Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Alternatives with No Help!

So what then happens in cases where a child can not be managed in the home but the "powers that be" determine out of care is not warranted. This sometimes results in harsh or even abusive, in some cases, to try to control and keep the child in check. In other cases the caregiver gives up trying to control and the child is left with little to no rules and boundaries. These children often end up getting into worse trouble, though not necessarily illegal so again it is under the scope of getting more help.

So why then in America is it so hard for a parent to get help with these emotionally disturbed children that show difficult behaviors. Isn't it better to have a safe haven where a staff can work with the child on these issues and still have the parent be involved and visit in a safe environment. It is especially disturbing when an adoptive parent with training and experience in emotionally disturbed and behavioral children is crying out that the behaviors are out of control and not receiving any support but again told that they should be able to manage it in their own home. In some cases at the risk of other children and family members.

I have seen the health of family members in the home deteriorate in certain cases due the the pressures and stress of dealing with these children needing more help. Their emotional health is also at rist due to the pressures and stress of raising such children. I do not advocate abandoning such children but rather safe and controlled environments and continued involvement from loved ones. In this way maybe these children can come around instead of a situation in the home potentially leading to abuse or a child running the streets with little rules. In my next blog I will look at some options that do exist in our society.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A System That Fails Parents and Children

First of all let me apologize for neglecting my blog. I make a commitment to do better at blogging.

I think I have a subject that might spark some interest especially with exasperated parents out there. The subject is a system that fails parents and children. Here is what I mean and I see it most often with children adopted from foster care, though there may be plenty of you with bio children in the same boat. Children can have severe emotional and behavioral problems. I truly believe that out of home care is warranted in some of these cases. Institutional care leaves a bad taste in some peoples mouths and granted there were some terrible ones out there. By and large the institutions of today, though there are many less, are much better and involve parents and welcome visits. (I am not saying at at that there are not some bad ones out there still for anyone who has had a recent bad experience)

What I want to focus on in the next several blogs is having a child beyond control in the home and the lack of help for exasperated parents. Now days in the world of mental health we have what we call least restrictive environment. This means you can not institutionalize anyone able to have a semblance of function in the outside world. The most severe cases of today can qualify more easily. What about some other cases where the parent has tried these in home services, use medication and counseling and is still crying out that the behaviors are not manageable. It then often falls to an insurance company or a state social worker and medicaid to qualify the child for out of home care. This can be very difficult to do and I have seen parents told by the system and bureaucrats that there child does not qualify for out of home care. Generally then more in home services are offered while the exasperated parent is crying out for help and that one more in home service will not ensure their own or the child's safety. So who ends up deciding what the parent is able to handle in their own home or how much care is needed the system and bureaucracy.

These next several blogs are dedicated to those who love their children, do not want to give them up, but their behavior is unmanageable in the home and a system that is broken down is telling you that you have to handle it in the home. It is great when in home services do work but they don't always. Please tell me your stories and let me know what you would like to hear about on this topic. I welcome and want your comments. Feel free to speak up if you have a success in getting the help you needed or if you are currently exasperated and not getting help. I am hoping this blog can be a small voice in changing a broken system. I will try to write weekly unless the blog really takes off and I hear you want more.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Working Through the Pain

Many people come to counseling because they are in emotional pain. Some feel their pain should be insignificant in comparing their problems to others. Emotional pain is significant and should not be compared to others. First, we often do not see our own issues clearly. Second, in thinking of the issue in relation to physical pain someone with a broken arm and someone with massive injuries both have pain and both need treatment.

It is hard to work through emotional pain and counseling will bring up the issues that caused the pain. This can be hard to face. Our natural reaction is to want to flee the pain. Many drop out of counseling before the process is complete due to this fact. Hang in there and work through the pain though it is difficult, this will bring lasting change and relief. Running from it and burying it will only cause it to resurface later on.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Depression and Anxiety

Many times with depression individuals feel that they should be able to "snap out of it" or "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" They may even have friends and family members making such statements. This can compound the guilt the person may feel for having the symptoms of depression. Now they also feel guilty for not being able to "snap out of it".

Symptoms of depression can include sleep disturbance (either too much or too little), poor appetite or over eating, fatigue/ low energy, difficulty making decisions and concentrating, and feelings of hopelessness and despair. While this is not a comprehensive list experiencing several of these symptoms over a long period of time can indicate major depression, however, don't mistake one or two of these symptoms over a few days as major depression. This can be a normal down day that we all experience from time to time.

Major depression is best handled through getting treatment. For some counseling may do enough to help with the symptoms of depression. Others will need medication in addition to counseling. (Medication without counseling is not as effective). I recommend trying counseling first for individuals with depression. If symptoms continue consider trying medication. Many primary care practitioners will prescribe an antidepressant. They can make the referral for further help from a psychiatrist if it become necessary. For most individuals it will not go this far. If you are experiencing depression please seek help. You can feel better again.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Length of Therapy

Many that are new to the process of therapy may wonder how long will I need to be in therapy. This will be based on the individual. Even for those seeking self improvement and not dealing with issues such as major trauma I recommend at least ten sessions. This gives a chance for the therapist and client to build a good working relationship and for progress to be seen. These ten sessions may be all that is needed for lighter issues.

In the case of deeper issues more sessions will be needed. In these cases base staying in therapy on the benefits and progress being made vs. a specific number of sessions. Keep in mind the progress is not likely to be overnight either and will take time. If you do not feel progress is being made speak to your counselor about this rather than dropping out. The counselor may be able to clarify progress and direction for you or a mutual agreement to refer you to another counselor may be reached. In this way clients can still remain in therapy and get help rather than drop out and let their problems resurface later. Keep in mind the average person drops out of therapy two times before sticking with the process on average the third time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to choose a counselor!

Often after considering counseling the next question that comes to mind is "How do I find a counselor?" There are some preliminary things that can help with the selection process. If you have an insurance company you may wish to call them. Ask "What are my outpatient counseling benefits on the policy?" and then "Can you give me the names of some in network therapists?" From there research the therapists available check their websites and so on.

If you do not have insurance simply do an Internet search for counselors in your city and state. Many will work with you on the cost. When you have narrowed down the list call a couple of the counselors you have found. You can ask questions on the cost and payment methods accepted. Also, ask questions about the therapists specialty, briefly tell your issue and ask if this is something they are comfortable dealing with. Doing this will help you find a counselor that suits your needs in no time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Considering Counseling?

Many people are new to counseling and the counseling process. They are hesitant to make that first phone call. There can be many reasons for this. Some feel their problems are not bad enough and feel they should be able to handle things on their own. Some are embarrassed and humiliated concerning their own wrong doing. Still others are scared to discuss domestic violence or horrific abuse.

What ever the reason for considering counseling it can be a positive experience. Some may just be looking for a little self improvement others to overcome the past. Counselors are their to be impartial not to tell you what to do. Counseling can help you process you thoughts and feelings. By doing this the a-ha moments in life can happen and insight is gain bringing understanding and emotional health back into life. Even counselors themselves can use that at times.