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Melissa in Australia

Your thoughts on this psychologist wanted

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So as most of you know we have two darling little foster boys that are forever part of our family. They have experienced terrible trauma I their short lives and we have been told by DHS that they will need ongoing psychology support. Last year we tried one psychologist . he wasn't experienced in traumatised children.

 

Yesterday we saw a different psychologist. I saw her by myself so I could give background information on the twins without the twins hearing it. During the interview she told me that she uses full body restraint on young children . She demonstrated it to me. Where she Would place the child on her lap. Cross her legs over the child's legs, cross the child's arms and hold them crossed with her arms crossed over child's chest, hunch her back and hook her head over the child's head. And let them scream and scream until the child's body relaxes. She told me that she has done this with Children for up to an hour - the duration of a session. Her theory behind it is that she takes control of the child's anger.

 

She also insists that she sees the child with no guardian present.

 

My personal thoughts at the moment is this sounds like trying to break the child's will, and for a traumatised child Especially one that has most probably suffered torture in the past the results would not be good.

 

I am having trouble thinking of any situation where that kind of restraint would be necessary.

 

In May I attended a training class on attachment therapy by the world experts In the field, Dan Hughs and Jon Baylin and they said NEVER let a child see a psychologist unaccompanied.

 

My feeling is to not go through with this psychologist at all. But I would like to hear what others think.

Edited by Melissa in Australia

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Um. I am completely unqualified in the care of traumatized children, but I don't think I'd be taking children to see her. What kind of therapy is this ? To me it sounds terrible. Restraint of children is generally governed by some pretty strict parameters.

 

Is it Coercive Restraint Therapy by any chance ? Sounds like it is sometimes used with foster children ?

 

CRT lacks an evidentiary basis, is derived from an unconventional theoretic background, and is at odds with practices accepted by the helping professions. There is clear evidence of serious harm done to children by adults influenced by the CRT view. Professional organizations and academic publications have rejected CRT practices and beliefs. 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1681667/

Edited by StellaM
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I wouldn't be surprised if it is legal, but I would be surprised if her licensing board, or whatever, wasn't concerned about the combination of the restraint method thing and the no parents in sessions thing.  Both together, especially, is creepy.

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Um. I am completely unqualified in the care of traumatized children, but I don't think I'd be taking children to see her. What kind of therapy is this ? To me it sounds terrible. Restraint of children is generally governed by some pretty strict parameters.

 

Is it Coercive Restraint Therapy by any chance ? Sounds like it is sometimes used with foster children ?

 

CRT lacks an evidentiary basis, is derived from an unconventional theoretic background, and is at odds with practices accepted by the helping professions. There is clear evidence of serious harm done to children by adults influenced by the CRT view. Professional organizations and academic publications have rejected CRT practices and beliefs. 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1681667/

 

well that was a seriously depressing read

 

 

being a foster/adopted child is really a minefield

 

also the below mystifies me:

 

"CRT and CRTP advocates believe that normal attachment follows an attachment cycle[1] consisting of experiences of frustration and rage, alternating with relief provided by the parents. On the basis of this assumption, they posit that emotional attachment in the adopted child can be achieved through the alternation of distress and gratification of infantile needs, such as sucking and the consumption of sweets. Some CRT proponents warn that conventional therapy, with its emphasis on following the child's communicative lead, will in fact worsen an adopted child's emotional status.

CRT and CRTP advocates believe that cheerful and grateful obedience to parents is the behavioral correlate of emotional attachment, and that this is true for children of all ages. "

 

A.  I have never had a frustrated or enraged baby, and they are attached by the time they begin the woes of toddlerhood.  

B.  They correlate emotional attachment with obedience, hahahahaha.  I have very attached children who are not, to put it mildly, very obedient.  We like each other fine, though :)

 

OP, I am glad your radar said "gack" in response to this lady.

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It reminds me of the (very, very wrong IMHO) advice of doing an alpha roll on a dog.

