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amother









  
Post Posted: Mon, Dec 12 2011, 11:59 pm       Post subject: leave child alone with therapist?
Ds is seeing a therapist for some social/behavioral issues. At first I was in the room with him, but now that he is more comfortable and open, he says he wants to go himself. The therapist also felt he would be more open with him if I wasn't there. Problem is, I am reluctant to leave him alone in a room with the therapist. Because of the nature of the therapy the rooms are situated in a private area in the building.

Am I being paranoid? I don't think so.
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Dolly Welsh









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 12:14 am       Post subject:
Can you sit outside the door on a chair in the hall where you can sort of hear? You also do not say how old the child is.

Maybe you could be in the room facing the wall and knitting or reading.

I share your unease.
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alte mamme









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 12:48 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
Wow, that would not have occurred to me. I hear your concern, but really, can't imagine how your child will be able to progress in therapy without having a chance to open up privately with his therapist.

Do you have any particular reason to be suspicious of the therapist? Some sense of discomfort or unease with him? Have you had any conversations with your child about personal boundaries and safety issues?
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amother









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 2:01 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
ds is 11 and I have no reason to suspect the therapist. I just have always told myself that I would never leave my child entirely alone with another adult in a closed room like that. Isn't that asking for trouble? I have discussed personal boundaries with my son, but isn't prevention the key?
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mummy-bh









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 2:25 am       Post subject:
I would echo the other posters who have said that it's essential for your child's therapy that there is no-one else present in the room during the sessions.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 3:19 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
As the wife of a child psychologist I completely understand what you are thinking. I know that my DH would never do anything, but what if someone accused him? he is alone in the room with children and teenagers and really has no way to prove a story, either way. (We have discussed this and when he goes into private practice will have a camera and a release form permitting him to video tape sessions, to be used ONLY if something like this comes up.)

My best advice is 2-fold. First of all you are going to need to leave the room to make the treatment affective, there is nothing you can do about it. Second of all, never plant ideas in your childs head, but always ask him how his session went. Be accepting of his answer, no matter what he says. If one day there is something he wants to tell you (good or bad) he should know that you are willing to hear.
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tryingmybest









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 3:40 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
Yes, I agree with all who said that there is NO way your child can proceed with you in the room. That's part of therapy! If there's no reason to suspect the guy, I would leave it at that
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amother









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 8:43 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
op here. I agree with the wife of the psychologist. I think it is poor practice on the part of the group to have it set up this way. They are opening themselves up to the possibility of problems. And yet, if I say something, I feel like it makes me out to be a paranoid troublemaker.

I do understand the value of him being alone with the therapist, but should I ask that the door be slightly open or that I be allowed to walk in at random? I feel like by making an issue about it, I am planting ideas.
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5*Mom









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 8:49 am       Post subject: Re: re: leave child alone with therapist?
amother wrote:
op here. I agree with the wife of the psychologist. I think it is poor practice on the part of the group to have it set up this way. They are opening themselves up to the possibility of problems. And yet, if I say something, I feel like it makes me out to be a paranoid troublemaker.

I do understand the value of him being alone with the therapist, but should I ask that the door be slightly open or that I be allowed to walk in at random? I feel like by making an issue about it, I am planting ideas.


I hear both sides of this discussion. Could you discuss this with the therapist on the phone without your son hearing/knowing? If he is professional, he should totally understand your concerns and work with you to find a solution that will make you more comfortable without compromising the therapy. If he reacts badly or gets offended that would make me very uncomfortable and I would find a different therapist.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 9:24 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
That's true. I feel like it is a litmus test that can help me evaluate him better. On the other hand, there is no way to bring it up without making it seem like I think he can be suspected. I was thinking of saying something like "This is not personal, but we have a policy not to leave him alone in a closed room with another adult. Is there any way you can think of that would still give you privacy, but still allow for me to feel that I am not compromising on his safety?" Do you think that is offensive?
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de_goldy









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 9:30 am       Post subject:
I hear your concern but leaving the door open and the possibility of you walking in and out at random may make it hard for your child to feel comfortable and open up.
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5*Mom









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 9:32 am       Post subject: Re: re: leave child alone with therapist?
amother wrote:
That's true. I feel like it is a litmus test that can help me evaluate him better. On the other hand, there is no way to bring it up without making it seem like I think he can be suspected. I was thinking of saying something like "This is not personal, but we have a policy not to leave him alone in a closed room with another adult. Is there any way you can think of that would still give you privacy, but still allow for me to feel that I am not compromising on his safety?" Do you think that is offensive?


