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TL,DR: My son's therapy is taking a break; to help me help him I am contemplating behavioral therapy for myself - as well as combining this with consequential discipline, praise and all the other things a parent needs to give, what else could/should I think about?

  • Son is (almost) 13 years old
  • After repeated concerning behavior as child, has seen behvioural therapist for last 3-4 years
  • Therapist reports behavior is coping strategy to deal with unknown, un-dealt with disturbances in the past
  • Therapist insisted on pause; strong resistance from son and wife made therapy un-workable
  • Son's coping mechanisms still in place, long-term these do him just as much, if not more damage - refuses to want to deal with events in his past

Assumptions:

  1. I can't change anyone else, only myself - or better yet, my attitude and way I help my son
  2. Son's issues need professional help which I can't give
  3. If son should get professional help it will only bear fruit if he agrees to ,be helped' which he doesn't

Suggested steps:

  1. Speak to my doc about referral to behavioral therapist for myself - aim: strengthen self-reflection, what can I do to help my son? Entirely possible I "can't see wood for trees" as well as being "too convinced of my own ways"
  2. Undertake behvioral therapy (if possible) to improve communication and parenting
  3. Ditto parenting course
  4. Perserve (harder) with current plan of support and discipline, love and help, good examples
  5. ???
  6. Child develops newer, preferable behavior to when he finds things hard (without giving too many examples, it seems as though he makes his own life hard (sets incredibly high expectations, which he then fails to meet) and also projects a feeling that everyone and everything is out to persecute him - that people only want bad things for him…)

So… What comes at point 5? What have I missed? What have I overseen?

If there are further questions, I will attempt to answer them.

P.s. I live in Germany, land of (near-complete) medical insurance, at none of the above stages or processes would I really need to worry about expense… only that which is good for my son.

P.p.s. I cannot expect the support of my wife for any of the steps I choose to take. We have been separated nearly 2 years, she is convinced any therapist is "only in it for the money". Sadly my son shares this feeling. :(

Edit in response to comments.

As well as taking the decision to undertake behavioral therapy for myself (to improve the er… ,family experience' and better reflect my own behaviour and response to my child), I'm looking for other points of view or ideas about positive steps I can take to make progress on this tricky area of life.

I'm looking forward to exploring the tour and help center; don't agree that my question is about medical steps, more about accompanying things that I perhaps haven't thought of.

For the sake of clarity, I guess my question is the following:

"My son makes his life difficult though his belief that the odds and the world are stacked against him - apart from getting professional help for me as his parent, what other approaches, tips, tricks and strategies are worth looking at?"

  • 2
    Welcome! Just to make sure I get the question right - you want to get therapy for yourself to achieve what exactly? A toolkit to handle your son better? A change in your own behavior and mindset? A way to self-treat your son? – Stephie Aug 10 at 8:49
  • And please take the tour and browse through the help center: I am not sure whether this question can remain here. Medical questions are off topic and this post is pretty close to borderline, if not beyond. – Stephie Aug 10 at 8:56
  • I don't think this would be medical advice, it's asking for help dealing with behavioral issues and that's well represented in our questions. I'm not sure it's not too broad though... but I think I'd consider it okay for now, just might want a more clear question statement like you say in the first comment and a little more focus. – Joe Aug 10 at 15:34
  • Yes, Stephie - as well as taking the decision to undertake behavioral therapy for myself (to improve the er… ,family experience' and better reflect my own behaviour and response to my child), I'm looking for other points of view or ideas about positive steps I can take to make progress on this tricky area of life. I'm looking forward to exploring the tour and help center; don't agree that my question is about medical steps, more about accompanying things that I perhaps haven't thought of. For the sake of clarity, I guess my question is the following: *"My son makes his life difficult though hi – JohnT Aug 11 at 9:38
  • What evidence does your son have that the odds and the world are stacked against him? Can you give examples? – Ossum's Mom Sep 18 at 20:39

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