Do family therapists EVER advocate for minors patients?

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Aspie1
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13 Jan 2022, 8:21 pm

It's no secret that "family" therapy is for the parents, with the minors (kids/teens) sitting in their office being a little more than subhuman objects to be fixed. But every rule has an exception, I hope. Which means there may or may not be family therapists that actually PROTECT minors from abuse by their parents, even if "only" emotional abuse.

So... let's say a minor talks about something that doesn't fall under the scope of mandated reporting: like calling the kid/teen degrading names, screaming for 45 minutes, and/or ground the minor for 2 weeks, over a C on a math test, just for a cheap power trip and an ego boost. In that case, does a family therapist EVER try to actually HELP the minor?

In a semi-fantasy scenario, it'd be something like: "There's a shelter for abused kids at 1776* Freedom Rd. Call them, or have your school call them for you; a social worker and an armed security guard will take you away from your home, and the shelter will put you up in a cozy room. You'll live with other abused kids like yourself. It's like running away, but totally legal. You'll never have to be with your family again, except under supervision by police officers protecting you." Or more realistically, call Child Protective Services on the minor's behalf, then have the minor permanently taken away and put up with a genuinely loving foster/adoptive family. (As opposed to their birth family, whose love is transactional, rationed out in exchange for unquestioning obedience and straight A's.) Or even more realistically, call the minor's parents and put them in their place, saying that their actions are abusive and borderline illegal, and put their child in danger of mental health problems or even suicide. Basically, stand up for the minor in ways they can't do themselves.

My family therapist did none of those things. She just mocked me or pretended not to know what I'm talking about, when I told her about the emotional abuse I was going through. Which meant one thing and one thing only: she was there to help my parents abuse me even harder, as well as do some abusing herself---under the pretext of "helping me feel better in the long run" :roll:---rather help me AVOID or STOP the abuse. So I turned to alcohol as a stop-gap measure until I found a failsafe suicide method. :( I have an alcohol addiction to this day, at age 38, as such a method doesn't exist.

Still... are there ANY family therapists that are there for MINORS sitting in their office, and for not the parents?

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* 1776 as an address is a reference the minors' freedom from abuse by parents, like 1776 is the year America attained freedom from abuse by England.



autisticelders
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14 Jan 2022, 7:16 am

follow the money! who pays the bills?
I think in some instances the therapists are required to report abuse to social agencies (child and family services in the USA) if they suspect abuse.
It is very difficult to prove emotional abuse, the child has to have almost repeated bruising and scarring in order for them to take action.
People not familiar with autism think we are being oppositional out of willfulness rather than out of anxiety and in all things society says children must obey their parents NOW.

I was abused too, also turned to alcohol and drugs in my youth.
I did finally see a therapist on my own and learned new ways to have healthy communication because I was suicidal and did not know I had any options besides the sick ways my family growing up interacted.
Learning healthy self assertive communication was the key to having a better life. I learned how to say no, how to set boundaries, how to recognize being abused, used and manipulated and learned I could choose how to react in a healthy way to other people's demands. I needed better tools than the ones my early life had left me with.

It saved my life and sanity.

I am no longer abusing substances, I have a healthy life and have found peace.
I wish the same for you.
There is no shame in reaching out for help. If the first try does not work, keep trying. It took me to the 4th counselor before I could find one who understood me, and who could make himself understood to me. The difference changed my life forever and for the better. Sending best wishes.


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Dear_one
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14 Jan 2022, 7:28 am

Therapists work for the child if the adults are recognized as abusers, but they may wait until there are alternatives available that happen to be approved.



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14 Jan 2022, 7:39 am

In OP you answered your own question. You said it "doesn't fall under the scope of mandated reporting". Thats for a reason: because it is not cut and dry abuse. But, if so, why would it justify them separating kids from parents, etc?

What if the parents are trying to get the kids to do things that are good for them, such as exercize and eat right? Would they separate them and find them parents that would let them eat candy all day long?

