My feed

to access all these features


AIBU to be pissed off that my dd has to suffer emotionally after her friend committed suicide cos I can't afford private therapy?

139 replies

borninastorm · 20/04/2013 23:45

Last year my dd's friend took her own life. My dd was just 13 at the time and her friend 14.

Because they weren't at the same school dd's school didn't offer a counselling response. They did provide her with a counsellor but unfortunately this woman isn't trained in dealing with bereavement by suicide which I have since learned is a very specific type of counselling and it's even more specialised when it's for a teenager.

So, since then I've tried Winstons Wish - they only provide help for children directly related to the person who has died; Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide who don't provide counselling help and Cruse who have nothing and nobody in our area that could fulfil my poor dd's very specific therapy needs. ANd there's a waiting time of 6 months+ for counselling via our GP and no guarantee that she'll get the specialist help she needs.

I've looked into private therapy but it's too expensive for me right now. So the only thing I've been able to provide my dd with is some highly recommended books and a listening ear, but she needs so much more than that.

AIBU to be pissed that my teenager has to emotionally suffer because I can't afford to pay for private therapy for her?

And does anybody have any advice on how best to help her and/or get her the help she needs?

OP posts:
buildingmycorestrength · 21/04/2013 17:23

I wonder if it would help the OP to spell out some behaviours that are signs that the child is not grieving 'normally' and needs additional support. I know I would find that a useful way to approach the issue.

I am not a professional but I know that traumatic events can interact with existing mental health issues to create problems that really do require more than a sympathetic ear (which need, by the way, may well fully met by OP or may not, we have no idea).

For instance, I imagine that changes in appetite are normal at first but if they don't go back to normal after a couple of months you want to get it checked out and have more specialist psychological treatment. Just an example, maybe this is wrong.

Or maybe if the child is still waking with nightmares after four months that is a sign of needing professional support, or maybe that is still within normal range.

When should she go back to the GP?

FreudiansSlipper · 21/04/2013 17:25

I am not sure anyone does think that way and if a client did then it should be explored with their therapist, some clients will go through a phase of thinking their therapist can fix them it's quite common

I think counselling should be there for everyone sadly it is not it is costly but the nhs are starting to move away from just providing cbt

expat I hope you too have the support there if you want it. Bacp website has low cost counselling services

Glimmerberry · 21/04/2013 18:03

Terrible things happen in life sometimes but counselling isn't an automatic response. In fact, there's good evidence that getting through these events with your own resources (yourself, your "community") is healthier, and to your longterm good. Automatically deciding counselling is necessary for every terrible event can do more harm than good, interupting the way that we naturally respond and develop acceptance.

Why not support your daughter, let her talk about it, and see how things go. If she does develop problems then GP, and on to CAMHS is the way to go.

dayshiftdoris · 21/04/2013 18:15

This kind of happened with my son 3 years ago... there was a serious accident in our close friend circle but he went to a different school to the people it affected directly. There were a number of children who barely knew the family who received counselling support whilst my son and another child close to the family received no support.

It was 2 years before he spoke her name again and recently he wouldnt have pictures of the family in his memory book. His behaviour at the time was hideous and he clung to me to the point that he was refusing to go to school because it meant leaving me.

By the time he saw someone (the same person who had gone to the other school) she felt the moment to do it had gone though she gave some excellent advice. My son was much younger (5/6) and he has ASD so very tricky to engage, especially after the fact.

I got him through it but I was grieving too and it made that much harder... the whole situation was so very very wrong - I was made to feel shit for asking yet it was offered automatically for some children in the other school who had only met them once.

OP I dont think you are being unreasonable and I hope you find some support for you daughter. You could find out who offered the original support at the school and try them - it worked for us.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 21/04/2013 18:19

Some posts seem to be saying that people want counselling as an alternative to the hard work of recovering. Surely counselling IS hard work!? You have to be actively engaged in the process if itmismgoing to do any good.

Trazzletoes - to you, I would just say that it takes immense strength and courage to admit you need help, it is not a sign of weakness at all. You are doing the best thing for yourself and by extension, for your son and for the rest of your family. You are in my heart and my thoughts. Xx

Borninastorm - my heart goes out to your dd. Suicide is a shocking and painful experience for those left behind - but you are doing a lot to support her yourself, and that will help her a lot, I am sure. I think there is some good advice on here, about groups/organisations you can contact for more help, and I hope your dd will feel better soon.

TiredFeet · 21/04/2013 18:56

mrs devere speaks a lot of sense I think.
Also it is a bit upsetting to see the thread de-railed. I agree counselling is not always necessary but there must be other things the op can do to help her daughter. borninastorm you sound lovely and caring and I am sure that will be more help to your daughter than anything else right now, but that's not to say you are wrong for wanting any additional support that might help.

trazzle don't let this thread make you feel bad for seeking out counselling.

borninastorm · 21/04/2013 19:07

Oh my goodness, thank you all so much for your replies. I wrote this post late last night and went to bed, feeling better that I'd got it off my chest.
I'd no idea I would come back today to so many replies! It's made we tear up.
I am taking my time to read through all your replies and amazing advice then l'll come back with proper replies.

OP posts:
JaceyBee · 21/04/2013 19:15

I'm a counsellor too and I don't think your dd would have to see someone specifically trained in bereavement by suicide. As long as the counsellor is sufficiently trained they will be able to work with whatever comes into the room, believe me we hear all sorts and are more than capable of working with any client. It's likely that any extra training will only be a one day CPD course anyway. Use the school counsellor for free. Or depending where you are in the UK, there might be a free youth counselling service, there is where I live anyway.

borninastorm · 21/04/2013 19:32

I am totally overwhelmed, thank you all so much.

