discussion of Bright-Eyes wasn’t as happy. We had to address the most recent explosion and runaway attempt/threat. This makes four.

Then we went on to Middle-One… We went through all of the recent incidents of control. His recent behavior at school and an incident at his foster home. AT surmised from all of the accounts that Middle is desperately trying to control his world, even to his own detriment.

We also discussed the upcoming ISP and return of custody. AT suggested some agencies we could call on for possible help and present at the ISP. It was agreed by all of us that we would need four weeks of services to get through the summer. I think we need Nanny McPhee!!!!

Then, after that lengthy meeting we called in Bright-eyes…


He came in and sat in my place on the couch while I was in the bathroom. Then the stinker wouldn’t move. Once we got him into the middle of the couch, between Mr. T and me, we got started.

AT began by asking how he was doing… he said good, then he said…not so good. She agreed that was true. AT asked him to explain and he began telling her. She continued leading him through questions and asked why he was doing these things. He admited it was because Middle is coming home and said that he didn't want him to come home. AT reminded him that he didn't get to make that decision and that his parents did. She
then talked to him about how he is creating problems by trying to take care of himself. She went through how things look if he lets us take care of everyone versus how things look if *he* tries to take care of everything. She also discussed why he runs. She asked him why he did it and what he hoped would result from it. That stumped him. I don’t think he had thought about it. She described 2 paths… one good and one bad. One taken by choosing to run away and one taken by choosing to trust mom & dad to take care of him. She described what might be down either path. She explained that the choice is his.


Middle came in and immediately kicked off his shoes and fell face down, across my lap saying

“At least I can finally lay down”

We quickly realized that he had not worn deodorant today (it actually smelled like he had worn dirty clothes and not bathed too)….*gasp* Well bless his heart… and MINE!

We had to tell him to turn over and get in the correct position. He sat there in an awkward shape acting like we were forcing him until I asked if he was comfortable. He agreed he wasn’t and AT reminded him that he could do something to get help. Then he asked and we helped him and we all settled in.

AT asked how things were going. He claimed all was well. Then…Oh my….. AT did her best “Bad Cop”. I had forgotten just how bad she could get. It got very intense. She was discussing Middle’s choices to not follow his goals and how they were his choice and led to trouble. She went over the things he had done at home and at school. He refused to take the blame or responsibility, for anything that he had caused. He also refused to engage in therapy and would just answer her with “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember”. She began to get harsher and louder. She would not let him off the hook. She let him have it. Calling him on the stuff he was doing and the mess he was creating, the control and the lies. She told him that he must not want a family if he wasn’t going to do the things required to be a part of his family. He cried, but I think it was more out of anger than anything else. He glared at her when his eyes weren’t closed to shut her out. She tapped on his arm to get him to engage. HE did “almost” lean in to me a couple of times. Turning to me for comfort (from the mean evil AT) would have been a success. He wouldn’t engage. He wouldn’t seek comfort and he wouldn’t express anger. He did began hitting the couch behind him…

She asked him what he was thinking.

“I don’t know”

“Yes you do”

“No, I really don’t”

We went through the same routine three times. He included every excuse he could think of to not talk and share what he was thinking.

We all just wanted him to come out and yell at her. He needs to release the thoughts and feelings… but he won’t. Maybe, one day, but not today.


After the session Mr. T, AT and I talked about where the biggest concerns lie. She still doesn’t see Middle budging for a long long time. She is hopeful that Bright-Eyes sees the need to trust us and let us be in charge. I hope so.

My biggest fear hovers close to my heart constantly as we move farther along this path.

*I think that I am not remembering some things from this VERY long session, so will come back and add as I do

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