I mean just about any parent does something the kid doesn't like. At some point the kid doesn't like they have to dress or get potty trained. So what you said would guarantee that 90% of the kids would be moved from parent to parent until they find them parents that would let them pee their pants.

Also remember the kids would become adults too and have their own kids. Would they like it when their own kids would be taken away from them later in life (if they make it that far, that is)?



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14 Jan 2022, 8:52 am

When you say "ever" in the subject line, that means one or more times

Eight billion precious lil "people" in the solar system

Having said that, one time when I was 17, I went to a psychologist with my parents, and the psychologist asked me "what do your parents not like about you?"

That sounds so controlling

Anyone could not like anything for any reason or no reason

It doesn't mean I did anything bad or wrong

And the psychologist sure as f**k did not ask me what I did not like about my parents



"The customer is always right"

The parents pay the bills

If they took the child's side, the parents would stop paying

Plus everyone has subconscious biases

The psychologist is closer to the parents age and can relate to the parents more


But whatever



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14 Jan 2022, 12:43 pm

When people take their dogs for obedience training, they pay the bills and think the dog is being trained. What is really going on is that the dog gets to meet a sane human who understands it, restoring its hopes, and the owner is trained to act more like the trainer.



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14 Jan 2022, 8:51 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Having said that, one time when I was 17, I went to a psychologist with my parents, and the psychologist asked me "what do your parents not like about you?"
8O 8O

This sounds EXACTLY like what my family therapist said. Only I was 13, not 17. Our conversation went something like this.

Aspie1: "My parents don't love me."
Therapist: "Why don't they love you?"
Aspie1: "I get bad grades sometimes. They said they can't bring themselves to love a child who gets bad grades."
Therapist: "Well, is it that hard for you to bring your grades up? Why can't you study harder and apply yourself? I know you're smart. Then, both you and your parents will be happy, and you can feel loved again."
Aspie1: <changes topic> "So anyway, I like this girl..." (There was no girl; I made her up.)

Basically, she fully confirmed to me that parents' love REALLY IS transactional, and must be "purchased" with obedient behavior and good grades as a proverbial subscription service.

OK, fine! Parents pay the bills, so the family therapist takes their side. Money talks. But why can't a family therapist be HONEST about their real loyalty with the patient? Why do family therapists pretend to be the minor's friend while smugly stabbing him/her in the back?! :evil: At least a school bully stabs you in the front.



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15 Jan 2022, 12:08 am

Aspie1 wrote:
shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Having said that, one time when I was 17, I went to a psychologist with my parents, and the psychologist asked me "what do your parents not like about you?"
8O 8O

This sounds EXACTLY like what my family therapist said. Only I was 13, not 17. Our conversation went something like this.

Aspie1: "My parents don't love me."
Therapist: "Why don't they love you?"
Aspie1: "I get bad grades sometimes. They said they can't bring themselves to love a child who gets bad grades."
Therapist: "Well, is it that hard for you to bring your grades up? Why can't you study harder and apply yourself? I know you're smart. Then, both you and your parents will be happy, and you can feel loved again."
Aspie1: <changes topic> "So anyway, I like this girl..." (There was no girl; I made her up.)

Basically, she fully confirmed to me that parents' love REALLY IS transactional, and must be "purchased" with obedient behavior and good grades as a proverbial subscription service.

OK, fine! Parents pay the bills, so the family therapist takes their side. Money talks. But why can't a family therapist be HONEST about their real loyalty with the patient? Why do family therapists pretend to be the minor's friend while smugly stabbing him/her in the back?! :evil: At least a school bully stabs you in the front.


I don't see how the therapist takes your parents side in this particular example. You were the one who said you want to be loved by your parents, not the therapist. So I can see only two possible answers to this question:

a) Don't worry about your parents love, find some other goal

b) Do what your parents want to earn their love

Your complaint is that your therapist said "b" instead of "a".

Well, when I am complaining about women and get advice "a", I am typically pissed. Because typically I actually want an advice "b". So you should be greatful.

