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Family therapy - has anyone had a good experience?(7 Posts)
In all honesty, I would only go ahead with it (again) if my dc were in agreement. I think this made a massive difference to our 1 and only session going wrong.
My son has ASD/PDA & ADHD and we went private (as CAMHS refused to help at all!). He started off with individual sessions then they suggested a family session. I was very reluctant & my ds was not that keen either. Anyway, my son completely took over the session, wouldn't let anyone else say anything and wanted his own way (PDA!!!) and refused to even go by himself again after that.
It's a real shame as he was quite taking to the appointments but that was just too much for him. And clearly too early!
We have had family therapy twice. Once around ds's issues (AS and OCD). I insisted that ds didn't attend at first as I knew he would find it difficult. The sessions with dh and me were pretty hopeless. I was persuaded to bring the dcs just so that the therapist could meet them. I explained the adjustments ds would need to even remotely cope and they were totally ignored. We refused to go back and made a complaint.
Then dd developed different issues. Different therapist. Not so obviously useless but really a waste of time as nothing was ever dealt with clearly. So I said I am not prepared to go back.
I have met a most of our team now as they often work in pairs and I am not impressed. this is without a dc with ASD present. If your dd's one to one sessions are going well I would be inclined not to rock the boat unless she positively wants family sessions.
Dd7 was referred to specialist cahms in March this year. For the past 18 months I'd suspected asd, lots of behavioural issues with dd and masks symptoms at school. She's previously had a loose dx of anxiety from a tier 2 psychologist in a local mental health services 'below'cahms. They refused to see asd.
Dd started self-harming at 6 yo and we were referred to family therapy. After an initial consultation with the family (minus one dcs who was on a school trip) dh and I met with specialist cahms. She said she strongly suspected dd had asd and spd and referred us back to the child development centre for dx. So, for us, family therapy ended up being an amazing thing. She seemed like a very experienced professional. We are still awaiting formal diagnosis, but without her refferal, we'd still be left to our own devices with our poor dd.
Watching this thread with interest thought as I know it's likely that we could be back after dx (I'd say she is very demand avoidant, I'm not sure how our borough views this).
We had family therapy for 7 months for ds1 following a few years of bullying which led him to be depressed, and other family stuff going on (including ds2 having unidentified ASD).
Whilst the therapist was lovely and very kind, it was pointless.
They couldn't give us any advice, we went every month expecting them to tell us how they could help us, or give us clues how to help ourselves (mumsnet has been more helpful on this front than any of the many professionals we've seen over the years), or to refer us on to somewhere more appropriate, but they didn't, they told us how far on we'd come (we hadn't at all), and what a lovely boy ds1 is - he refused to go in to the room apart from one session, when he put on an act of being a delightful child, which they totally believed
It didn't do our family any harm, but it was a waste of time and probably a massive waste of resources - 7 hour long sessions with the main therapist and 3 or 4 other professionals watching from another room, then coming in to say positive things, glossing over the elephant in the room that were the problems we were having within the family.
Ds1 still has issues, we suspect mild AS, but there's no way we can go anywhere with that so we deal with things ourselves.
CAMHS were also no help at all with ds2, even though he has been having suicidal thoughts since he was six.
I would say exactly that is how our more recent sessions have gone. Except that we haven't had others watching as I absolutely refused to be observed by people I couldn't see.
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