 

No, no, no.

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I don't have any experience with psychologists but this sounds wacky. I heard about therapies where they swaddle the kids to "help" but it just really freaked them out and some kids died from it. Sound similar to that. I would run away from that doc. Good thing that you went by yourself first.

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Ugh. Horrible. I can't imagine that driving a child to that level of terror/anger is really helpful.

 

Certainly the child may need to see the therapist at times without the parent, but most that I know do a few sessions with the parent present initially just to orient and get to know the family.

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Wow. Makes me think of Primal Therapy. I did not know such techniques were still being used. That may be a method a consenting adult could benefit from (and even that is questionable) but I would never, ever advocate using such a method with children, especially children who have been traumatized (and possibly physically held against their will while assaulted/attacked). I find the idea of such a "therapy" to be horrifying. And the idea that you cannot be present is appalling. Nope. This is not the treatment for your little ones. Go with your gut and find a healing therapy. So glad these children have you in their corner.

Edited by jelbe5
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I have no experience with the level of trauma you are experiencing, but I don't like the sound of your therapist.

 

After cycling through a few people, the one I liked let ME decide, session by session, if I needed to see him alone, or with the child, or child would see him alone. My choice. He was the expert, but we were a team.

 

Also, I vastly prefer psychiatrists over psychologists for serious issues. One reason is that they can do medication if necessary. The psychiatrist may be more per hour, but (ime) they saved me money and time by being more effective.

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So as most of you know we have two darling little foster boys that are forever part of our family. They have experienced terrible trauma I their short lives and we have been told by DHS that they will need ongoing psychology support. Last year we tried one psychologist . he wasn't experienced in traumatised children.

 

Yesterday we saw a different psychologist. I saw her by myself so I could give background information on the twins without the twins hearing it. During the interview she told me that she uses full body restraint on young children . She demonstrated it to me. Where she Would place the child on her lap. Cross her legs over the child's legs, cross the child's arms and hold them crossed with her arms crossed over child's chest, hunch her back and hook her head over the child's head. And let them scream and scream until the child's body relaxes. She told me that she has done this with Children for up to an hour - the duration of a session. Her theory behind it is that she takes control of the child's anger.

 

She also insists that she sees the child with no guardian present.

 

My personal thoughts at the moment is this sounds like trying to break the child's will, and for a traumatised child Especially one that has most probably suffered torture in the past the results would not be good.

 

I am having trouble thinking of any situation where that kind of restraint would be necessary.

 

In May I attended a training class on attachment therapy by the world experts In the field, Dan Hughs and Jon Baylin and they said NEVER let a child see a psychologist unaccompanied.

 

My feeling is to not go through with this psychologist at all. But I would like to hear what others think.

Oh, hell no. Without a parent? No. Restraint? No.

 

I know nothing about seeing these kind of doctors, but I would never allow that.

Edited by TranquilMind
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So as most of you know we have two darling little foster boys that are forever part of our family. They have experienced terrible trauma I their short lives and we have been told by DHS that they will need ongoing psychology support. Last year we tried one psychologist . he wasn't experienced in traumatised children.

 

Yesterday we saw a different psychologist. I saw her by myself so I could give background information on the twins without the twins hearing it. During the interview she told me that she uses full body restraint on young children . She demonstrated it to me. Where she Would place the child on her lap. Cross her legs over the child's legs, cross the child's arms and hold them crossed with her arms crossed over child's chest, hunch her back and hook her head over the child's head. And let them scream and scream until the child's body relaxes. She told me that she has done this with Children for up to an hour - the duration of a session. Her theory behind it is that she takes control of the child's anger.

 

She also insists that she sees the child with no guardian present.

 

My personal thoughts at the moment is this sounds like trying to break the child's will, and for a traumatised child Especially one that has most probably suffered torture in the past the results would not be good.

 

I am having trouble thinking of any situation where that kind of restraint would be necessary.