Besides, getting good grades is good idea anyway in terms of your future. Sure, most of the things they teach you is the stuff you don't need, and a lot of what you do need they might not be teaching you. But, right or wrong, colleges look at your GPA when they make admission decision. So it was in your own best interest to get good grades to get into college.



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15 Jan 2022, 3:37 am

QFT wrote:
<snip>
Besides, getting good grades is good idea anyway in terms of your future. Sure, most of the things they teach you is the stuff you don't need, and a lot of what you do need they might not be teaching you. But, right or wrong, colleges look at your GPA when they make admission decision. So it was in your own best interest to get good grades to get into college.

I don't think that getting into college is a good idea for most of the people there. For me, getting good grades would have been good practice for independent study, but dangerous for my overall development. These days, higher education is run for the financial benefit of the schools, leaving the students enslaved with crushing responsibilities.



Aspie1
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15 Jan 2022, 7:36 am

QFT wrote:
I don't see how the therapist takes your parents side in this particular example. You were the one who said you want to be loved by your parents, not the therapist. So I can see only two possible answers to this question:

a) Don't worry about your parents love, find some other goal

b) Do what your parents want to earn their love

Your complaint is that your therapist said "b" instead of "a".

Well, when I am complaining about women and get advice "a", I am typically pissed. Because typically I actually want an advice "b". So you should be greatful.

There's only so I much I can do to get "good" grades. I'm only human and I have limitations. So if an occasional C slips up, it's no big deal. Plus, some of my teachers were human trash: they lowered grades as punishment for things unrelated to academics. Which my parent's didn't believe; they thought of me as a two-legged pet with no mind of its own, whose life's duty was to bring them good grades at all times. Neither did my therapist. And honestly, when a child as young as 8 is making suicide plans to avoid being punished for a C on his English homework, don't you think something is wrong? That, and having fantasies about killing his teachers, for getting him in trouble at home.

Speaking of college/jobs, I didn't get into the cushy city government job I have today because of my good grades back in school---which came at a high cost of depression, anxiety, insomnia, suicidal ideation, and alcohol abuse. I got into it because of luck and knowing where to look. I just hope they don't find out about my political beliefs. They might not fire me for getting that C, but they will fire me for my not agreeing with their politics. ;)

You left out "c": a psychological trick to swindle my parents into loving me despite a bad grade or two. Basically, the parent/child equivalent of the Red Pill. Considering she had a Master's degree in psychology, I was 100% certain she knew such tricks and could teach one to me. But obviously, there's no way in hell she was going to teach a patient to manipulate someone who was paying her. Because money talks.

You also left out "d": call my parents and tell them that grades aren't as big a deal as they think, and if they go too far in extracting them from me, there could lose me to Child Protective Services or suicide. And since my parents didn't want to lose a two-legged pet they bossed around, that might cause them to lay off my grades. But because of her loyalty to them, there's no way in hell she was going to do that.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 15 Jan 2022, 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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15 Jan 2022, 7:40 am

Dear_one wrote:
QFT wrote:
<snip>
Besides, getting good grades is good idea anyway in terms of your future. Sure, most of the things they teach you is the stuff you don't need, and a lot of what you do need they might not be teaching you. But, right or wrong, colleges look at your GPA when they make admission decision. So it was in your own best interest to get good grades to get into college.

I don't think that getting into college is a good idea for most of the people there. For me, getting good grades would have been good practice for independent study, but dangerous for my overall development. These days, higher education is run for the financial benefit of the schools, leaving the students enslaved with crushing responsibilities.


I'm confused by this. College in the UK isn't the same as University.

Colleges offer vocational skills courses like carpentry, IT skills, Plumbing, Painting and Decorating course that can help young people get jobs after a year or 2 of learning practical skills as well as doing written tests. Sounds useful for those on the spectrum. Certainly helped me find work. What do you call that in America?



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15 Jan 2022, 7:47 am

hurtloam wrote:
I'm confused by this. College in the UK isn't the same as University.