I think that is absolutely perfect (and a wise policy).
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Monsey Mom









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 10:24 am       Post subject:
de_goldy wrote:
I hear your concern but leaving the door open and the possibility of you walking in and out at random may make it hard for your child to feel comfortable and open up.


I think this is a very important point.

OP, I hear your concern, and that you are trying to be a responsible parent.

Ostensibly you brought DS to this therapist for him to have a forum and guidance to work out social issues. BH, he feels comfortable with the therapist now so as to open up to him. I think your presence will hinder that.

You need to let go. Hopefully, you've taught your child clear boundaries of what's appropiate and not. I think your lack of trust in the therapist or whatever fears you have may be transmitted to DS and cause him not to trust the therapist you've chosen for him.

It's going against the grain of what you're comfortable with, and I hear that. But I think you need to step back and let the therapy take its course now.

Maybe you can mention your policy to the therapist in private and ask him to allow you to enter at any random point, and not your DS, so he still feels comfortable sharing in private. That is the goal here.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 10:35 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
op again:

To be honest, I am surprised at everyone who is encouraging me to leave ds alone with him and "trust" him. Haven't there been enough stories of people who were supposed to be "helping" their victims, whose parents kept sending them straight into the lion's den? I was sure everyone would be telling me that I am my child's advocate and protector.

Again, I have no reason to suspect this guy and I would be thinking about this no matter who it was he was seeing. This has nothing to do with who the therapist is per say. I just feel like in these matters no one should just be given blank trust. I have never given my son any reason to believe that I don't trust the guy and as a matter of fact I encourage him to be fully open with him so I don't think this will interfere in any way.

As for teaching my son healthy boundaries, he is a kid with some challenges and often times they are the first ones targeted. So I am just trying to do my due vigilance.
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imasinger









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 10:37 am       Post subject:
I agree that the building is not set up well. But I'm curious -- are there other people around? Is the door to the therapist's office easy for your DS to open, should he want to leave?

I can think of circumstances where a boy of 11 might be alone with another adult in a room. Possibly if he needed to talk to teacher/rebbe/menahel, for instance.

If you were to consult with your rav in person on the matter, would there be someone else in the room?
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amother









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 10:47 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
op again:

I work in a school and have been to some of these prevention workshops, so actually the answer is NO, in a school setting a child should never be left alone with an adult in a closed room. This is something every expert in the field agrees on and is as much for the protection of the school and the mechanchim as for the children. The offices should be set up in such a way that there is either a window, or that the door is always left slightly open when there is a child inside. And this is something parents should demand as well.

Prevention goes a long way, both in terms of something happening and in protecting the school from any accusations.
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5*Mom









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 10:49 am       Post subject: Re: re: leave child alone with therapist?
amother wrote:
op again:

I work in a school and have been to some of these prevention workshops, so actually the answer is NO, in a school setting a child should never be left alone with an adult in a closed room. This is something every expert in the field agrees on and is as much for the protection of the school and the mechanchim as for the children. The offices should be set up in such a way that there is either a window, or that the door is always left slightly open when there is a child inside. And this is something parents should demand as well.

Prevention goes a long way, both in terms of something happening and in protecting the school from any accusations.
[I]

THIS THIS THIS!!!
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amother









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 10:52 am       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
Thank you 5*! I was starting to feel like I am a crazy paranoid woman. It's funny how after the stories come out everyone is so willing to yell and scream, imprison, and besmear, but when it comes to simple acts of prevention, everyone is suddenly squeamish about bringing it up.
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imasinger









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 10:53 am       Post subject:
I agree, 100%. Would you feel more comfortable to leave him if the door were left open? Your DS may talk less freely if he knows you are in earshot, but there may be a way to deal with the safety issues. That was my point.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2011, 12:22 pm       Post subject: re: leave child alone with therapist?
I have never seen that a therapist or a doctor cannot be alone with a child or a patient, same for a teacher. To each their own...
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