 

In May I attended a training class on attachment therapy by the world experts In the field, Dan Hughs and Jon Baylin and they said NEVER let a child see a psychologist unaccompanied.

 

My feeling is to not go through with this psychologist at all. But I would like to hear what others think.

No way in the world! Ok there are holding techniques for toddlers with tantrums that are slightly similar but I would never want another adult using them on my kid and I would only use them myself if they seemed to be calming not increasing the rage. What a way to make a kid feel like they have no control over anything whatsoever on their life!
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No. Absolutely not.

 

I have in the past restrained my child similarly at times to keep himself, others, and property safe during violent rages before we found medication that helped him (minus the hunching and head thing, he would throw his weight back and head butt also). It is not something that I would consider therapeutic, especially for a child who had experienced trauma or abuse. And his therapists always told me they were not allowed to touch him (when he got violent, the females always had me deal with it but he had one very large male therapist who would back him into a corner and stand there in front of him so he couldn't get out and DS would just use him as a punching bag until he snapped out of it).

 

I would run away from this therapist.

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It sounds like swaddling, which was legitimate when I was studying 30 years ago, but used in limited circumstances. I don't remember a lot about it. I'd definitely do a lot more research before going there. A lot more..

 

I think the theory had to do with swaddling being good to calm babies so it could be used to calm older kids. The problem is for me it doesn't account for the history an older dc might have and therefore could be more traumatic.

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Hell no. No way on God's green earth would  I take a hamster to that woman, let alone a human child. No. How on earth would your poor boys react to you knowingly taking them to this torture? How could they ever trust you again? HELL no. 

 

And I have a kid on the spectrum who had huge anger issues. Yes, sometimes (rarely) I restrained him to prevent physical danger. It never helped. EVEr. It just made it worse. It was a management solution not a therapy solution. 

 

No. 

 

NO. 

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HELL. NO. Trust your gut on this one, I cannot imagine how much damage something like that could do to those poor boys. How in the world does a PSYCHOLOGIST think doing that to ANY child, let alone kids with a history of trauma, is a good idea?! It hurts my heart to imagine that she's probably done this to traumatized children before, and what it may have done to them.

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Oh, hell no. That literally sounds like a torture technique.  :mad:

 

Run away and don't look back.

 

[LOL. I posted before reading the last five or six posts above mine. The forum agrees--HELL NO!]

Edited by MercyA
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"CRT and CRTP advocates believe that normal attachment follows an attachment cycle consisting of experiences of frustration and rage, alternating with relief provided by the parents. On the basis of this assumption, they posit that emotional attachment in the adopted child can be achieved through the alternation of distress and gratification of infantile needs, such as sucking and the consumption of sweets. 

 

What in the world?!? I don't know whether to laugh or cry. That's horrible. 

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Another HELL NO, and I would call the licensing board to clarify whether that's legal in your area.

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I'm curious as to why she brought up the whole restraining thing.  Do they have all out fits?  Just seems like an odd thing to randomly bring up, but maybe it wasn't random.

 

No I don't think I'd go to her though.  She sounds kinda nutters.

 

 

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Don't do it.  Find another path.  If you were small and vulnerable and had experienced horrors in your life and someone you were building a foundation of trust and love and safety with started deliberately leaving you alone on a regular basis with a person who was actively making you feel trapped, pinned, helpless, tortured...would you ever trust anyone every again?  Would you ever feel safe ever again?  I don't know that I would.

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Whoa. I'm glad that when kids are an immediate danger to themselves or others that there are ways to safely restrain them. But simply doing it for "therapeutic" purposes? I can't imagine.

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This is an older technique from the early days of RAD (reactive attachment therapy) or holding therapy. I know a few who have done it and thought it was helpful but we never did. It was though done with the adoptive parents in the room the whole time.

 

I would not do it. On Facebook, check out Stephanie Grant PhD or Google her name. She is local to me does a lot of trauma work. She has some good on line services.