Colleges offer vocational skills courses like carpentry, IT skills, Plumbing, Painting and Decorating course that can help young people get jobs after a year or 2 of learning practical skills as well as doing written tests. Sounds useful for those on the spectrum. Certainly helped me find work. What do you call that in America?
In the US, "college" and "university" are basically the same thing, although the word "university" is considered more prestigious. There are also regulations on which institutions are allowed to use the ".edu" domain extension for their websites.

Places that teach crafts or physical skills you described are known as "trade schools". They are not considered to be colleges or universities, and can't use the ".edu" domain extension.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 15 Jan 2022, 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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15 Jan 2022, 8:05 am

Thanks that helps me understand the context of this thread better.

Aspie1 wrote:
Aspie1: "My parents don't love me."
Therapist: "Why don't they love you?"
Aspie1: "I get bad grades sometimes. They said they can't bring themselves to love a child who gets bad grades."
Therapist: "Well, is it that hard for you to bring your grades up? Why can't you study harder and apply yourself? I know you're smart. Then, both you and your parents will be happy, and you can feel loved again."
Aspie1: <changes topic> "So anyway, I like this girl..." (There was no girl; I made her up.)

Basically, she fully confirmed to me that parents' love REALLY IS transactional, and must be "purchased" with obedient behavior and good grades as a proverbial subscription service.

OK, fine! Parents pay the bills, so the family therapist takes their side. Money talks. But why can't a family therapist be HONEST about their real loyalty with the patient? Why do family therapists pretend to be the minor's friend while smugly stabbing him/her in the back?! :evil: At least a school bully stabs you in the front.


That's horrific to me, but I don't come from the same background as you. Career was never a huge goal. Maybe I was privileged in that my family were keen on encouraging us to find what we enjoyed and gain skills to do that.

But from reading people's experiences online it seems that your therapist is from a similar family to you, focussed on "success" in a monetary sense.

Possibly a lot of people like that out there, especially when you were young. It's the way our society measures "success". Completely unbalanced in my opinion.

But I've seen so many post by therapists explaining what they do to know there are good ones out there. One I saw the other day made a reel where she said if parents ask her to disclose what is talked about in sessions she basically tells them to f-off.

They don't all have the same agenda, but I believe you when you tell us your stories of how bad your therapist was and I just hope she's had her come-uppance by now.



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15 Jan 2022, 8:28 am

hurtloam wrote:
Dear_one wrote:
QFT wrote:
<snip>
Besides, getting good grades is good idea anyway in terms of your future. Sure, most of the things they teach you is the stuff you don't need, and a lot of what you do need they might not be teaching you. But, right or wrong, colleges look at your GPA when they make admission decision. So it was in your own best interest to get good grades to get into college.

I don't think that getting into college is a good idea for most of the people there. For me, getting good grades would have been good practice for independent study, but dangerous for my overall development. These days, higher education is run for the financial benefit of the schools, leaving the students enslaved with crushing responsibilities.


I'm confused by this. College in the UK isn't the same as University.

Colleges offer vocational skills courses like carpentry, IT skills, Plumbing, Painting and Decorating course that can help young people get jobs after a year or 2 of learning practical skills as well as doing written tests. Sounds useful for those on the spectrum. Certainly helped me find work. What do you call that in America?


Its interesting because the way you describe it reminds me of Russia. I was using USA terminology since I lived in USA too long and am used to it.

The way it works in Russia is that they have 11 year system, with elementary school being grades 1-3, middle school being grades 4-8 and high school being grades 9-11. Now, if someone doesn't do well enough in the middle school to get into high school, then instead of high school they go to college. So college is a combination of high school and professional school. The caviat is that the "professional school" is in a really practical area that just about anyone can do. On the other hand, the intellectual academic stuff (such as math and science) is on the easier level than in high school. Thats why they tell them they didn't do well enough to go to high school but they can still go to college. But then again some people that "could" qualify for high school are going to college out of their own choice if they already made a decision they want to specialize in whatever thing the college specializes.