Here is some more information re my dd's situation:

Her friend took her own life in October 2012. My dd coped very well at the start. We talked as much as she wanted to. And she actively used her art and her writing as an outlet for her grief.

It is now 6 months later and it is dd who wants some sort of therapy because she feels she doesn't have the tools to help herself recover from her friend's suicide.

She is angry, very angry at everything and it is often irrational anger (she knows it's not right) eg she gets v angry when people at school glibly use the term "I'm going to kill myself" because they failed a test.

She feels incredible guilt because if she'd got her friend's message that night instead of the next morning she might have been able to stop her.

She's not sleeping well at all. She often struggles to find the normal happiness she used to feel before October. She cries much easier than she ever has done before.

And her art and her writing isn't helping her to feel better anymore.

Basically she wants to the tools to make her feel like herself again, the tools to help life the dark cloud that has descended upon her mind and her emotions.

OP posts:
buildingmycorestrength · 21/04/2013 19:39

Oh, my goodness, it sounds like she is struggling.

Does the GP know about the sleep and anger problems?

Do you have a free youth service in a nearby town? Maybe Google 'free youth counselling and see what comes up?

fortyplus · 21/04/2013 19:40

A good friend's son went through this. He and his classmates wanted to do something for thenselves to mark what had happened, so they all went to the bluebell woods and had their own little 'ceremony' to commemmorate his life. They all just took turns to say something about the boy who had dies and how they felt about it. Away from any adults so I don't know exactly what happened but apparently it helped them deal with it.

buildingmycorestrength · 21/04/2013 19:42

Also, it is worth bearing in mine the Improved Access to Psychological Therapies initiative, which means that patients should be seen for assessment by a psychologist. Stay on the GP waiting list at the very least, please! And look up the way IAPT is being implemented in your area as that may give you a lead.

buildingmycorestrength · 21/04/2013 19:43

I don't mean to sound at all alarmist, BTW, I just know you are wanting to get her some help as soon as you can, that's all. Smile.

TiredFeet · 21/04/2013 19:52

Oh bless her, I had to cope with the tragic deaths of a couple of good friends when I was in my late teens (rta and a subsequent suicide) I remember the awful guilt and pain and the difficulty of contemporaries who just had no idea what I was going through. May sound silly but one thing that helped me a little was exercise and getting out in the countryside/fresh air. Something about nature that is so soothing. Hopefully you will find some of the links on here will help you find her, and maybe you too, some proffessional support /advice . It will be a very long process sadly, there is no quick solution. More than ten years on I am only just beginning to feel in any way at peace about things and the pain will always be there. (But then I didn't have counselling and often think it might have helped, I have never really talked things through)

MrsDeVere · 21/04/2013 19:56

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crashdoll · 21/04/2013 20:06

I agree with MrsDeVere. As a society, we seem so uncomfortable with grief and are quick to medicate or suggest counselling. It isn't unhealthy to grieve, nor to seek help if it was a particularly traumatic bereavement. I've heard of a lot of people being described as depressed when they are 'just' grieving for their loved one. We all cope differently. I lost my dear best friend to suicide 5 years ago and every now and then, something reminds me of her and it feels like the world has stopped and I feel a physical pain. There's nothing wrong with me because of it. I just miss her.

HerrenaHarridan · 21/04/2013 20:09

Hi op,

I hope you find this in the mire that your thread has become.

It sounds to me like you are doing a great job of supporting you dd through this and I just wanted to

A) reassure you that if needs be you can support her through this with or without a counsellor

B) reiterate the advice to read the books you got for her

C) let you know that I think your right to be concerned that her mental well being is closely monitored right now, friends of a suicide victim often blame themselves for not being supportive enough and no one should have to bear that weight.

D) reassure you that she can and will come out the other side of this, stronger, deeper and equipped to help others better in the future.

We all must suffer some to have depth to our souls. She can and will move on with her life, when she's ready. Your doing the right things already but there is no magic wand.

Fwiw, when I was 14 my first ever girlfriend took her own life after tracking down her absent mother then being rejected.
My life has moved on over a decade since then and I function just like everyone else, but if I dwell on it for any length of time I still fucking hate her mother.

Time and love are the scabs over our wounds but underneath lies the scars our strength is made of.

SolidGoldBrass · 21/04/2013 20:13

I don't think that counselling is bad or that people who want it are weak or inferior or anything. I just wanted to reassure the OP that it may not be necessary for her DD.

Maryz · 21/04/2013 20:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz · 21/04/2013 20:15

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HerrenaHarridan · 21/04/2013 20:16

Yy to Maryz! All of it.

HerrenaHarridan · 21/04/2013 20:22

Oh and can you tell your dd from me, that if she was desperate enough to do it she could not of stopped her. She might have stopped her that night but the poor girl would have still been trapped in the pit of despair. She would have done it next time.

Whatever she was escaping from she's now free,

UrbaneLandlord · 21/04/2013 20:35

ilovesooty said: The evaluation forms from clients are considered sufficient evidence of effective practice...

That's not objective evidence! You could certainly use such a process to justify homeopathy and achieve similar results. And the advocates of the nonsense of homeopathy are just as shrill in its defence.

FreudiansSlipper · 21/04/2013 20:47

Urban we get the message that you think counselling is not necessary

The NHS thinks differently, so do other medical establishments after a lot of research into this area. It is not for everyone, not everyone has a therapist that they work well with, some rush into counselling looking to be saved, some it does not help and others find it much harder work than they expected and many find it very helpful some life changing

This is not the right thread to start your crusade against counselling start another thread but at least have some good research to back your argument up with

crashdoll · 21/04/2013 20:49

It's laughable to compare psychological therapies to homeopathy.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.