Friday, March 17, 2017

When Counseling Doesn’t Help

Sometimes I wonder why counseling doesn't help. Is it because of the counselor or because of the patient?
I have had some experience with going to counseling. I started going to learn better ways to handle my child who was acting out. I knew I was the one who needed help. There were times I sent my child in, but it didn’t work well because he wouldn’t cooperate, he resisted going, so…. I went.

I found someone with great common sense, who seemed to ask the right questions, and who I felt comfortable sharing my fears and concerns with.  She helped me, but in the long run, my difficulties with my child ran their course, and we went through some really tough times. One time, I talked with her about someone in my life, (not my child) and she asked me to bring him in. After she met and talked with that person for one session, she told me that I needed to get away from him as soon as possible for my sake and for my child’s sake. My friends and family had told me that already, but I didn’t believe it until my counselor told me! I think it was because I thought they just didn't like him, so I didn't trust that their advice was correct. I truly thought I just needed to work things out better with him. When my counselor said it, I believed it, and I did it!

Counseling helped me because I felt comfortable talking to her, I felt she understood and gave me great advice and things to think about. Counseling didn’t help my child because he didn’t want any part of it.

When my son was older, he sometimes went to counseling, but he said it was too easy for him to direct the conversation by only telling the therapist what he wanted to tell them. He wasn’t getting anything out of it because he wasn’t putting anything in to it. He is the type of person that seems to want people to prove their authority before he gives it to them. He has always been that way with any authority; teachers, law enforcement, other parents, friends, etc., he tests people, and he judges them and decides whether they are worth it or not.

My husband’s child goes to therapy, but I don’t see it helping either. He tells his dad that he can steer the counseling session where ever he wants. He’s can manipulate it. He won’t get anything out of it that way. I don’t know why he continues to go, unless it’s just that he likes to talk about himself. It makes me wonder why a therapist can’t see through that, but ultimately they are working with what they know.
I know other families who have difficult situations going on, and have been trying counseling, but again, they only get the little information that the child chooses to share, so how can there  be any resolution or improvement. The parent in this family is intending to go in and put out all the cold hard truth as they see it, and they are hoping it will help this situation. We’ll see I guess.

It’s just too bad that there isn’t a way for a counselor to ask enough questions to start challenging a patient on their true thinking. I guess it could cause someone to stop therapy, but is it really helping them if you don’t?
I think when counseling isn’t working, we need to stop, and continue looking for someone with more experience in certain areas.  We need to find someone who deals better with what is really going on. I know there are two sides to every problem, and I may only see my side, but the other party may only be seeing their side too! There HAS to be a way to really work things out objectively!

The reason I went to counseling for myself during all my years of issues with my child was because I couldn’t MAKE him do anything, so I worked on how I handled the problems, my part in it, and how to move on. It was still hard, and it didn’t save me from going through any of it, but I needed that person to talk to during all of it. She was objective, uninvolved emotionally, and THAT is what I needed and why it helped me.

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