Now, like I said in USA its different. Because in Russia college is where you go *instead of* high school, but in USA college is where you go *after* high school. Now the word "college" in USA has both the same and different meaning as university. Here is the outline:

(i) The 4-year program after high school can be referred to as both college and university

(ii) The 2-year program after high school can only be referred to as college

(iii) The word university only refers to 4 year program and never 2 year program

(iv) The word college can refer to both 4 year program and 2 year program

(v) The word "community college" can only refer to 2 year program

(vi) The word "college" can be either 2-year or 4-year but the word "community college" is only 2 year

(vii) Thus, the word "college" can mean either "community college" (2 yeaer) or "university" (4 year). But the words "community college" (2 year) and "university" (4 year) have only 1 meaning (2 year and 4 year respectively)

The purpose of 2 year college in USA is the following. When people can't make it into 4 year college, they go to a 2 year college and then if they can do successfully the 2 year college thing, they can then apply to the 4 year college and get into the 3-rd year.

Going back to comparing Russia and the USA, here is an interesting parallel.

a) In Russia, if you don't do well in middle school, you go to college instead of high school. College covers everything high school covers, but at an easier level. The college degree can still fulfill the purpose of high school degree so you can go to university after that

b) In America, if you don't do well in high school, you go to community college instead of university. But then the degree from community college still covers the first two years of university, so you can go to the third year of university after that degree

c) Russian education is ahead of American education. So high school in Russia covers the same stuff as first two years of university in America, and the first year of university in Russia is the same as the third year of university in America.

d) So if high school in Russia is the same as first two years of university in America, college in Russia is easier of version high school in Russia, and community college in America is easier version of first two years of university in America, then college in Russia would be the same as community college in America.

e) And the purpose of Russian college and American community college is also the same: to admit people who can't make it on that particular academic level level

I guess its not entirely accurate because

1) In America first two years of unviersity are still somewhat ahead of Russian high school, which implies that American community college would be somewhat ahead of Russian college (which is an interesting twist seeing that Russia is ahead of America).

2) Russian colleges are even more focused on trade school types of things than American community colleges are. Although who knows, American community colleges do offer trade school preparation. Its just not as universal as in Russian colleges.

But still, the point is that its really interesting to see how Russian and American colleges end up being so similar despite very different word usage.

Thats why I would have personally preferred if they were to reserve the word "college" just for "community college". Then I would have been able to say "hey, college in Russia is the same as college in America" which would have been funny. But unfortunately I am not the one who decides how the words are used, and they decided to give both meanings to the American usage of the word college rather than just one. I can't do anything about it. But at least when I talk to my mom, in Russian, I keep using the word college just in reference to community college. For example my mom teaches Russian and she teaches it in community college and in university. But when I speak to her in Russian I would just drop the word "community" and use "college" to mean "community college". But when I speak in English I use the word college to mean university too as you just saw.



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15 Jan 2022, 11:39 am

The trouble is that emotional wounds, scrapes and bruises are the ones that can't be seen.


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18 Jan 2022, 6:24 am

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Plus everyone has subconscious biases

The psychologist is closer to the parents age and can relate to the parents more
This raises an idea. I actually floated it here before, but people shot it down.

What if we had kids and teens serving as therapists for patients their age? :idea:

Therapy is just talking. Based on what I've seen in therapy at all ages, it's a Mickey Mouse job a child can easily do. First and best of all, a minor would be getting therapy from someone who ACTUALLY understands them and isn't biased against them, rather than from a clueless buffoon who doesn't even remember what powerlessness feels like. Second, the therapist wouldn't turn into yet another authority figure themselves; they'd be a relatable peer, which would make it easier for the patient to heal. Third, it'd be an innovative way to allow children to actually work and earn money, rather be given an allowance out of mercy. Fourth, it's a way to save on healthcare costs: a child therapist will be happy with getting paid $15/hour, rather than demanding $100/hour or more an adult therapist would want.

Precautions would be taken, of course. An adult supervisor would monitor the session from an adjacent room (but not talk themselves), and step in if the session became hostile. Sessions would be conducted at least 10 miles (16 km) outside the patient's school district, to eliminate conflict of interest and/or risk of extortion at school. And the person monitoring would still handle matters like removing the patient from his/her home.