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To not attend this therapy meeting

(109 Posts)
Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:06:48

DD has mental health issues and one of her regular weekly appointments is family therapy with CAMHS.

This weekend we have had some terrible issues with exDH and her which have seriously affected her recovery. I've tried to talk to him but got nowhere.

The thought of sitting in a room with him saying what a great supportive parent he is makes me utterly furious. I know if I go he will twist things while remaining calm and I will lose my temper.

DD is happy for me not to go. She is planning to just nod along when he is in there but then tell all when she has her time alone with the therapist. I have written a letter to the therapist saying that I'm afraid because of these issues it will just turn into a slanging match in front of DD which won't help her. I have promised to calm down in time for the next meeting and also given her details of DDs progress this week.

AIBU to not go? Should I be able to suck it up and deal with him? I'm usually able to stay calm but this time his behaviour has been horrendous and my every instinct is for her not to see him at all at the moment.

erinaceus Wed 24-May-17 10:09:55

What is/are the goals of the therapy?

Karmin Wed 24-May-17 10:11:28

Can you ask for DD to leave the room and then speak openly and honestly in front of him. You will be angry and upset but try and keep it factual and as unemotional as possible, he really isn't worth your feelings!

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:19:00

I've been open and honest with him. Really it gets me nowhere. I left him because of his emotional abuse towards me and the dc and had some hopes he might in time become a better person. It's not happening.

DD has continuing therapy for anorexia/depression/anxiety. She is very unwell.

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:20:02

One of the issues I have is him encouraging her to exercise. When she isn't permitted to medically! It's not little things, but potentially life threatening issues.

HorridHenryrule Wed 24-May-17 10:21:19

Your best bet is to talk to the therapist and tell her how you feel and what has happened before the meeting.

Birdsgottaf1y Wed 24-May-17 10:23:07

Family therapy only works when everyone is honest.

I agree that she should be asked to leave and you tell the truth, otherwise ask yourself why you are covering for him and if it will do your DD (and you) any good in the long run.

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:23:59

Unfortunately I won't have time before the meeting. She is aware of some issues as he didn't attend last week and she made copious notes on what he has been saying etc.

DD has spoken to her dr with me and asked for it to be put on her medical notes too. She's being very brave.

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:25:11

I'm not covering for him! I just don't want to lose my temper in there with him. He likes to look like the best parent and twist anything I say. Usually I stay calm. Today I don't feel able to after another load of ridiculousness from him yesterday.

HorridHenryrule Wed 24-May-17 10:25:16

I would go but still talk to therapist before you go to the meeting.

erinaceus Wed 24-May-17 10:25:22

I suggest you go and specifically discuss whether continuing family therapy in this way is conducive to your DD's recovery. It might be, and it might not be. Other models might be possible e.g. sessions without your DD present or you + DD (no exDH).

It's okay to get distressed and to yell. Staying calm is not a competition. The therapist ought to be able to handle the situation - doesn't mean they can, but they ought to be able to.

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:27:52

No it's not okay to yell in there. That will make DD very anxious. Emotions are all well and good but not in front of a child with a mental illness!

I think the therapist has the measure of him. Unfortunately we aren't a traditional nuclear family dealing with this.

HorridHenryrule Wed 24-May-17 10:31:45

I would have very little eye contact or speaking to him. I would start going through a third party. I know your hurting but arguing with him isn't going to help your dd. You need to get over him and his foolishness and focus on her.

erinaceus Wed 24-May-17 10:34:45

If you do not feel as if you are able to express yourself with both DD and exDH present, do you feel able to talk about this? i.e. to articulate that you feel anger (or whatever) towards exDH but you do not feel able to discuss the issues with both your exDH and your DD present due to the strength of your feelings?

I understand that you are not a traditional nuclear family. Do you as a family find the therapy helpful? Is it helping your DD do you think?

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:35:03

It's not foolishness. Not supporting her eating? Encouraging her to exercise? Ignoring her when she has a panic attack. These are major issues and certainly her regular therapist and dr think they could be enough to stop his contact with her.
And I'm supposed to sit and watch him portray himself as dad of the year for an hour??

AnotherEmma Wed 24-May-17 10:36:06

If you can't cope with him, what makes you think your mentally unwell daughter can?!

I don't think he should be going to her therapy sessions at all tbh. Does she spend much (if any) time with him apart from the therapy? Does she enjoy it? Does she feel better or worse afterwards?

I hope you can see where I'm going with this...

HorridHenryrule Wed 24-May-17 10:37:27

What does your dd want to help her recovery. What has she said to you?

AnotherEmma Wed 24-May-17 10:38:31

Couple's counselling is not recommended when there is abuse and I think it's exactly the same for family therapy. You can't engage properly with an abusive man and it just gives him more opportunities to manipulate, blame and abuse.

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 24-May-17 10:40:09

My post disappeared but exactly what AnotherEmma said.

How old is she?

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:41:38

No I don't think he should be at her sessions but sadly this is what is expected to happen. It makes things very difficult indeed.

At the moment she is spending no time with him. He isn't trying to see her often and time with him inevitably means she will slip and it will take a few days to pull her back.

I have told her I will go. She says no. She says she hates how he makes me look stupid in there

littlehandcuffs Wed 24-May-17 10:43:26

I think you are being very sensible. If there is abuse you should not be sitting in a room together. x

AnotherEmma Wed 24-May-17 10:45:11

"what is expected"? By whom? CAMHS? Don't they know he is emotionally abusive towards her? Can't you insist that he does not attend?

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 24-May-17 10:45:49

So if he's not trying to see her, then you make no contact till he contacts you, and chances are he'll fuck off.

How old is she?

Tell him the meetings are cancelled and go alone with DD. She needs you to put the boundary in place, she can't.

SisterhoodisPowerful Wed 24-May-17 10:46:23

Can she refuse to be in the room with him?
He's clearly damaging to her mental health. A good therapist wouldn't allow him to be there. I also don't think it's appropriate to leave her alone with him. It might be worth phoning and asking if she can go without either of you to explain that she doesn't want him there.
Counselling in situations of abuse is bad practise. Anyone signed up to ethical guidelines who follows them should be insisting that he is not present in the room.

Strawberryshortcake40 Wed 24-May-17 10:51:40

She's 15.

No he doesn't want to see her but he always finds time for these meetings. He loves them.

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