 

Do you need them to see an in person therapist or since you are so remote would they pay for therapy by Skype,parent training, etc? Over my 20 years doing this, I have seen that 75-90% of the work is training the parents to be therapeutic parents as they work with the kids 24/7.

 

Another great resource is Stacy Manning who wrote Intentional Parenting that is on Amazon (but not sure if you can get it). She has lots of great ideas and really understands these kids.

Edited by Ottakee
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I'd be thinking look, lady, you're not Santa. My kid isn't going near your lap or being left alone with you. Not going back.

 

(I wouldn't leave my kid alone with Santa, either, in case that was confusing)

Edited by heartlikealion
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B.  They correlate emotional attachment with obedience, hahahahaha. 

 

why does that give me visions of the pearls . . . . . .

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The thing that would really bug me is the instance that you aren't ever to be there.  I think there is value in her seeing them without you, but she needs to make you feel comfortable with that by letting you get to know her and trust her.   And she is doing an awesome job coming off as a weirdo so good grief what is there to feel comfortable about!

 

 

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believe that cheerful and grateful obedience to parents is the behavioral correlate of emotional attachment

 

Ugh.  I was raised with this belief.  It is *so* incredibly harmful, even to kids without that trauma background.  I can't even imagine...

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I have heard of "time ins," but that sounds extreme.  Having adopted kids with some related issues, that really wouldn't work for my kids - especially if the person was not their actual parent.  I understand as the parent showing the kid that he can't push you away no matter what, you're not going to give up on him, etc.  But for some stranger to come into their lives and do something so extreme?  How is that not a fresh new trauma / setback?  I doubt I would go back there.

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I"ve heard of parents using a restraint like hold like that on out of control kids.  But just for the heck of it? To encourage them to scream and freak out? Can't see how that would help.

 

I would look for another therapist.  IMHO, therapy with that person would likely do more harm than no therapy at all.

 

 

ETA: This website out of California may help: http://www.cebc4cw.org/search/  Go to the advanced search and you can search via clinical evidence, target audience, etc. 

Edited by umsami
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Though if it came up in response to Mom saying "they fly into violent rages and I can't control them," the therapist may have been saying "this is something you can try, it has worked for me when needed."  That would make more sense - I do believe some kids in some situations need to be restrained, unfortunately.

 

I would still be very uncomfortable with the rule that Mom can't sit in on the sessions when the boys are so young.

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That is a technique that is sometimes used with children who are having a violent outburst and are endangering themselves or others. It is considered to be a less traumatising method of restraint than handcuffs or using sedatives for chemical restraint. But it has no therapeutic purpose outside keeping children from injuring themselves or others.

 

And no, I would not agree to having young children meet with the psychologist alone, unless there was a way for me to observe the session from another room in real time.

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First, I always say (and am repeated by the moms above me) to "follow your gut". If you don't like it, chances are it isn't a good option for you/yours.

 

Second, I would like to think that ANYTHING that is going to benefit these boys is going to have to include the primary caregiver. That's you, Mom....even "just" the Foster Mom. So, NO.... therapy not including you at this stage is NOT acceptable. Sometime in the future, as they enter or near adolescence, they may need individual therapy. But at this age, they don't need individual, one-on-one, therapy as much as they need family therapy. Yes, there will be times when excluding you will be of benefit, but with the purpose of bringing Mom into the fold. 

 

Third, I think holding therapy, like what you described, is very beneficial to a raging and angry child, IF you can do it safely. However, I do not like the idea of just going and doing it in therapy. I just can't see that being a good thing.

 

Kris

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I'm glad she told you in this initial meeting that this is what she does, rather than your finding out later. 

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I sent your comments to a friend who is a therapist. She has three adopted children, two of whom have pretty severe issues; she became a therapist because of her experiences with trying to find answers and help. This is what she said:

 

This therapist says "NO!" Find another therapist now!!!! Someone who understand the fear and stress reactions of a attachment impaired, traumatized child. The guardian/attachment figure MUST be involved at least some of the time and restraints, while a necessary evil with some kids, should only be if a child is harming themselves or others. *sigh* That kind of treatment retraumatizes.

