letting each other go

First Therapy

Posted by Leo G on February 28, 2007

Well, the therapist is down-to-earth, caring, and very blunt. I think all that’s a good thing. My son seemed pretty open to the whole thing. Coming on the heels of being suspended for fighting may have been an advantage. I know he knows why we’re worried. I know he knows we love him. I know he knows we are trying to get him quality help.

At the same time, the therapist is clearly not going to just be a tool for us parents. He told us all that he really doesn’t like adults, he much prefers teens and children. He was clear about what he would have to share with us and what he would not. One part of that was to trust him to let us know if he begins to think the drug abuse is enough of a problem to warrant treatment. From my perspective, that is a relief. We have help. We have someone we can check in with about our fears. But most of all, our son can be totally honest about his use, because he can trust that this guy isn’t going to overreact.

So, all in all, I think it was good. I feel a little hope. At least my son–who I suppose I should give some kind of name here–can be sure that we are not trying to punish him, but work with him. I feel like maybe we could get to a point where we are all, at some very basic level, on the same team. I don’t need him to be perfect, I need him to be safe enough and healthy enough to survive his adolescence.

UPDATE: I talked with my son and he says he wants to continue with counseling. I think this is a very good thing.


9 Responses to “First Therapy”

  1. Jessica said

    That is a good thing. Have you thought about taking him out of the element – perhaps a change of scenery/friends? I don’t know how to make this happen, but for me, disappointment in myself (not my parents being disappointed in me) was the key. I knew I was talented, knew I was smart, and although it was extremely pleasurable to party and drink, I felt shame at the same time, for lowering myself. Maybe he feels some sort of frustration for finding something he is truly passionate about? Is he still really into basketball, or could there be something else? Hang in there!

  2. RLGelber said

    Great news!

  3. SunSpotBaby said

    My daughter has Borderline Personality Disorder, which involves substance abuse on several levels, and we went thru many of the same things you are going thru. It has been going on for 15 years now and we did everything possible – therapy, hospitalization, tough love, soft love, kicking her out on her own, taking her in, you name it. We no longer bail her out of her self-created problems, but are there to support her in her time of need. Sometimes this is all you can do after all is said and done. The best thing you can do is to rid yourself of any guilt about his choices in life, so that you CAN support him in a healthy manner. Best of luck.

  4. Chris said

    This is a very good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Tricia said

    Hang in there.
    For us, having someone for the teenager to talk to, who was non-judgmental and reasonable, was a big help. It seemed like when he came back from the meetings he was easier to get along with for half a day at least. Sometimes he would get angry or cry in her office (she was a social worker.) Usually I didn’t accompany him to talk with her, but she let me know if there was anything new going on, which helped to reassure us. It took a while for him to feel safe with her, a couple of months at least, so don’t give up!
    I wrote a private blog about some of my experiences – if you want to read it, you can email me.

  6. Grace said

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome news. It was very heartwarming to read this today….You’re on a Go(o)d path with him. And the counselor sounds like he ROCKS! LOL Not sure if your son heard his comment about his dislike of adults, but it sounds like you ALL have an advocate and ‘bridge builder’ for yourselves!

  7. Jammy said

    yeah man i see what you are saying

  8. often times, we do misunderstood our parents’ intentions. i did… a lot of times when i was growing up. but we’ve been all there: the growing up part.

    either case, this is good news. the counselor does sound like he is an effective one. i keep my fingers crossed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Wow. I’m truly inspired by your words. Being an awesome father, your son should be thankful for having you with him in his journey to change over a new leaf. All the best for the counselling and in time to come, you’ll be a happy and no-worries kinda dad. (:

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