Dr. Bradley -
I am afraid for my son. He's totally shut down in school, wants to quit, no incentives or carrots seem to work, and even though he's testing clean - I'm afraid he's back to using OR is depressed - or both.
He is in the system - has a PO, a caseworker, counselor, parental support, and school support but he's untouchable. I know it would be very expensive to send him to a private long term treatment center but -- I will do anything to help him. My husband, who is very methodical and patient, is always saying "Let's wait and see what happens." Although I think, at times, we make a good team (I am the opposite of him) this time the writing is boldly written on the wall and by waiting too long......we will lose our son.
I would like our son to see a mental health counselor, since it doesn't look like he will be going to a treatment center anytime soon. Can our son be forced to see one?
Whether your son can be forced to seek additional treatment depends upon your local laws and his legal status. A judge might mandate certain treatment, but it sounds as if your kid has lots of support available to him now. If his relationship with his present counselor is good, then I'd probably let this ride unless you see possible signs of suicidal thinking, at which point you must move to immediately get him to a hospital, with a court commitment if need be.
Just keep lovingly reminding him that you love him and are worried for him, and that he needs to let you know what might help him to feel better.
Dr. Mike Bradley
I had a friend - she had her daughter go see a counselor - the counselor called her a crab every time she came in. Finally this young lady questioned the Dr. why he said this. He said, because you refuse to let anyone crack you and you don't let anyone in. Hmmm. interesting. I went to sit at McDonald's to meet with her. We sat and talked, I told her my ideas - I was unbiased, non judging - sure and not a professional. There may be a stigmatism or a label 'in the system;' I work with kids who are juvies in the system, former gang members, drug addicts gone clean - all one thing in common - trying to find out where they belong/empty holes left by bad experiences,trauma, etc. I am not knocking any health professional, psychologist etc. - - they are good at what they do, but what we ALL want is the basic things.....love, and acceptance and a sense of belonging. Of all my recovered druggie friends, gang members, and juvies - they all have one thing in common, they found that thing somewhere and it wasn't in the system. it was in the Lord.