 

It is a type of rage-reduction therapy and it has actually worked for a few...but it is abusive and controlling in my book. There are so many other effective and gentle loving ways to bring about healing. I hope she finds a good trauma-informed clinician

 

 

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I'm glad she told you in this initial meeting that this is what she does, rather than your finding out later. 

Right?  What if they started to develop a relationship with this woman then boom, she starts restraining them for "therapy", even if they are not reacting in a way that might require restraint to prevent injury.

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Run away from this woman! And thank your lucky stars that you dodged a bullet - and have a new interview question to ask any potential future therapists re: their techniques.

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Holding has been around forever. It has a huge success rate, is highly controversial, and is dangerous if not done right. I can't remember the technical term, is it holding therapy? If I had a child that lashed out physically, I would use it. And PLEASE, nobody bash me for saying this. I have a TON of RAD and trauma experience. I have never used it in a restraint type of situation with my dd, but I did use holding time when she realaly didn't want anything to do with being held. She was so opposed to human touch for the first couple of years of her life and she was only 14 months old when I travelled to China to get her. I encouraged eye contact and had her sucking on lollipops and bottles while I spent hours rocking her. She learned to love and crave human touch.

 

But what you are explaining sounds entirely different. Would the restraining be used if physically lashing out, or would you use it and try to get them to scream? I am not sure the latter sounds natural and would work or even be healthy.

 

My biggest red flag? You NEVER leave a RAD child or one with an attachment disorder alone with a therapist. I have also met Dan and have consulted Heather Forbes and Nancy Thomas' assistant. I would never allow that and any expert in the field knows this is never acceptable.

 

Edited because I suck at touch screen typing. 😆

Edited by Denisemomof4
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I'm glad she told you in this initial meeting that this is what she does, rather than your finding out later. 

:iagree:  :iagree:  :iagree:  :iagree:  :iagree:  :iagree:

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Ugh. Horrible. I can't imagine that driving a child to that level of terror/anger is really helpful.

 

Certainly the child may need to see the therapist at times without the parent, but most that I know do a few sessions with the parent present initially just to orient and get to know the family.

Not with a child with trauma and attachment issues. Time alone with the therapist has proven to be a time where the chikd lies, manipulates and triangulates the therapist and parents. It is well known that if you have a RAD child, the parent is to be present at all times.

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I actually wouldn't have any sort of trouble with her training YOU to use safe holding positions.  Sometimes traumatized kids get sort of manic, and they will scream and cry and be angry while you are holding them; at that moment they are not capable of calming themselves.  Afterwards they will thank you for holding them; they will even ask you to hold them tight at then scream at you while they are doing it.

 

But I don't know how or why a therapist who doesn't know your child and isn't bonded to them should hold them; it doesn't sound like the sort of experience any traumatized child should relax in, ever.  It sounds like creating additional trauma, since they aren't attached to her and frankly, should never attach to her.

 

I think I do know someone who might be better at answering this sort of question though; there's a podcast we listen to called The Foster Parenting Podcast by a couple who adopted a couple of highly traumatized girls from foster care.  They went through a several year period where they used safe holding positions every night at bedtime.  I follow them through iTunes, though they do have a website here:  http://www.fosterpodcast.com/

 

Honestly I would send them this question.  They know much more about it than I do.

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Ottakee is right. I have read and been told that 90% of the work and healing is in the home. I found working with an expert via phone worked best for me. The locals were a waste of time.

 

Also, the huge success rate I speak of is not restraining and encouraging rage reduction, it is gentle and is teaching the chuld to like human touch. My daughter TOTALLY resisted human touch, would turn her back to me when held and was stiff as a board. The holding time I did changed all of that, but it sounds nothing at all like what you are describing this whackadoo does.

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