Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Family Therapy

We had our first encounter with the family therapist a couple weeks ago. I have very mixed feelings about it. I left feeling like it was a good start, open honest discussion about the good, bad and the ugly. But the more I think about it, the angrier I get. Maybe "angry" isn't the right word, but frustrated. I think it's important that we as a family have a forum to discuss the difficult issues and get the input of an impartial third party...that part was good. But the moment I used the words "disappointed" and "betrayed" in the context of having difficulty trusting our daughter again after going through several periods of sobriety followed by relapse(and even the "sober" periods were not always as sober as we thought), I was accused of "bringing morality into it." According to the therapist (and most addiction counselors who subscribe to the AA brand of treatment would agree), addiction is a genetic disease and she can't help it (i.e. she is not accountable for her actions). I strongly disagree.

Then there was the discussion about getting a job, going back to school, etc. While we have talked at length about the importance of getting a job, we know that going back to work in the restaurant business (her former job) invites temptation that she does not need, nor does she look forward to a lifetime of waitressing. My suggestion was to take advantage of the time she has now (while we're willing to help financially and with babysitting) to go to school, possibly tying in a job with her education if such an opportunity exists (she wants to pursue a job in healthcare, starting as a medical assistant). The therapist contradicted this and suggested that she was not capable of doing school right now and should stick with a waitressing job until her brain is functioning normally. She added that we should not expect her to ever be the "problem solving over achiever" that I am. Excuse me? I had never talked to or met this woman before. I'm not sure how she knows that much about me or how encouraging our daughter to follow her dreams (NOT my expectations) was expecting too much.

Oh well. I guess I should not have EXPECTED so much from a family therapist.



At 4:49 PM, October 18, 2009, Blogger beth said...


Is your therapist a Christian? If not, then I might recommend looking for someone through Minrith Meyer (not sure that's spelled right) or something along those lines - because they strong believe you can't separate morality (more specifically, God's law) from therapy and, while not a silver bullet, at least less offensive than what it sounds like you hit up against.

If your daughter won't go to a Christian therapist, then you might consider going yourself (and/or with hubs) if only to get a more balanced forum.

Again...hugs. And hey, I'm proud of you all for doing this - it's a hard first step!

At 5:18 PM, October 18, 2009, Blogger Library girl said...

Aren't therapists supposed to be impartial? Good on you for going! It's not an easy thing to do!


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